Tuesday, January 29, 2013

HEVC (H.265) Adoption May Be Sooner Than You Think

A few days back, in my company Sorenson Media's official blog (which I also write), I referred to a post by online video analyst and expert Dan Rayburn which questioned whether new video format HEVC (H.265) would see any real "adoption for consumer services" in the next 5 years.  Dan -- and the respected firm Frost & Sullivan, in which he is a principal analyst -- are skeptical.

A couple days later, online video pundit Ryan Lawler reported the news that the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) -- er, the organization that matters for this type of thing (that's all you need to know) -- approved the new H.265 format/specs.  Based on this important development (because approval of any new video format standard is fraught with peril), Lawler concludes that the relevant time-frame may be significantly shorter.  In his words:

It could be 12 to 18 months, maybe longer, before the first devices with H.265 hardware acceleration make it to market.  Once those initial devices do make it to market, however, we can probably expect a quick ramp up in the amount of content that begins to take advantage of H.265. Since the launch of the iPad, the percentage of video published in H.264 has climbed from less than 10 percent to more than 84 percent in less than three years, according to MeFeedia.

Who's right?  Of course no one knows for sure.  Not even us here at Sorenson Media (and new video standards are our game).

One thing we DO know, however, is that video professionals (like you reading this post in Hollywood) must be prepared.  And, my company and I believe that significant adoption of H.265 is not a question of "if" (like it was for Google's WebM initiative), but rather a question of "when."  That's why HEVC/H.265 absolutely is prioritized high on our internal product roadmap.

Dan Rayburn -- responding to some of my questions -- correctly points out that "no technology gets deployed quickly."  But, even Dan believes H.265 will achieve significant consumer adoption.  Just not in the next 18 months.

That means you should be prepared for it now.

Jim Sorenson Gifts $13 Million to Fund "Social Entrepreneurship"

Founder & Chairman of Sorenson Media, James Lee Sorenson, recently generously donated $13 million to University of Utah's Business School to fund "social entrepreneurship" via the new "James Lee Sorenson Global Impact Center."  The Center opens today.

Read more about the amazing social entrepreneurship initiatives this makes possible -- and how these funds literally will help drive significant positive social change around the world.

And, this is just one example of Jim's and his family's generosity over the years. 

Great man.  Great mission.

It's been an honor to work closely with him for the past four years here at Sorenson Media, a company he founded more than a decade ago (and which has been at the forefront of online video innovation ever since).