IABM In Conversation with iSIZE: Part 2

iSize In The Press



iSIZE is the first company to offer proprietary AI machine learning solutions for substantial bitrate or quality gains in video compression. Beyond its performance, what makes our solution stand out is that it is compatible with any existing video coding infrastructure.

We use deep learning to deliver an average bitrate saving of 30% and improve visual quality with deep perceptual optimization.

iSIZE’s AI technology reduces the pixel footprint of the files entered into the codec and this makes the whole process much faster with much less work required by the data centre. Companies are, therefore, enabled to drastically reduce their energy consumption and environmental impact as a result.

Sergio Grce, CEO of iSIZE was discussing the benefits of AI for optimizing content delivery to Lisa Collins of IABM.

“We are hearing more and more about companies being taxed for energy consumption” Grce said.

Netflix’s total energy consumption for 2019 (451,000 megawatt-hours) could power 40,000 average American homes for a year. This represented an 84% increase over 2018, compared to 20% user growth.

And Netflix is not alone. Many other video streaming companies are having to use enormous amounts of electricity due to the ever increasing workload required by their data centres and are producing vast quantities of carbon dioxide as a consequence.

The Challenge of the Sudden Peak of Streaming During Lockdown

Even before COVID-19, video was reported to count for 60% of downstream internet traffic. A report by Conviva analysed three weeks in mid-March and showed that video streaming viewing hours jumped more than 20% globally in that last week – up 27% in the USA. By the end of March, Comcast saw a 38% USA increase.

Streamers were asked to reduce bitrates in Europe for 30 days. Netflix dropped their bitrates by 25% and YouTube moved to SD as a default globally. However, customers were unhappy with the reduction in quality from HD to SD so this was only ever going to be a short-term solution.

Companies at a planet level – the likes of Facebook, Google, Netflix, etc – are aware that a long-term solution to reduce bitrates as the demand for streaming increases is required. Well before the pandemic had such a massive impact on peoples’ lifestyles around the world, they have been working on various solutions. However, nobody could have predicted that a global lockdown was around the corner that would cause a dramatic surge in demand within the space of a few weeks.

Life Beyond the Pandemic

“I think that average hours per day per user will not remain as high as during the pandemic but will definitely be higher than before the pandemic” Grce answered in response to Collins’ question about his thoughts on the post-pandemic effects of the shock felt by media companies in response to this hike in demand. He continued by saying that the number of people in companies such as Twitter continuing to work from home even after the lockdown restrictions are lifted, is likely to result in the demand for video streaming and conferencing remaining high.

On top of the rising demand for the quantity of streams, the quality of streams is likely to soon go up dramatically as well, he explained. Around the world, customers have been investing in televisions capable of showing 4K and 8K and will soon be expecting to view shows and films at home at these higher resolutions. Moving from HD to 4K and then 4K to 8K will result in a 4x increase in the data footprint at each step.

iSIZE’s AI technology reduces the video bitrates without compromising quality and therefore cuts the costs to the video streamers without sacrificing viewers’ experiences. This is a long-term solution for a problem that’s here to stay beyond the pandemic.

“Our product, BitSave, is a fully codec-independent software solution that requires and so can be put into action immediately with no additional changes to existing infrastructure or client devices required” Grce concluded.

Road map for the future

“We’re a deep tech company so we’re committed to continue to explore and improve our technology, particularly with the aim to provide further savings in bitrates.” said Grce

Whilst the focus at the moment is to provide a solution without requiring people to break with existing standards or to have to install new drivers on the myriad of client devices that are out there, Grce teased that iSIZE are considering the possibilities of working directly with client devices through their apps with applications to explore for advertising and further optimizations such as energy savings, etc.

Exciting times ahead!

Watch Part 2 of the of the interview in the video below:

(See Part 1 here >)