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Scalable Video Coding (SVC) to Impact Global Videoconferencing Market

Wainhouse Research Prediction

Wainhouse Research has released its latest study, "H.264 SVC: A Technical Assessment," an independent view of the Scalable Video Coding (SVC) standard, ratified in late 2007 whose benefits are gaining recognition and acceptance in multiple segments of the videoconferencing and unified communications markets. The report contrasts H.264 SVC with the preceding H.264 (AVC) Baseline Profile used for many years in traditional videoconferencing systems. Conclusions were based on side-by-side comparisons of a variety of videoconferencing devices and analysis of architecture and coding aspects.

“When properly implemented, an SVC-based video conferencing solution offers many benefits including decreased latency, enhanced video quality, significantly improved network error tolerance, decreased costs and more,” said Andrew W. Davis, Senior Analyst, Wainhouse Research. “SVC is a more versatile encoding method than any of its predecessor algorithms and we believe it will eventually be supported by all videoconferencing vendors.”

In particular, the Wainhouse paper indicates that an H.264 SVC system can provide:

  • Equal video quality over non-lossy networks
  • Dramatic improvements in the ability to host high quality, artifact-free video calls on lower cost, loss-prone IP networks, including the Internet
  • Noticeable and measurable shorter delays (and higher interactivity) on both point-to-point calls and multipoint calls between H.264 SVC-compliant systems
  • Impressive reduction in the cost of infrastructure hardware to support multipoint
  • Ability to support video calls between endpoints with widely varying processor power and network performance characteristics

“One of the primary ‘take-aways’ from this report is that Enterprise as well as SMB customers need to exercise caution before investing in a videoconferencing solution based on an architecture that could soon be obsolete,” said Marty Hollander, Senior VP of Marketing at Vidyo. “Video conferencing is a nascent market and we’re on the cusp of the next generation architecture. Investing in non-SVC-based traditional solutions at this point in time would be like deploying fax machines on traditional telephone networks at the time that email was becoming prevalent to all on standard IP networks.”

Vidyo built its unique architecture from the ground up, leveraging what was then the new video compression standard, and was the first company to launch SVC-based videoconferencing technology and products, shipping its end-user solution in March of 2008. Since H.264 SVC enables a video stream to be broken into multiple resolutions, quality levels and bit rates, Vidyo utilized this capability, integrating it with its own intellectual property to create a new architecture for multipoint videoconferencing.

VidyoTechnology™ offers unprecedented error resiliency, eliminating the central component of legacy video conferencing—the Multipoint Control Unit (MCU)—and replacing it with a distributed architecture using an application layer router. VidyoConferencing™ was the first video multipoint solution that could deliver rate matching and continuous presence capabilities without an additional video encode and decode. This unique capability allows for less than half of the end-to-end latency of MCU-based solutions. Because there is no MCU encoding and decoding bottleneck, there is no resulting latency introduced on VidyoConferences.

“Vidyo is a visionary and technology leader in enterprise-ready desktop video conferencing,” said Davis. “They have developed a patented, potentially disruptive, next generation architecture that leverages the new SVC standard to deliver impressive video quality under unmatched network conditions. We believe other companies will follow Vidyo’s early lead to move to SVC-based video conferencing because of the resulting improvements in conferencing quality, ease of deployment, and reduced communications costs.”

To view an overview of the H.264 SVC report now, go to http://www.vidyo.com/wainhouse_report.html For the complete Wainhouse H. 264 SVC report, please contact [email protected].

About Wainhouse Research

Wainhouse Research (www.wainhouse.com) provides insight and intelligence into the global markets for audio, web (data) and video conferencing, real-time Unified Communications, enterprise streaming and webcasting, and enterprise social networking. The company publishes public and private studies, speaks at industry events and private company events, and provides both strategic consulting to industry vendors as well as end user organizations. Wainhouse Research conferences in the US and Europe provide a forum for the industry to discuss critical issues for industry growth.

About Vidyo, Inc.

Vidyo, Inc. pioneered Personal Telepresence enabling interactive multi-point videoconferences from a desktop to a room system. Vidyo’s patented technology and award winning products leverage the H.264 Scalable Video Coding (SVC) standard, and deliver the industry’s best error resilience and lowest latency videoconferencing over the Internet and wireless networks. VidyoTechnology™ is used by Hitachi, Teliris, Shoretel and other major organizations and enterprises. Vidyo is a privately-held company based in Hackensack, New Jersey. Learn more at www.vidyo.com. Follow Vidyo on [email protected]

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