Thursday, August 30, 2012

US Mobile Advertising Market Forecast

mobile ad forecast

For the first time ever last year, smartphone sales passed PC sales. Smartphones are rapidly becoming the most common device connected to the Internet.  Now, everyone's attention is turning towards the future of mobile advertising. BI Intelligence has produced a comprehensive presentation on mobile advertising, looking closely at the growth of smartphones and tablets, mobile usage trends, and emerging mobile advertising strategies.

Here's a quick breakdown of today's mobile advertising dynamics:
  • Mobile usage has -- and will continue to -- grow exponentially: Smartphone sales have overtaken PC sales, and will soon dawrf them. There are over one billion smartphones in use, and it's still early in the conversation cycle (with six billion dumb phones in use). Time spent on mobile is growing rapidly, accounting for more than 10% of total web traffic, and more than 50% of Pandora and Twitter use. 
  • The mobile ad market is still relatively small: Last year, the total U.S. mobile ad spend was approximately $1.25 billion, a tiny fraction of overall U.S. ad spend. And most "mobile ads" were simply search and display ads viewed on mobile. 
  • Why? Mobile CPMS are low, and ads are oftentimes intrusive. Ad spending has therefore not caught up with time spent on mobile. These will remain significant challenges to mobile ads.
  • But, native ad formats are emerging and we are seeing growth: The future of the Internet is mobile, and new ad formats are being designed and tested. So far, sponsored stories have proven most effective for the advertiser and least intrusive to the user. Facebook created a mobile sponsored story business with a run rate of $180 million in almost no time.
See more at Business Insider's report "Here's The State of Mobile Advertising".

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Subjective quality evaluation of the upcoming HEVC/H.265 video compression standard

High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) or H.265 is the latest attempt by ISO/MPEG and ITU-T/VCEG to de ne the next generation compression standard beyond H.264/MPEG-4 Part 10 AVC. One of the major goals of HEVC is to provide efficient compression for resolutions beyond HDTV. However, the subjective evaluations that led to the selection of technologies were bound to HDTV resolution. Moreover, performance evaluation metrics to report e ciency results of this standard are mainly based on PSNR, especially for resolutions beyond HDTV. Touradj Ebrahimi 's paper and slides

provide subjective evaluation results to assess the performance of the current HEVC codec for resolutions beyond HDTV.

In their study, the next generation compression standard has been evaluated in comparison to the current standard, namely AVC, by means of subjective evaluation performed on resolution beyond HDTV. The evaluation was performed on three contents with different spatio-temporal characteristics, including both natural and synthetic contents, encoded at five different bit rates for each codec and content. Subjective quality scores related to a total of 30 test stimuli have been collected. The obtained results show high consistency and allow an accurate comparison of the performance of the two codecs.

The test results clearly exhibited a substantial improvement in compression performance, as compared to AVC. In most cases, a significant difference is observed between HEVC and AVC for a similar bit rate. For the natural contents considered in this study, a bit rate reduction ranging from 51 to 74% can be achieved based on subjective results while the predicted reduction based on PSNR values was only between 28 and 38%. This difference is mostly due to the fact that PSNR doesn't take into account the saturation efect of the human visual system. PSNR also doesn't capture the full nature of the artifacts: AVC compressed sequences exhibit blockiness while HEVC compression tends to smooth out the content, which is less annoying. For the synthetic content considered in this study, a 75% bit rate reduction can be achieved based on subjective results while the predicted reduction based on PSNR values was 68%.

According to JCT-VC, double the compression e ciency of AVC is expected to be achieved. This paper confirms that a signi cantly higher compression performance can be achieved on resolutions beyond HDTV, manly thanks to increased prediction flexibility and a wider range of block sizes. As ultra high definition television has recently been demonstrated to be the future of television, the upcoming HEVC video compression standard seems to be one of the key elements towards a wide deployment of 4K and 8K resolutions.

iOS and Android Adoption Explodes Internationally

by Peter Farago @ Flurry Blog

The rate of iOS and Android device adoption has surpassed that of any consumer technology in history.  Compared to recent technologies, smart device adoption is being adopted 10X faster than that of the 80s PC revolution, 2X faster than that of 90s Internet Boom and 3X faster than that of recent social network adoption.  Five years into the smart device growth curve, expansion of this new technology is rapidly expanding beyond early adopter markets such as such as North America and Western Europe, creating a true worldwide addressable market.  Overall, Flurry estimates that there were over 640 million iOS and Android devices in use during the month of July 2012.

This report reveals which countries have the largest active smart device installed bases, are experiencing the fastest growth and are most penetrated.   We also show how the distribution of app usage is shifting to become increasingly international.  For this report, Flurry uses data from more than 200,000 applications that it tracks, running on more than 640 million devices worldwide.  With its application coverage, Flurry estimates that it can reliably detect over 90% of all iOS and Android devices active in the world during a given month.  Let’s start by looking at which countries make up the world’s largest app markets.

iOS and Android Active Devices by Country, July 2012

See more at

New HEVC video compression wins big over today's standard

by Stephen Shankland

A new compression technology represents a significant improvement over today's standard, a new study found. The result could help pave the way for video with at least four times the pixels of today's 1080p standard.

