Secret ingredient? Video compression! by Sonia London, Co-chair, LESI High Tech Committee, Nokia Corporation, Finland

Did you know that every single day people watch one billion hours of video on YouTube? And we’re not just watching. Every minute a staggering 500 hours of new content is being uploaded to YouTube. That’s 30,000 hours – almost 82 years – of new content uploaded in just one hour.

The global market of consumer electronics that use video is measured in billions of units per year. That means roughly over 180 million new smart TVs, 220 million set-top boxes, 265 million personal computers, 150 million tablets and 140 million new digital video cameras are shipped each year. On average, a U.S. household has 7 devices that use video.

And let’s not forget that it’s not just the number of devices and platforms that have gone up – we are also talking about a whole other level of quality. Watching television twenty years ago was a very different experience than enjoying the ultra-high-definition resolution of today’s smart TVs.

Consumer experiences brought by new technologies are one thing, but that’s not all there is. The transmission of large amounts of data requires high data rates and a lot of power and storage space. Without video compression, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy high-quality video on multiple devices with reasonable data rates and power consumption. Platforms like YouTube wouldn’t exist.

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