Q&A with Mukund Srinivasan, Chief Business Officer & Senior Vice President at Ittiam
Please introduce your company and yourself briefly.
Ittiam Systems is focused on Advanced Media Processing, driven by the passion and innovation to build class-leading solutions for Enterprise Media Workflows. With nearly two decades of core video and audio processing experience at both the algorithm- and implementation-levels, Ittiam’s credibility is built on the pillars of signal processing and platform architecture know-how.
Ittiam’s solutions, based on deep R&D investments, form the core engine of hundreds of millions of lifestyle products in mobility, content creation and consumption.
What first brought you to AOMedia and why did you decide to become a member?
Ittiam had been in extensive collaboration with the industry leaders on VP9, to bring to bear innovations around both bandwidth efficiency (content creation/encoding and streaming) as well as battery life on consumer devices (content consumption). With multiple years of experience behind us in the core technology of VP9 that was forming the base for AV1, as well as the philosophy set forth by the Alliance for Open Media to raising the bar for Quality of Experience in the streaming world, it was exciting times to be a ‘player’ in the media processing space. We joined the Alliance as one of the first companies that came in with core media expertise alone. Since we did not have a product or service of our own, we had a unique perspective and a steadfast goal to just make online video better.
What are you currently working on with regards to AV1? How will end users benefit from your work? Businesses? Markets?
Ittiam has made multiple contributions to AV1 already. Because of our technical expertise and our consulting approach to collaboration, some of our work is public and some remains confidential. To date, we have developed a significantly faster version of the AV1 Encoder and Decoder across both platforms and architectures. We have also made specific goals possible for our AOMedia partners, such as bringing innovations at scale within the complex online video streaming workflow. Our highest quality preset encoder is faster by a magnitude of 5x. We made real-time playback of HD content possible on both mid- and high-range consumer devices. We continue to be focused on our partners’ needs and prioritize bringing our expertise to solve the biggest time-to-market objectives for companies looking to bring AV1 based solutions to the market.
What are your expectations for the next couple of years, how will membership with the AOMedia enhance your organization?
In the few years since its formation, the Alliance has been nimble and made huge strides. With the heterogeneity of members and the diverse nature of organizations backing the initiative mission and purpose, many key goals have been met. The core leadership group and AOM Board has made a significant impact along with the AV1 Codec Work Group (WG) Chair in leading WG members with unwavering focus and attention to making AV1 the best it can be. We have, in this process, also learned areas of improvement that we can bring to future versions such as AV2. Being a part of the initiative with the leaders in this space, allows our teams to be a part of the cutting edge innovation taking place in the world of online video. We are most excited about the organization’s platform as it gives us, a relatively small player, to engage and work alongside the best in the business. In a sense, the Alliance has truly democratized innovation and created a sort of level playing field, which bodes well for future innovation in online video.
What AOMedia efforts are you most excited about?
AOMedia has made significant gains around the core video aspect of the coding standard. Recent focus to bringing in a specific version for scalable representation and the focus on still-image format are aspects that we very much look forward to contributing to, as a member organization of the alliance. As the Alliance matures, it will undoubtedly broaden its focus beyond adoption of AV1 as a standard for online streaming. One new area that comes to mind is the use of AV1 as a standard for collaboration and production workflows involving advanced media. That would include editing in studio and post-production environments, which will require specialized metadata handling for specific use-cases from rendering and asset management to ingest and archival – all at scale.