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2020 vision: Walloon company works on HD video for Tokyo Olympics
With its innovative compression technology, Mont-Saint-Guibert company IntoPIX has attracted the interest of Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK. It hopes the Walloon software can show viewers the action from the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 in revolutionary 8K ultra-high definition.
Before images of live news reports or sports events shot by cameras reach our screens, they are compressed – meaning the size of the data is reduced to make the transmission smoother. Thanks to IntoPIX’s software expertise, like the widely adopted Tico technology, this reduction in size doesn’t mean a loss of quality.
Since its creation in 2006 as a spin-off of the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL), IntoPIX has convinced clients all over the world with its image technology. “99% of our business activity concerns clients abroad,” says spokesperson Jean-Baptiste Lorent. “80% concerns clients outside Europe.”
These clients are attracted by the many advantages offered by IntoPix’s solutions. “We enable more effective transmission, higher resolution, better colours, less power consumption and reduced operating costs of live broadcasts,” Lorent explains.
While we are familiar with HD television, IntoPIX is thinking a few steps further ahead, by improving ultra-high-definition quality (UHD). Its focus is now on 8K UHD or 8K resolution, currently the highest quality available.
As Japan is traditionally at the forefront of audiovisual technology, with giants in the field like Sony and Panasonic, IntoPIX’s innovations are eagerly picked up there. National broadcaster NHK can now count on Walloon expertise to broadcast the Tokyo Olympic Games in the best quality possible to viewers around the world.
IntoPIX has already demonstrated that its technology can live up to the expectations surrounding such huge events. “We have a lot of experience of broadcasting international sports events; our software was used during the last Olympics in Rio,” Lorent says. “This new success should open up more opportunities.”
Apart from expanding its scope in its current target markets, the company is also exploring new opportunities. “As well as professionals, in the future we want to reach consumers more,” says Lorent. “Next year, we are going to attend the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas for the first time.” The event is the most prestigious trade show in the world for developers of electronics and digital devices.
IntoPIX is aiming to improve the experience of watching videos on a smartphone as well as the quality of the photos taken with a smartphone. By lowering the energy consumption needed for these purposes, it could lead to phone batteries lasting longer. The company is also looking into solutions to enhance the working of VR headsets as well, to make the virtual experience more impressive and comfortable.
This article first appeared in WAB (Wallonia and Brussels) magazine