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Remote Multi-Format Transcoding Challenge

Goal
Find innovative techniques to support multiple resolutions and formats on a variety of devices without requiring the consumer to acquire a separate version for each device.

Problem
Content is being viewed on an ever wider range of devices, often with very different screen resolutions and incompatible playback formats. Currently, consumers often need to acquire a different version of the content for each device, e.g. by downloading a new version. One approach that has been proposed is creating the additional versions by transcoding on a consumer's computer or other device. But this transcoding can be computationally intensive and can involve a loss of quality or compression rate. We are interested in techniques to reduce these problems, such as innovative transcoding algorithms using existing formats or new source formats that support very efficient transcoding or simple transformations into other resolutions and formats. The goal is to save costs on local and remote storage of assets and bandwidth for download, as well as decreasing download time and the cost of owning multiple devices.

Technical Criteria
Solutions may have additional useful features, but we are looking for techniques which come closest to meeting the following criteria:

  • It should be able to generate existing formats.
  • It should be extensible to generate future formats.
  • It should be compatible with content security.
  • It should allow different formats and resolutions to be created more efficiently than simple transcoding from common high-resolution sources such as HD quality MPEG-2.