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Wednesday, April 12, 2006
New Video Compression Technology

Video compression firm Euclid Discoveries says it has invented a video-compression technology that can compress digital images into smaller files than today's most common compression technologies, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4.

Euclid Discoveries announced that its technology has achieved compression ratios of 15,168 to 1 for certain videos.

The technology, called EuclidVision , uses a new generation of video compression known as "Object-Based Compression" or "OBC" where as the MPEG-4 technology is based on "Discrete Cosine Transform" or "DCT." The OBC technique analyzes shapes in the video to achieve higher compression ratios.

"In simple terms, EuclidVision recognizes objects in the video, like a face, and applies new compression techniques to those objects differing from the background. Current video compression using Discrete Cosine Transform does not look at objects, it just applies a constant rate of compression to the entire frame or picture", reads the Concord-based company's press relase.

Euclidivion believes its technology could be easily adopted in the industry since it does not require major equipment changes. "Because we?re building off the existing MPEG-4 standard extensions, we have video compression technology that will eventually work with the hardware and software that is available now," said Richard Wingard, CEO of Euclid Discoveries.

Euclid claims that for streaming commentator video, it can reduce a 23MB video file to a 1,519 byte file effectively enabling sub-4Kbps, low-bandwidth streams for wired and wireless applications.

Euclid Discoveries has filed 15 patent filings covering on its compression system and is in discussions with a number of companies to bring it to market.

In the coming months, Euclid Discoveries expects to complete tests demonstrating its ability to process all video types including full-length movies, and at increased compression rates. Ultimately, the software development firm claims it will be able to reduce the current MPEG-4 attainable 700 MB file size for 2-hour long videos down to 50MB ? finally converting feature length movies into downloadable MP3 formats.

Smaller movie files could interest Hollywood studios, which are leaning towards Internet movie downloads. Last week, two online companies, MovieLink and CinemaNow, began selling downloadable copies of popular films. Current downloads can take as long as two hours. From what it says, EuclidVision could make the process much faster.

"I think we look at this as opportunities to deliver content," said Kori Bernards, Spokeswoman for the Motion Picture Association of America.

However, facilitating downloading could inspire piracy. When questionned if Hollywood was worried about this new compression technology, Bernards gave the following response:

"We have no reason currently to believe that Euclid seeks to facilitate copyright theft. We continue to look at Internet piracy and figure out how to fight it at all levels."

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