Compression of information is a very interesting area of Computer Science. It is true that nowadays we large hard disks and fast Internet connections, but we still need effective data compression. This is due to the fact that we consume more and more data. Modern websites are overloaded with graphic and video materials. One of the forerunners of modern compression methods for movies is Netflix, which is the most worldwide popular VoD (Video on Demand) service provider.

Using of video streaming services in the home, where we have really fast Internet, is not a problem. However, in India and some other countries, Netflix has experienced a lot of traffic generated by mobile devices, which unfortunately use the mobile Internet. The problem is not that the 4G LTE or 3G network is much slower than the fixed line. The biggest problem of mobile Internet users is the variability of link parameters, especially temporary slowdown. Not to mention the occasional loss is coverage that are rare, but very annoying. Fortunately, Netflix cope with this very well, because it dynamically adjusts the quality of the transmitted video.

Netflix is working on compression algorithms based on AI (Artificial Intelligence).

Netflix’s heads and engineers have an allergy on re-buffering. Therefore, they work on dynamic optimizer that analyses every single frame of the film. This approach allows selection of the most efficient compression method that does not reduce the quality of the recording. Therefore, Netflix wants to apply the change of video codecs not only caused by Internet connection parameters, but also basing on the dynamics of the recorded scenes. For an example, the Bojack Horseman animation can be compressed in a very efficient manner without sacrificing quality. However, the Dardevil series has a lot of dynamic scenes with special effects, so it requires more space on the transcript of the recording of the same length and quality.

The effectiveness of the new algorithm was presented on the example of the trailer of the first season of Iron Fist.

The demonstration took place at the MWC 2017 in Barcelona. The Iron Fist trailer, compressed through traditional methods used for mobile devices, generates 555 kbps data stream, so 10 minutes of recording weights 39.7 MB. New algorithms based on artificial intelligence were able to reduce the data stream of the same material up to 227 kbps. So 10 minutes of the same material can be stored on the 16.2 MB of data. The math is simple, new algorithm saves up to 59% of mobile data. Of course, the quality is comparable and most people were not able to say which method was used. Netflix will introduce a new compression algorithms for their materials in the coming months.

Source: Engadget