Q&A with Mickael Raulet, ATEME's Director of Research & Innovation

2 minute read

Please introduce your company and yourself briefly.

ATEME designs software video compression solutions to enable innovative live or on-demand video delivery services while preserving picture quality.

We provide codec solutions for broadcast, cable, DTH, IPTV, and OTT, enabling content providers, service providers, and new media to lower the total cost of video transmission from acquisition to delivery. ATEME is an active member of groups and organizations like MPEG, ITU, DVB, ATSC, and SMPTE. ATEME participated in the development of the HEVC standard in 2013 and actively participated in the work of the new MPEG / ITU VVC "Versatile Video Coding" standard that will be finalized in June 2020. In June 2014, ATEME joined the Alliance for Open Media to help develop an open and royalty-free video codec.

On a personal note, I am managing Research & Innovation, a forward-looking engineering team in charge of new algorithms and applications like 5G and Machine Learning compression.

What first brought you to AOMedia, and why did you decide to become a member?

ATEME is committed to provide and support any video standard emerging and adopted within the media & broadcast industry. We continue to see the industry move to OTT.

AV1 as the "OPEX friendly" codec, enabling ultra-high video quality and fidelity as well as CDN savings. AV1's royalty-free approach is a perfect answer to address our changing world. Joining AOMedia and participating in defining the new standard was a logical choice in line with the company's mission statement to create a new value proposition

What are you currently working on with regards to AV1? How will end-users benefit from your work? Businesses? Markets?

One key ATEME differentiator is what we call the full-stack control. All technology- with a few exceptions for proprietary well-known codecs- is developed in-house.

We leverage ATEME's innovation, research, and development to provide our customers with the best-of-breed solutions in terms of intrinsic visual quality and high-bandwidth efficiency (i.e. the best VQ at the lowest bitrate, as well as the best performance). AV1 is no different from that standpoint.

In the past months, we have been working on designing our own AV1 encoder implementation, focusing on bandwidth efficiency. In July 2019, we productized AV1 in our TITAN Solution and are now in field trials for Video-On-Demand (VOD) transcoding with Tier-1 customers. Because AV1 is available as a simple software update, customers enjoy AV1's benefits of bandwidth efficiency and royalty optimization while being able to have a product widely-deployed and in use today.

What are your expectations for the next couple of years, how will membership with the AOMedia enhance your organization?

The next couple of years will be super exciting as AV1 moves to mass production and we will continue improving our solutions, both quality- and performance-wise. Plus, end-users devices will become spread over the market. The combination of these two factors will enable AV1 to become available on a massive scale. Being part of the AOMedia group allows us to monitor the adoption trends and match adoption timelines.

What AOMedia efforts are you most excited about?

We're excited about the continuing work targeting the development of new coding tools for a potential future codec. The road is quite long for sure. Our experience working on the codec tells us that brilliant ideas coming out of this work will also potentially be applicable to AV1, providing further significant improvements in performance.