Thursday, January 31, 2013, 9:46 AM ET|Posted by Will Richmond
If you've been watching streaming video for as many years as I have, then no doubt you agree that one of the most remarkable changes has been the quality of video delivered. It wasn't that long ago when postage stamp sized windows with audio and video out of synch were the norm, whereas today, we can watch on big screen TVs, with buffering a random occurrence.
But the quality bar is getting even higher as this morning eyeIO ("I-I-O"), an early stage video processing technology company, is announcing it has been awarded THX certification for digital cinema HD video quality, a first for an online video encoder. The certification program objectively tests picture quality using 46 data points in 6 categories that were developed by the major Hollywood studios. A score over 90, on a scale of 100, is viewed as "THX Excellent Quality." eyeIO achieved a score of 95.528 for its H.264 first-generation encoder, when streaming at a rate of 5.8 mbps.
What all of that means is that content and service providers can use eyeIO encoders to deliver the highest quality video yet seen online and on mobile devices. This is a key building block to the online video ecosystem because higher quality video translates to longer viewing times, which in turn translate to improved monetization.
But eyeIO isn't just about better picture quality, it's also about bandwidth savings, which are near and dear to everyone involved with online video. As I wrote a year ago when discussing eyeIO's involvement with Netflix, eyeIO's compression of H.264 results in a 20-50% bandwidth savings (depending on network circumstances), and can work in either the cloud or a dedicated encoding farm.
Encoding has been getting a lot of attention recently, as the new H.265 codec standard was just approved by the ITU. This is a great step forward, and surely over time the market will deploy it, with new chipsets and devices to support it. However, the online video market is marching on, and in real time. Viewers are demanding ever-higher video quality which content and service providers are challenged to meet, cost-effectively.
With eyeIO now THX certified, it has a huge stamp of approval. Together with its ability to conserve bandwidth, this stealthy company looks positioned to make considerable inroads.