At Uplinq 2013, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI) showed four new mobile video demonstrations based on its Snapdragon 800 processor. The showcase gave Uplinq attendees the chance to experience—in person—capabilities ranging from 360° video capture and display in UltraHD (4K) to adaptive video streaming and HEVC (High-Efficiency Video Coding).
HEVC/AVC Codec Comparison Demo
QTI demonstrated a side-by-side playback comparison of content encoded with HEVC and AVC video formats. This was to illustrate that by utilizing the recently ratified HEVC format, higher visual quality video playback can be achieved with the same data rate (file size).
HEVC essentially doubles the data compression ratio, as compared to AVC (Advanced Video Coding) at the same level of video quality. It can alternatively be used to provide substantially improved video quality at the same bit rate. This is of great benefit to the video and telecommunications industry since it has the potential to lessen network data traffic or, alternatively, to increase the video quality we get using the same throughput.
The demo included:
- Selected video footage encoded to HEVC and AVC at similar target data rates
- HEVC decoder running on powerful Snapdragon Krait processors
- AVC decoder running on the Snapdragon video engine
- Two 1080p videos decoded, resized and composited to a side by side view using the advanced Snapdragon Adreno GPU
Also, using a customized player, attendees could tap and zoom either video to its original size to easily see the quality improvement delivered by HEVC on the Snapdragon 800 processor.
HEVC Video Telephony Demo
This demo was the world’s first real-time video telephony scenario with real-time HEVC encode and decode, all running on a Snapdragon 800 processor. It included:
- Video telephony application controlling HEVC decode and encode on the Snapdragon 800 processor
- Real-time HEVC encode running on the powerful Snapdragon 800 quad core CPU
- Real-time HEVC decode running on the very power efficient Snapdragon 800 DSP
In this implementation, we were able to demonstrate that HEVC encoding achieved about 25-30% higher compression efficiency, as compared to an AVC encoder.
Adaptive Streaming Demo
QTI demonstrated adaptive streaming based on DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP) and the Snapdragon Transport Accelerator. DASH, ratified in 2012, is the only standard for adaptive streaming of media. The Snapdragon Transport Accelerator is a custom QTI enhancement to DASH that can deliver up to 3-6 times higher video quality with higher data throughput in the same network conditions. This demo included:
- Video streaming on the DASH client powered by the Snapdragon Transport Accelerator, as compared with the standard HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) player distributed with Android 4.2
- Comparison performed under both LTE and non-LTE network conditions, simulating real-world network conditions
DASH is an important development for the mobile video industry since digital video comprises the biggest portion of Internet traffic and since DASH enables adaptation to variable network conditions. The DASH client powered by the Snapdragon Transport Accelerator is scheduled to be available Q1 2014 on select Snapdragon processors. The Snapdragon Transport Accelerator can deliver similar benefits for other streaming services, such as progressive download and HLS, which will be made available at a later time.
EyeSee360 UltraHD Video Demo
Raj Talluri and team demonstrated 360° video capture and playback in UltraHD resolution during his Uplinq supersession. The demo is based on EyeSee360 technology, which captures 360° panoramic video in one shot and enables the viewer to interact with the video and dynamically choose his or her own perspective. The demo included:
- UltraHD video support, based on the Snapdragon 800 processor and QTI’s custom designed and integrated Snapdragon video codecs
- The GoPano Plus lens attachment from Eye360 enables users to create 360° videos with any camera, including mobile 4K cameras
Dramatic advances in Camera technology and continuing improvements in pixel density (e.g., QTI’s 4K support), interface speed (e.g., Thunderbolt, USB 3), broadband capacity (e.g., FTTH) and encoding technology (HEVC) will likely enable widespread adoption of a high-resolution 360° interactive video experience.