The digital broadcast industry is currently embracing multiple technology advancements, including High Definition, IPTV and Mobile Video. The key enabler for these technologies is the compression efficiencies and therefore lower bandwidth requirements of the H.264/AVC video CODEC. Extensions to the MPEG-2 standard to incorporate H.264, as an additional Elementary Stream (ES) type within an MPEG-2 Transport Stream (TS), have made it accessible and attractive to Broadcasters and Network Operators.
H.264 offers around twice the compression efficiency as compared with MPEG-2 video; however the processing complexity to achieve this gain is also a magnitude of 2. This presents a challenge for not only equipment manufacturers developing H.264 variants, but also for Broadcasters and Network Operators deploying and maintaining H.264 solutions.