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BBC R&D, iSIZE partner on video streaming innovation project

Project will look at perceptual optimisation of video streams as a way of making significant reductions in bandwidth as well as innovations in encoding technologies and optimisation

BBC Research and Development, iSIZE and Queen Mary University of London have joined forces on a new research project looking at the way disruptive technology, including artificial intelligence, can improve video streaming.

The project, named Sequoia, aims to address the challenges faced by the media sector in tackling the surge in online media consumption. As well as imposing content delivery bottlenecks, the load on internet infrastructure impacts how content can be distributed efficiently to larger numbers of viewers, and contributes to its environmental footprint.

iSIZE is looking at perceptual optimisation of video streams as a way of making significant reductions in bandwidth required for equal quality. This will be combined with innovations in encoding technologies and optimisation, which is being investigated by BBC R&D and QMUL.

According to the three organisations involved, the project aims to impact every stage in the media distribution chain, demonstrating its results on operational and portable encoder designs, applicable both to video on demand and live streams. They say this will lead to benefits for the whole sector, demonstrating technology to enable sustainable distribution of Ultra High Definition content, while limiting the impact of video on internet traffic and reducing distribution costs.

The project also hopes to support environmentally conscious solutions by monitoring and proactively reducing energy consumption at all stages within the media value chain.

“The problems facing video streaming are real and represent significant environmental issues,” said Sergio Grce, CEO of iSIZE. “The increase in video encoding complexity is outpacing Moore’s Law’, and some respected researchers suggest that the carbon footprint of the internet is greater than that of aviation. So this is an issue that must be addressed.’’