Broadcast Middle East caught up with Dr Raed Khusheim, CEO of Selevision, to find out more about the company's new video encoding technology and what it means for broadcasters.
Digital Broadcast: Selevision launched the new Nukodec codec last month, which is capable of delivering a full HD channel over a bandwidth of just 1 mbps. How has the industry reacted?
Dr. Raed Khusheim: In the industry a lot of people are suspicious, they think it’s too good to be true, and it is a very big claim. A lot of people see it as a game changer. It is relevant for all broadcasters, including the IP-based VoDs.
These are the guys who will benefit the most from it because it will bring benefits for storage and streaming. The streaming costs will drop dramatically and the broadcasters could even be able to stream higher quality content like 4K.
They could also serve a bigger range of users such as those without a very high bandwidth, so any customer with a 3 or 4Mb would be able to receive the service in a very good way. Soon we will be conducting tests with one of the satellite operators in the region and our ambition and goal is to put 60 HD channels on a single transponder.
Currently you could put five or six, something in this range. If you could put up to 60 HD channels on a single transponder that means they [broadcasters] could increase the capacity or the number of channels they serve by eight to 10 times, or introduce new services like 4K.
Where is the codec available?
RK: It’s like any other transcoder whether it’s from Nvideo, Samsung or Ericsson. Currently it’s available directly but soon we will also cooperate with other manufacturers through licencing agreements, where the set top box manufacturers will provide the hardware and we will provide the codec.
You mentioned that some people are sceptical, so how are you convincing them?
RK: We are giving demonstrations so they can see. There are different ways to prove it. They can give us a file and we compress it, then we show them two files; one is compressed using the encoding we use in our system and the other compressed in a regular system. Then they can see the difference in size, and bit rate and all this.
Do you see a lot of potential for this?
RK: We are talking to the satellite operators as they will benefit the most, and very big players like Akamai. We will be doing tests and if they go as planned, and if they [target customers] see they can provide up to 60 HD channels from a single transponder and they can check the quality themselves, we expect it to take off.
The other big area for Selevision is Hybrid TV. Are you seeing a lot of interest for this?
Yes definitely there is growing interest day after day and a lot of the manufacturers of set top boxes have switched to hybrid TV, and we have put our services on their STBs. We have a number of STB manufacturers using our service now, including Humax. Hopefully soon many more will be having Selevision services. We have changed our business model so we are separating the set top box from the services.