Tveon Claims Perseus-Beating Bit-Rates

By Tom Allen

A Canadian company known as Tveon claims to have an encoding technology that beats even the impressive bit-rates of V-Nova’s Perseus (V-Nova’s Perseus Lowers UltraHD Bandwidth Requirements).

Having been operating in ‘stealth mode’ for the last three years, CEO Scott Hayward says that it was time to show Tveon’s technology to the world, because rivals such as V-Nova are “getting close”.

“Close” might be an overstatement. Perseus, when we heard about it in April, was said to transfer UltraHD video at 7-8Mbps, while HEVC transfers it at 21Mbps. Tveon claims that its patent-pending technology can achieve 2Mbps for UltraHD, and sub-200Kbps for ‘true’ 1080p.

Although the company will not share a huge amount of detail about its compreession technology, Hayward said that it had arisen from earlier research by two staff members, from when they were doing their PhDs. “[Their research] was based on building algorithms that showed how the brain interprets what the eye is seeing and how it is perceived”, said Hayward. He added that Tveon has developed its own version of a ‘persuasive-based’ algorithm.

As for the delivery process, that technology is also patent-pending. Hayward said that it is based on two developments; the first involves “a way to manipulate the delivery of a single file to various devices, via various network conditions, using our unique JIT [Just in Time] transcoder”, as well as a new technique for processing the final file. The combination of these systems leads to five-to-six times bit-rate savings, compared to the best of today’s technologies.

Tveon will be focusing on TV Everywhere solutions with its technology; it can conceivably send 720p content over a 3G network to a mobile device.

The company is now working on creating partnerships and obtaining independent verification of its claims. Hayward said that it has been difficult to get people to believe Tveon’s efficiency claims, but V-Nova’s numbers – which were also a significant improvement on existing systems – has helped the company to gain acceptance.

The first trials should be taking place within the month, with licensing taking another six months. Tveon hopes to have customers within one year of its launch.

Analyst Comment

There is some confusion as to whether Tveon is using software- or hardware-based encoding/decoding. Both have advantages: hardware-based solutions are faster, as they use a dedicated processor, while software-based approaches are cheaper to implement as they rely on the CPU of a device to do all of the work.

Early in the life of a codec (as now), software-based approaches are acceptable for encoding, as the amount being done will be low, and is unlikely to be done in real-time. However, for decoding a lot more processing power is required; this requires a lot of decoders, which must be cheap, so realistically dedicated hardware is required.

V-Nova’s Perseus has an advantage: it is hardware-based but the codec uses the same mathematical transforms as MPEG. This means that existing chips can be ‘tweaked’, rather than investing millions of dollars in developing new chips. Developing new chips is a serious barrier to entry in the codec market and it’s not clear that Tveon has the same advantage. (TA)

Compared to Tveon, Perseus wheeled out a very impressive list of industrial supporters, which we haven’t seen from Tveon, so at this stage, we are more nervous about reporting the company. (BR)