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Samsung develops AI codec for 8K content

AI ScaleNet uses deep learning technology to minimise data loss during compression

Samsung’s research and development team have developed a new AI codec aimed at enabling the delivery of 8K content on networks that typically support 4K speeds.

The codec, known as AI ScaleNet, uses deep learning technology to minimise data loss during compression and enable 8K content to be streamed on networks with lower bandwidth capabilities.

According to Samsung, 8K content is compressed to 4K quality using an AI downscaler and transmitted to the viewer’s TV, which utilises AI to upscale the content back to 8K quality. The company said the inspiration for the technology was a need for a new video compression and transmission technology in order to accommodate the ever-evolving media landscape, and to address related technical challenges.

AI ScaleNet addresses bandwidth limitations within modern network infrastructures with an adaptive AI Codec. “AI Adaptive Bit Rate Streaming refers to AI technology that adapts to various bandwidths and adjusts the resolution to enable seamless streaming,” explained researcher Kwangpyo Choi, who developed the technology along with colleague Youngo Park.

“With AI ScaleNet, users will be able to enjoy 8K-quality content, even at lower bandwidths,” added Park. “In fact, during periods of high network traffic, when speeds tend to drop, viewers can still expect content to be presented at a relatively higher quality.”

According to Samsung, the benefits of the new technology are especially clear with regards to OTT, where viewers typically notice changes in picture quality. Samsung’s AI Codec and AI ScaleNet technology utilise AI that adapts to changes in bandwidth and optimises quality, so users enjoy the highest-quality streaming experience possible.

“The most difficult part was ensuring compatibility with existing codec compression technologies,” said Choi. “How to design an easy-to-use algorithm that would be compatible with existing technologies, while delivering the intended performance at the same time was the question.”

“I believe that AI ScaleNet is the first technology to overcome bandwidth limitations by addressing complexity issues and separating the server and client sides, respectively,” added Park.

“AI ScaleNet has shown us that by overcoming challenges, we can help usher in the future and enrich the user experience,” said Park. “Going forward, we will continue to research and develop additional functionalities that add to users’ convenience, and through cooperation with content service providers, we hope to empower diverse services for Samsung devices.”