displaying at 1080p, the QoE benefits are minimal. The bottom line is that while many vendors
will tout that HEVC delivers bandwidth savings,
QoE improvements, or both, mileage will vary by
producer, and you’ll need to check your own logs
to gauge the benefits of adding HEVC to the mix.
High Dynamic Range (HDR): Although I won’t
spend a lot of time on HDR in this article, it’s
worth noting that the newest release of HLS does
incorporate HDR. This simplifies the delivery
of HDR video to all supported HLS end points.
4. What Does HEVC Support Cost?
There are multiple categories regarding
HEVC support costs.
Encoding and Storage Costs: Obviously, you’ll
have to encode your videos into HEVC format.
If you’re encoding internally, you’ll have to calculate the cost of buying and maintaining additional encoding platforms, if needed. If encoding in the cloud, cost will vary by the number of
rungs in your encoding ladder, as well as resolution and data rate. At high volumes, you should
be able to achieve encoding costs of well under
$20/hour for all rungs. You’ll have to continue
to encode in H.264 format for other targets, so
these costs will be on top of H.264. Ditto for storage at the origin server.
Royalty for PPV and Subscription Services:
If you’re distributing subscription or PPV video,
you may already be paying royalties for H.264
usage under the MPEG LA H.264 patent pool.
For HEVC, there are three pools, MPEG LA,
HEVC Advance, and Velos Media. This is shown
in Figure 1, which is adopted from a presenta-
tion given by Divideon’s Jonatan Samuelsson
at Streaming Tech Sweden in November 2017.
Of the three pools, MPEG LA’s license terms
do not include content royalties, and HEVC Advance charges $0.015/month per subscriber for
2018–2019. Velos Media hasn’t announced any
proposed royalty terms yet, but as of Nov. 28,
2017, the site’s Q&A stated, “As it relates to content, we will take our time to fully understand
the dynamics of the ecosystem and ensure that
our model best supports the advancement and
adoption of HEVC technology.” So, content royalties may be on the table.
With respect to the companies on the bottom
left who haven’t joined a pool, it’s impossible to
say whether they plan to charge content-related
royalties or not. If you’re looking for a reason that
streaming producers haven’t jumped aboard
the HEVC/HLS train, it could very well be the
uncertainty regarding content-related royalties.
Player Development: If all of your playback
is achieved in the iOS/MacOS browser, player
development should be minimal, as the native
HLS players in both should handle HEVC automatically. If you’re deploying apps for delivery,
some development costs may be involved.
5. What Are the Controlling
Documents I Should Get to Know?
There are two sources of documentation
that you should be familiar with. The first is the
HEVC IP owners
and patent pools