July 13 2021  |  Inflight Entertainment

Video Clip: APEX Group seeks encoding standardization

By Rick Lundstrom

This is a special feature from PAX Tech's July 2021 Cabin Hygiene, Seating & IFEC digital edition.

A Working Group for the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) is looking for solutions among big tech companies to best provide compressed video and audio files that passengers can easily access from their personal electronic devices or from the seatback.

The group is focusing on VP9, AV1 and HEVC codec algorithms that are used extensively in the streaming industry hardware and software as well as new standards such as LCEVC.

“Our initial assessment is that each IFE use case, which might range from seatback displays to in-browser support on passenger devices, has an optimal encoding algorithm, but there is no single codec that support all,” says Juraj Siska, CEO of IdeaNova Technologies and Co-Chairman of the Working Group. The other two co-chairs are Phil Watson from Panasonic Avionics and Andy Rosen from Sequence Key.

When airlines are picking content delivery, several factors should be considered, including the content quality and resolution, the content protection, known as DRM, and whether the content will be distributed to seatbacks on passengers’ personal electronics, says Siska.

The APEX Working Group is studying various options and bringing together experts from within the aviation sector and other industries such as movie studios and streaming companies. The group is seeking input on how to standardize an approach that meets aviation specifications and the requirements of the studios.

“Once the solution is identified, the group publishes a specification that is used by all involved parties in their IFE design and development,” says Siska.

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