With a world in economic meltdown and uncertainty built into every step we take, it's no wonder we bury ourselves more and more into the cyber world of HD television and computers.
Shopping malls and high-streets are all but deserted yet online sales are up. A growing hunger for High definition viewing is driving demand for more and more channels. Internet video content is multiplying out of control and it all comes down to space - what can we do about the bandwidth dilemma?
You may well have noticed that we live in a world where impatience is the norm, even these days. Non of us seem to be willing to wait for anything, stand in line, or tolerate anything that we deem to be second best.
'Wait for a week for my new car to be delivered? Forget it! I'll take that one over there...' Wait fifteen minutes to be seated at your favourite restaurant? No thanks, we'll eat elsewhere!
Don't shake your head, I bet this sounds like you!
Anyway, can you imagine the intense frustration of saving up and spending out on the latest all singing-all dancing High Definition TV, only to find that there are still very few channels with the capacity to broadcast in HD!
(By the way, a word to the wary, if you've never watched HD TV - don't! At least not yet, because doesn't seem to be any going back to normal, grainy TV after your first experience without being overcome with feelings of immense frustration and loss.)
So what's being done by our broadcasters to provide more HD channels? Well, unfortunately, at the moment they can do very little. 'Surely, you must realize how much bandwidth is taken up by an HD channel compared to a regular channel,' they cry. But do you? No, probably not, we just want to watch! Let's just say you could squeeze three regular channels using the same space taken by that one big fat HD channel - and this is the problem which has so far left the broadcasters scratching their heads ... at least it has until now.
We saw the launch earlier this year of the IBM CE 1000 server. A server targeted directly at the IPTV, video streaming and broadcasting industry. A few days ago HP announced partnership with the same system able to offer HD processing at an 80% saving on space. Don't believe me yet? Well both these new servers will finally be able to live up to the claims on the box because of a revolutionary, new technology called CodecSys, from a little company called Broadcast International Inc. (BCST.ob).
The product lines will provide encoding and transcoding solutions for worldwide broadcast, cable, satellite, IPTV, telco, wireless and streaming customers, as well as applications for business/enterprise communications, training and digital signage. For example, a telco will be able to deliver HDTV over DSL connections, and, where cable/satellite operators now have one HD channel, they will be able to deliver six different HD channels at the same quality - great stuff!
So how does it work? Well, rather than relying on any single of the latest codecs to transform our viewing pleasure, the CodecSys technology uses a multi-Codec approach, employing a real-time artificial intelligence system to manage libraries of standard and specialized codecs. This fully patented system dynamically changes codecs or codec settings - on the fly - on a scene-by-scene or even frame-by-frame basis. And it would seem there are a multitude of applications waiting for this holy-grail technology that may finally unlock the blockage in our bandwidth-hungry age. It will allow a plethora of companies to create excellent quality video and audio transmission at a fraction of the bandwidth that, until now, has been traditionally required.
As an application its future appears rich and varied, however, the boffins in Broadcast International have firmly set their sights on the video streaming and broadcasting market as the first area to conquer, teaming up with no less than 'Big blue' and HP.
While these servers seem set to turn the traditional server market on its head, the CodecSys technology will provide the ultimate, highest quality in full-screen, full-motion video at the lowest possible bandwidths allowing the broadcasting and video streaming industry to finally expand along with consumer needs.
All of which means of course that you may begin getting a lot more High Definition channels on that huge great HDTV of yours