TI Reveals Transcoding as Key to Video Entertainment Market

As the accelerating video market extends its reach to products such as cell phones, portable media players and automotive infotainment systems, consumers are demanding easy access to their video content throughout the home and on the go. The next stage of the video revolution must solve the challenge of seamlessly moving multi-format video content between all types of video devices. According to Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN), transcoding is crucial to addressing this challenge and enabling electronics manufacturers to drive the continued evolution of the video entertainment market.

Transcoding is the ability to take existing video content and change the format, bit rate and/or resolution in order to view it on another video device. A new research study done by IDC concurs finding that transcoding is an essential technology for delivering digital content to video playback devices that were previously incompatible.

Transcoding a single video format is available today but that will not meet consumers’ needs to easily navigate the changing video environment. The ability to view content on any device requires the need to transcode many video formats, thus multi-format transcoding is key.

“Transcoding is a life-or-death issue facing manufacturers and service providers as they try to realize the explosive growth in video entertainment,” predicts Gene Frantz, TI’s Principal Fellow. “Consumers have an insatiable appetite for immersion in entertainment, and transcoding among multiple formats will be mandatory for all future video products to be successful. Digital signal processing technology will be an essential piece in laying the foundation for transcoding among multiple consumer devices. TI will continue to leverage our proven expertise in multi-format advanced video codecs and our position as the only fully-programmable DSP technology provider performing real-time transcoding to include this functionality in a range of client media solutions.”

Service providers and electronic device manufacturers alike must face the truth: content really is king. Consumers are demanding that their content be easily transportable and available on any device they have on hand. The ability to seamlessly move content in real-time is only made possible by transcoding. Transcoding can change the bit rate, resolution and format of video content, allowing multiple devices with varying specifications to play back content. This is also true for HD content where transcoding extends the reach of content beyond the TV, making it possible to send, receive and view HD source content on any video device at any resolution.

“The growing variety of home, business and mobile electronic devices is forcing content providers, network service providers and end-user device manufacturers to tackle the problem of sending large amounts of digital data in multiple formats,” reports IdaRose Sylvester, senior analyst for IDC in the Executive Brief titled “Transcoding: The Future of the Video Market Depends on It,” November 2006. The brief also highlights that, “Transcoding is being deployed today, and is becoming a critical part of the network infrastructure. The real driver for transcoding, and the content delivery that it enables, ultimately is the consumer. Consumers will demand services such as HD programming, programming on demand, as well as content available to them anytime, anywhere, and will seek this from traditional and non-traditional sources. Transcoding enables new delivery services and content ubiquity.” The new IDC Executive Brief also discusses the business drivers for transcoding, as well as the challenges and opportunities for this strategically important technology.

To download a copy of IDC’s report, “Transcoding: The Future of the Video Market Depends on It.” TI will also be hosting an online, IDC-moderated panel discussion featuring many industry visionaries. The panelists will discuss the challenges and opportunities of transcoding and how it will affect them and the video market directly.