[opendtv] Re: H.264 for SDTV

  • From: Ron Economos <k6mpg@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 16 Dec 2006 14:41:35 -0800

This is one of the big reasons broadcasters are choosing
H.264 over VC-1. With the abundant toolset of H.264,
there are many opportunitys for improvements and
consequently, a long lifespan (the expectation is at
least 10 years, which is about how long MPEG-2
has been around).

Second generation H.264 real-time encoders are just
starting to ship. Almost all of these are based on the
Ambarella single chip device, replacing big multi-chip
encoders like the Tandberg DSP based encoder
with 19 TI DSPs and 9 big Xilinx FPGAs. There's
a picture of the Tandberg board at the end of this
presentation:

http://www.smpte.org/sections_chapters/toronto/media/SMPTE%20HD%20Boot%20Camp%20-%20HD%20Compression%20v2.pdf

Both Tandberg and Harmonic are claiming that the
Ambarella based 2nd generation encoders are at
least 20 percent more efficient than the 1st gen
DSP based encoders.

But the Ambarella chip was originally targeted at
low power portable applications (video cameras),
and has some design trade-offs to achieve it's 1
watt power dissipation. No doubt that Ambarella
(and others) are working on something better yet.

And the beat goes on....

Ron

Albert Manfredi wrote:

And H.264 systems will also have to deal with their own legacy problem, no doubt, in a few years.





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