On Feb. 19, SK Telecom announced that it will display next-generation media platform and technologies, including ‘Mobile Social Broadcasting Platform,’ ‘Cloud Streaming,’ and ‘8K UHD Super Encoder’ at the Mobile World Congress 2016 held at Barcelona, Spain.
Sharing its state-of-the-art next-generation media technologies with companies around the globe, SK Telecom projects that a new era will soon open where any individual with a smartphone (and no expensive equipment) can perform a live UHD broadcast.
Mobile Social Broadcasting Platform
‘Mobile Social Broadcasting Platform’ is an optimized platform for one-person broadcasting, which involves ① taking a video with a smartphone, ② live stream the video through an app or Multi-Channel Networks (MCN), and ③ chat or share multimedia content with viewers.
Through the application of high-speed mobile streaming technology, Mobile Social Broadcasting Platform dramatically reduces latency to less than three seconds even for extremely large video.
Based on its strength of instantaneous interaction between content producer and viewers, the platform can be well utilized for live sports broadcast, disaster report and election broadcast. It also offers features that allow the producer to send advertisement to viewers and interact with them through chatting or multimedia file sharing.
Going forward, SK Telecom will enable the platform to be applied to major broadcasting networks as well. To this end, the company is developing a technology that can connect video sent from the platform to the broadcast transmission system of a major broadcasting station. It aims to enable live broadcasting anywhere, anytime, over 5G or LTE networks.
SK Telecom plans to introduce its Mobile Social Broadcasting app within this year and will also collaborate with various media platforms including Multi-Channel Networks.
Cloud Streaming is a solution that uses virtualization technologies to provide the latest User Interface (UI) to television even through legacy/low-end set-top box. With the solution, UI is processed at the cloud, allowing only the results to be shown on the viewer’s television, unlike the conventional way where the whole process relies on the performance of CPU and RAM of the set-top box.
The solution, provided by SK Telecom’s subsidiary Entrix (http://entrixco.com/about_en.html), enables service providers to save a significant amount of cost for investment in IPTV/CableTV and subscriber acquisition as they no longer have to periodically replace users’ old set-top boxes with upgraded ones in order to provide new services. Users can experience greater convenience as they can always enjoy the latest UI through set-top boxes already installed in their homes.
SK Telecom expects to advance into overseas market with Cloud Streaming this year. In particular, cable TV and IPTV service providers in Europe, China, Japan, and South East Asia are showing high interest in the solution. Already, Cyber Cloud, a media solution provider to Chinese pay-TV operators and provides cloud game solutions to 15 million set-top boxes in total, has acquired exclusive rights to the use of Cloud Streaming solution in China in January 2016.
8K UHD Super Encoder 8K
Introduced for the first time at MWC 2016, ‘8K UHD Super Encoder’ is a technology that compresses 8K UHD (resolution of 7680X4320 pixels, four times clearer than 4K UHD) content seamlessly delivers the content from the server to IPTV or smartphones. SK Telecom will demonstrate the technology with Samsung Electronics’ 110-inch SUHD TV.
Transmission of 8K UHD content without video compression requires tens of Gbps of throughput. However, 8K UHD Super Encoder enables users to send 8K UHD content smoothly over networks that support 100Mbps to 1Gbps throughput by providing a maximum compression ratio of 200 to 1.
SK Telecom expects 8K UHD Super Encoder to become a core technology that reduces network overload in the near future when 8K UHD TV and UHD mobile devices become available in the market. The company has participated in the standardization of High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), which is the source technology for 8K UHD Super Encoder, and has become a licensor in the HEVC Patent pool.
8K UHD Super Encoder is received as an essential technology that can drive the spread of Virtual Reality (VR). Since VR devices are required to provide 360-degree images, VR content that offer full HD quality are usually 4K-8K UHD. SK Telecom expects that real-time VR broadcasting and VR streaming games utilizing 8K UHD Live/Super Encoder will become popular in the future.
“The media market is increasingly becoming segmented – from amateur one-person media to professional broadcasting – while expanding in size. At MWC 2016, SK Telecom will introduce innovative media technologies to lead the global media platform industry,” said Park Jin-hyo, Senior Vice President and Head of Network Technology R&D Center of SK Telecom.