4K movies on demand won’t be a reality in the UK for a while yet, but now we can at least get an idea of what the future will bring.
Last month, Rovi Corporation announced a new technology that’ll allow for more efficient streaming of HD video while bringing extra services and features to the table. Today at TV Connect in London we were able to get a look in at Rovi’s DivX HEVC 720p, integrated with DPS.
Read Recombu Digital’s report on 4K Ultra HD and 8K Super Hi-Vision
HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) is the new video standard that’s more efficient than H.264 currently used by services like Netflix. HEVC is desirable because as it’s more efficient, so it’ll be both kinder to our broadband data allowances and it’ll also allow for 4K on-demand streaming.
While eye-melting 4K action wasn’t on display at Rovi’s stand today, what we were available to see was some of the smarter features that HEVC with DPS (DivX Plus Streaming) will bring, namely Blu-ray style features like chapter skip, subtitles and multiple language tracks to streaming video.
The ability to skip forwards and backwards at 4x and 8x speed, Sky+ style, is also built in to the new DPS specification. Rovi says you should be able to do this without any buffering thanks to tweaks made to adaptive bitrate streaming. The feel is more akin to skipping through scenes and chapters on a Blu-ray or DVD without having to wait for a particular chunk of the film to buffer.
Different audio tracks as well as subtitles can be switched easily during play which will be of interest to fans of foreign films, language students and anime fans.
We were shown a demo of the service working on Mediamart’s on-demand service from Germany, powered by Rovi’s software. It was indeed incredibly smooth and impressive, even at a crowded press event where multiple demo stands are all sharing the same connection. Rovi also provides services for Dixons KnowHow Movies and (when it launches) Sainsbury’s on-demand service here in the UK, so expect to see these kinds of features arriving soon.
Update: We’ve uploaded our hands-on video to give you a better idea of the benefits HEVC with DPS streaming will bring.