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Communications Developer: November 10, 2009 eNewsLetter
November 10, 2009

Scalable Video Coding Pros, Cons Examined in New Report

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Enjoy traveling to conferences? Bad news. Paying for your employees to travel to conferences? Good news. 

Scalable video coding is a tech standard gaining traction in the videoconferencing world. “As is often the case with new technology, particularly when the technology has disruptive potential, there are many claims and counter claims from the new and the entrenched vendors,” Wainhouse ResearchAdditionally, Wainhouse Research has released a study, titled “H.264 SVC: A Technical Assessment,” on the view of what SVC is all about and compares SVC to the H.264 Baseline Profile used in traditional videoconferencing systems.  

The study's authors find that SVC can let you host video calls on lower cost, loss-prone IP networks, including the Internet, with equal or better quality than that of traditional systems.  

You can also use it to support video calls between endpoints with widely varying processor power and network connection, deliver improved interactivity due to shorter delays on both point-to-point calls and multipoint calls between H.264 SVC- compliant systems and support “an impressive reduction” in the cost of multipoint infrastructure hardware. 

If you consider all that a net good, of course. Hey, we make no assumptions.

The study details the causes of videoconferencing problems over IP networks and how the nature of scalable video coding addresses these issues, the authors say: "The 35-page report also details how the cost and performance characteristics of scalable video coding will affect videoconferencing end users and will change the market dynamics for both conferencing service providers and network service providers."

The report ships with a DVD showing examples of SVC and traditional videoconferencing under different network error conditions. 

In April, Radvision
announced plans for implementing scalable video coding technology based on H.264 SVC to its SCOPIA conferencing platform. 

The vendor provides video network infrastructure and is a developer of tools for unified visual communications over IP, 3G and emerging next-generation IMS networks. H.264 SVC is an extension of H.264 video standard used by many video conferencing devices. SVC technology enables video conferencing devices to send and receive multi-layered video streams. These streams are composed of a small base layer and optional additional layers which enhance resolution, frame rate and quality.
 officials said. 

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Kelly McGuire


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