Applied Technology: Delivering High Quality Content at Lightning-Speed With V-Nova’s PERSEUS

The advent of 4K enables operators to capture more detail and deliver increased picture quality to multiscreen. However, the multitude of devices used to access video and the level of detail that consumers expect require multiple encodings, leading to inventory complexity and redundancy of data, both of which cost increased computing power, time, bandwidth and storage.

PERSEUS tackles the limitations of legacy codecs

Today’s communications infrastructure investments are predicated upon the notion that delivery of a rich, stereoscopic experience to a person or household requires between 10 and 100 Mbps. However, the fact that the human brain is able to process that information at 1/1000 of the bit rate suggests that state-of-the-art encoding could learn from nature.

History plays a significant role in the discrepancy between the processing capacity of the human eye and legacy codecs such as AVC/H.264, HEVC/H.265 and JPEG2000. Traditional codecs were developed in the 1970’s and 1980’s, when the average picture quality reached 2 to 4 Kbps/frame and was processed at a low frame-rate over single core processors with 8-bit architectures and no cache. In contrast, today’s requirements involve 4K/UHD and 8K video operating at 10’s of Mbps, or even Gbps in some applications, using highly parallelized, multi-core, 64-bit processors supported by >128 Mb of cache and embedded graphics processing units (GPUs).

V-Nova’s PERSEUS is a groundbreaking, advanced video and image processing technology. The software-based compression technology is designed from the ground-up to offer maximum interoperability, integrating seamlessly with existing hardware ecosystems and workflows. This allows it to run on commercial-off-the-shelf hardware without requiring hardware-based accelerators, reducing compression requirements for UHD content to HD levels, HD levels to SD all the way down to low-resolution images. This allows the solution to extend the reach of high quality services to connected devices without compromising on picture quality.

The five pillars of PERSEUS

PERSEUS is based on five principles inherited from human vision:

  1. Correlation-based: In contrast to legacy codecs, which focus primarily on identification and removal of redundancy, PERSEUS derives its high lossless compression through the extraction of correlation in space and time.
  2. Massively parallel: Whereas legacy codecs are highly serialized, capable of using only a small portion of the parallel processing power inherent in modern chipsets, PERSEUS is able to use all of the processing power of CPUs, GPUs or a combination of the two working in parallel. The solution's ability to distribute the processing load across the whole chip allows the processor to adapt to its most power efficient mode of operation.
  3. Hierarchical: PERSEUS’s structure is hierarchical, meaning that it first encodes the lower levels of detail of a given subject, progressively adding greater detail within the same file or stream as required. This is similar to natural vision, where one may first recognise the shape of someone’s head, before adding detail of facial features, complexion, skin detail and even the occasional white whisker. Hierarchical encoding provides operators with a solution to progressively and dynamically “shed” details as bandwidth is constrained or fluctuates while ensuring that the image remains viewable.
  4. Multi-scale: By virtue of its hierarchical format, the compression solution is natively multi-scale, meaning that all levels of quality for any given content may be contained in a single file or stream. For example, a 12 Gbps UHD camera stream may be encoded at 300 Mbps for broadcasting “contribution”, then distributed to set-top-boxes in UHD (e.g., at 10 Mbps), whereby TV quality HD (e.g., at 2 Mbps) or, similarly, mobile device quality SD (e.g., at. 0.125 Mbps) can be “stripped off” and distributed.
  5. Holistic: Contrarily to the sequential block-based compression methodologies used in legacy codecs, PERSEUS processes all elements of an image in parallel as a sequence of matrix multiplications. By treating each frame “holistically”, without blocks, block-related features or data dependencies, the system processes less data altogether while ensuring faster data processing. This results in extremely rapid, power-efficient en-/decoding on standard off-the-shelf hardware.

With more content delivered in multiple formats and more devices used to access video from multiple sources than ever before, operators need to trust that their video processing technologies will be able to scale and deliver the same picture quality regardless of the screen size or standard. The five pillars of PERSEUS allow the solution to consistently deliver game changing real-time compression reductions compared to legacy codecs while providing operators with a native live, lossless and lossy encoding solution. Compatible with off-the-shelf hardware, software-based solutions and native CPU/GPU or combined processing, the V-Nova solution is also retro-compatible with existing standards such as AVC, HEVC and MPEG-2. All these features combine to enable operators to deliver the highest picture quality from any source and to any platform without additional infrastructure costs.

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