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HEVC Advance: Who will blink first?

The elephant in the RAI has been the battle to be fought between the HEVC Advance patent pool and the Alliance for Open Media. The frightening thought of losing revenue has occupied a lot of minds, from public service broadcasters to the giant media conglomerates that could lose $100m to licensing codecs.

Show opinion is that the HEVC Advance rate card is a pipe dream in terms of income, and a negotiation gambit.

The industry will have to wait and see if the pool blinks at the promise of a collective technology and a next generation codec within two years, from the Alliance based on Cisco, Google and Mozilla technologies.

Head of media fundamentals & production technology Hans Hoffman gave the EBU stance on this new challenge: “It is important to recognise that the industry is counting on HEVC. There is not a single UHD distribution compression system that was rolled out with the same popularity,” he said.

“HBBTV 2.0 relies on HEVC. All the OTT providers rely on HEVC in a certain context,’ he continued.

“HEVC Advance has changed the landscape. When you look at their press release – which the EBU is seriously discussing— it is quite obvious that content-dependent licensing is extremely unfavourable for public service broadcasting,” he added.

“The Alliance is formed by companies with big muscle. Their charter – to develop next generation media formats, codecs and technologies in the public interest – is seen as a direct response to HEVC Advance.”