The new compression technology, called HEVC or H.265, is significantly better than today's prevailing standard video codec, called AVC or H.264, researchers from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland, concluded.

With one challenging video, HEVC outdid H.264 at four out of five bitrates. MOS represents the average quality rating of 30 testers; a higher score is better.
With one challenging video, HEVC outdid H.264 at four out of five bitrates. 
MOS represents the average quality rating of 30 testers; a higher score is better.
(Credit: Francesca De Simone,Philippe Hanhart, Martin Rerabek, and Touradj Ebrahimi/EPFL)

"The test results clearly exhibited a substantial improvement in compression performance, as compared to AVC," the researchers said. "As ultra-high definition television has recently been demonstrated to be the future of television, the upcoming HEVC video compression standard seems to be one of the key elements towards a wide deployment of 4K and 8K resolutions."

HEVC has been tested with mathematical measurements, but this study tested 30 actual people, an important factor since technical measurements such as signal-to-noise ratio don't necessarily match up perfectly with actual human perception of quality. The test subjects compared videos compressed with each codec to high-quality 3840x2160 video -- quad full HD, or QFHD, one of a few resolutions generally given the 4K label.

The High Efficiency Video Coding technology, now in the final stages of standardization, is expected to be twice as good as H.264, meaning that it can match its image quality using only half as many bits per second. That's a potential boon for the industry, which is struggling to improve image quality and meet video-streaming demand without taxing bandwidth too much.

The video compression improvements could help with everything from network-constrained mobile video to ordinary broadband streaming video. The study emphasized 4K video, an area where H.264 bitrates would lag those of HEVC.

In the study, people compared three videos -- one with traffic moving by, one with people on a street, and one with animation. The traffic and animation videos were easier to handle; the first had relatively little movement from one frame of video to the next, and the second had low noise. The people-on-the-street video, though, had a lot of information in each frame, and it changed rapidly from frame to frame, so it proved the most taxing for the codecs.

These grids compare HEVC at five bitrates (H1 through H5) with H.264/AVC at five bitrates (A1 through A5). Where an entry described on the left side of the chart shows better quality than the entry from the bottom of the chart, the square is white. Gray means a tie, and black means the left-side entry was worse.
These grids compare HEVC at five bitrates (H1 through H5)
 with H.264/AVC at five bitrates (A1 through A5). Where an entry 
described on the left side of the chart shows better quality than 
the entry from the bottom of the chart, the square is white. 
Gray means a tie, and black means the left-side entry was worse.
(Credit: Francesca De Simone, Philippe Hanhart, Martin Rerabek, and Touradj Ebrahimi/EPFL)

Comparing the codecs at various bitrates, HEVC outdid H.264 in four out of five cases for the people on the street. The fifth case, at the highest bitrate, was a tie. For the animation, HEVC swept H.264 at all bitrates. For the traffic video, it only outdid H.264 at one bitrate. In no cases did H.264 outdo HEVC; the best result it could muster was a tie.

HEVC comes at a price, though: it takes more processing power to encode and decode video than H.264. The study, by Philippe Hanhart, Martin Rerabek, Francesca De Simone, and Touradj Ebrahimi, is detailed in a new paper for theSPIE Optics and Photonics conference in August and in an online presentation. H.264 is very well established in the industry, used in everything from Blu-ray discs and videocameras and TV broadcasts and Web video. Cementing its position is hardware decoding support built into many processors, a feature that improves performance and cuts battery usage on mobile devices.

Not everybody is happy with H.264, though. Required patent royalty payments mean it can't be used in open-source software such as the Firefox Web browser, but H.264's popularity for streaming video has effectively imposed a tax on products that need to handle online video. Free online video services may stream H.264 video for free, but operating systems, computing devices, optical disks, and for-fee streaming video services must pay a royalty.

HEVC looks likely to follow the same payment direction. It and H.264 both stemmed from a joint effort of ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) and the ISO/IECE Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG), and a group called MPEG LA licenses the group of patents it deems essential to support H.264. The group has issued a request for any patents that bear on HEVC.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Stanford iOS Development Course Material

Lecture 1: MVC and Intro to Objective-C

Lecture 2: My First iOS Application

Lecture 3: Objective C

Lecture 4: Views

Lecture 5: Protocols and Gestures

Lecture 6: Multiple MVCs and Segues

Lecture 7: iPad

Section 3: Developing on Devices

Lecture 8: Controller Lifecycle & Image/Scroll/WebViews

Lecture 9: Table Views

Lecture 10: Blocks and Multithreading

Lecture 11: Core Location/Map Kit

Lecture 12: Persistence

Lecture 13: Core Data

Lecture 14: Core Data Demo

Lecture 15: Modal View Controllers/Text/Animation/Timer

Lecture 16: Action Sheets, Image Picker, Core Motion

Lecture 17: iCloud

Lecture 18: More iCloud

Section: Designing Multimedia Apps with OpenGL ES / C++

These slides and video clips are also available at iTunes University.

iPad and iPhone Application Development (HD)


Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
HD Multimedia Technology player