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The world first successful experimental demonstration of an 8K live transmission,
compatible with the latest video coding, conducted by KDDI Research

2021.07.01

KDDI Research, Inc. (Fujimino City, Saitama Prefecture) announced on April 19 that it had successfully conducted the world's first experimental demonstration of an 8K live transmission using a real-time codec system compatible with the latest H.266/VVC (Versatile Video Coding) codec, an international standard for video coding. This successful experiment result has demonstrated that an 8K live stream can be maintained at a stable level of quality at half the bit rate currently used, meaning that 8K live streams are no longer limited to network lines with guaranteed bandwidth, but can now be achieved on a variety of network connections, including mobile ones. It is expected that this progress will enable viewers to enjoy more realistic images under a wider variety of network environments.

VVC is one of the latest video coding methods achieving twice the video compression performance when compared to the current leading international standard, H.265/HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding), which is widely used today for 4K and 8K broadcasting and video streaming services via the Internet.

VVC was standardized last August by the international standardization organizations ITU-T and ISO/IEC. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in Japan is exploring the adoption of VVC as one of the video coding schemes for upgrading Japan’s terrestrial digital broadcasting system promoted by the ministry.

8K is the largest possible resolution currently available for broadcasting services and provides a highly realistic visual experience. Expected applications also include support for remote work in industrial settings where the exchange of highly detailed visual information is required.

This experimental demonstration, which occurred on April 16, involved compressing video from an 8K camera installed at KDDI Research using the world-first VVC compatible 8K real-time encoder (VVC 8K encoder) they developed. It was demonstrated that the compressed data was then streamed live and steadily displayed on an 8K monitor located at the KDDI Research Atelier (Minato City, Tokyo).

Image provided by KDDI Research, Inc.

In terms of technology, the team improved the high-speed and parallel processing characteristics that are effective for realizing the VVC encoder on a multi-core CPU platform, and invented and introduced technology to scale out not only to 4K but also to 8K resolutions.

The team also was able to increase processing speed through increased CPU utilization by increasing the number of CPUs in operation in accordance with the higher resolution, and by limiting the exchange of compressed video data between CPUs as much as possible to reduce CPU wait time.

Moving forward, KDDI Research intends to further improve the processing speed to enable higher frame rates in order to handle sports-related content.

This article has been translated by JST with permission from The Science News Ltd.(https://sci-news.co.jp/). Unauthorized reproduction of the article and photographs is prohibited.

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