Thursday, October 25, 2012

Polycom & H264 SVC

One major announcement of Polycom in Q4 2012 is the implementation of SVC across
RealPresence environments and the RealPresence Platform.

Powerful Polycom® RealPresence® Platform enhancements include industry’s first open standards-based SVC (Scalable Video Coding), with 3X HD multipoint video call capacity for greater scalability, dramatically lower TCO, superior performance, and backwards- and forwards-compatibility to protect customer investments—all available through a software update. (link).

SVC is an adaptive technology that delivers a consistently high quality user experience across networks that may have varying degrees of quality of service or bandwidth available. SVC is one of the H.264 family of codecs, and is formally known as H.264 Annex G extension. It promises to increase the scalability of video networks and enable mass video deployments while reducing total networking equipment cost, because it leverages the processing power in the endpoints.

Traditional codecs encode entire video in a single packet stream

SVC codecs encode a base layer and multiple layers that enhance the base information, dependent upon what the network and endpoint can support, allowing for flexible delivery and consistent quality
Instead of sending one resolution, one frame rate, and one quality, as AVC H.264 video endpoints do, SVC video endpoints send multiple layers of resolutions (spatial), frame rates (temporal), and quality, dependent upon what each endpoint and the network can support. This allows for “scalability,” that is, for removing layers of the video without any additional video processing (coding or decoding), and for graceful degradation of the video quality when the endpoint or network conditions cannot support it.

SVC Benefits
SVC is an adaptive, bandwidth-efficient technology that delivers a consistently high-quality user experience across networks with varying degrees of quality of service.
The elimination of transcoding in the video network leads to immediate reduction of the end-to-end delay on multipoint calls. Since delay is the most important obstacle to interactivity, delay reduction is expected to lead to more natural and lively conversations on SVC multipoint calls.

A more details document: http://docs.polycom.com/global/documents/whitepapers/more-scale-lower-cost-scalable-video-coding-wp.pdf

More details on AVC: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.264/MPEG-4_AVC
More details on SVC: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scalable_Video_Coding