Tuesday, 04 December 2012

Traffic Analogies

Ericsson recently released this video on YouTube in which Jacob Ström explains the benefits of HEVC to the uninitiated. The use of toy cars to represent internet traffic is rather evocative of the image below (credit Press office, City of Münster, Germany). Here, a group of volunteers illustrates how different modes of road transport occupy differing amounts of street space per commuter.

Bicycle bus car road space

Given the poster message from Münster, instead of removing half the automobile traffic from his metaphorical city street, perhaps Mr Ström should have replaced all the yellow cars with minature bicycles. Or maybe motorcycles. This would be consistent with the message that HEVC provides the same utility whilst consuming less public network capacity.

To persist with the analogy: in most developed cities, the demand of private motor traffic rapidly expands to fill any new highway capacity. The same is likely true of internet video traffic. HEVC will not free up network capacity for some mysterious new use. Instead, this new video compression technology will allow more people to consume more video and at higher resolution and quality than before.

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