Video codecs: the next episode in the SEP drama series


Richard Vary, Bird & Bird

Video codecs: the next episode in the SEP drama series

Metamorworks / Shutterstock

Nokia’s multiple lawsuits could be the pilot for a new season of litigation over TV streaming technology, explains Richard Vary of Bird & Bird.

On the train to work, I watch episodes of Bridgerton. In those quiet moments, I can get through the period dramas that I secretly like, but don’t want to admit to. And I am watching them in resolutions far higher than even a few years ago. 

The difference between Bridgerton (2022) and Poldark (2015) is striking enough. But if I watch a 1990s television series on my tablet today, it looks as if I have forgotten to put on my reading glasses. Everything is blurred and muted, whereas today’s shows are pin-sharp and vibrant. 

The problem with video has always been the amount of data that it uses. A picture requires a lot of data. My laptop screen is 1920x1080 pixels (a format known as HD). If it has 256 possible colours per pixel, each picture on the screen requires seventeen million pieces of information. 

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