Video entertainment industry moves to decrease its large carbon footprint, says InterDigital

The growth of the video entertainment industry has been overwhelming over the past few years. Demand has led to more than one billion hours of content being consumed on a single streaming platform every day. To meet this amount of demand, the large supply that accompanies it has catapulted the carbon footprint associated with this industry to figures that make it surpass the aviation industry. The greenhouse gas emissions of a medium-sized film have an average carbon footprint of 769 metric tons of CO2. Large films generate far more emissions, creating 1,081 metric tons per production. How can we reduce these figures?

InterDigital recently published a white paper written by Futuresource Consulting exploring the reasons why the video entertainment industry must lead positive climate action, set higher standards for energy efficiency and integrate solutions that mitigate energy consumption throughout the production chain.

The action has already begun, “Sustainability in Video Entertainment” – so the study is named – looks at how the content industry is embracing sustainable change by leveraging technologies and supporting strategies that actively contribute to a more environmentally friendly production environment. These techniques include remote production; greater overall efficiency in IP-based service delivery; the rise of virtual production; cloud-based solutions; environmentally optimized mobile units; universally efficient data centers; and the drive in manufacturing to make consumer products more efficient and authenticated through transparent energy certification.

“The video industry is now focused on increasing the sustainability of visual entertainment. From filming and content creation, to broadcast distribution and web streaming, to the consumer devices themselves, all elements of the supply chain are actively improving efficiency,” says Simon Forrest, principal technology analyst at Futuresource Consulting. “However, there are ongoing challenges: on current trajectories, overall TV energy use could increase by 5% by 2026, as consumers upgrade to higher resolution displays and transition to 4K HDR video. Therefore, there are clear opportunities for further innovation in video encoding and delivery mechanisms to help mitigate this potential increase.”

InterDigital is proposing itself as a provider of innovative solutions in this space. InterDigital’s Video Lab has developed critical energy-aware image processing methods that can help reduce power consumption without changing visual quality. It has the support of ITU (International Telecommunication Union), DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting), MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group) and SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers), as well as foundational support for new video codecs such as VVC (Versatile Video Coding) and more efficient transmission of 4K UHD (Ultra High Definition) content.

Little Falls Church
Dada! Animation