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Samsung's new AI ScaleNet codec supports 8K streaming

Scaling the 8K heights

by Andy Bassett

There are a number of limiting factors preventing 8K TVs from really catching on at the moment and one is the strain on current network infrastructure created by the extra data that 8K content contains. Samsung now has an answer for that - the AI ScaleNet codec.

Researchers from Samsung Research’s Visual Technology team have developed a codec based on Artificial Intelligence that can deliver 8K content on networks that typically support only 4K speeds, and all without the need for additional infrastructure.

In a press release, Samsung explained that the newly developed AI ScaleNet codec utilizes deep learning technology to minimize data loss during compression and enable 8K content to be streamed on networks with lower bandwidth capabilities.

According to the company, the 8K content is compressed to 4K quality using an AI downscaler and transmitted to the user’s TV, which utilizes AI to upscale the content back to 8K quality.

There was no mention whether the process would specifically require Samsung TVs to work.

One of the researchers, Kwangpyo Choi, explained the thinking behind the innovation was driven by the ever-evolving media landscape requiring new video compression and transmission technologies to address related technical challenges.

Choi said, “Multimedia content is rapidly moving online, so figuring out how to overcome bandwidth limitations for UHD content transmission has become a major task.

His colleague Youngo Park, added, “With AI ScaleNet, users will be able to enjoy 8K-quality content, even at lower bandwidths. In fact, during periods of high network traffic, when speeds tend to drop, viewers can still expect content to be presented at a relatively higher quality.

Choi further explained that an adaptive Artificial Intelligence Codec within AI ScaleNet addresses bandwidth limitations within modern network infrastructures. “AI Adaptive Bit Rate Streaming refers to AI technology that adapts to various bandwidths and adjusts the resolution to enable seamless streaming,” he said.

Using this AI to adapt to changes in bandwidth and optimize quality, maintains the highest-quality streaming experience possible for users, especially when using over-the-top (OTT) services where viewers typically notice changes in picture quality.

The research team also worked hard to ensure that AI ScaleNet was compatible with existing codec compression technologies yet still delivered the intended performance at the same time.

Samsung has ‘big plans’ for the technology and Park and Choi say there will be continuous development to add additional functionalities that add to users’ convenience.

Whether that translates into increased consumer interest in 8K TVs,  only time will tell.

Does this sort of development give AVForums users confidence that issues surrounding the creation and transmission of 8K content will eventually be addressed to the point that 8K TVs are are a worthwhile purchase? Let us know in the discussion thread.

Source: Press release
Image Source: Android Central
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