SSIMWAVE Granted U.S. Patent for Image and Video Banding Detection

(Image credit: SSIMWAVE)

WATERLOO, Ontario—SSIMWAVE, a developer of viewer experience QC and automation technology, has been awarded a patent for image and video banding detection. 

U.S. Patent No. No.63/008, 257, "Image and Video Banding Assessment," is intended to help live and VOD streaming services detect and eradicate one of the most difficult-to-solve video quality impairments in OTT streams. The solution is already deployed in production by some of the top streaming platforms to optimize for Banding across billions of hours of viewed content.

The patent describes the method by which the SSIMPLUS products and metric address banding effects in an image or video, including:

  • Assessing content for banding impairments;
  • Determining the significance and location of the impairment;
  • Detecting the banding pixels;
  • Creating a banding map; and
  • Determining the intensity level of each of the banding pixels.

"Banding's effect on content impacts viewing experiences, of course, but it is particularly frustrating for content creators," said Dr. Abdul Rehman, CEO and Co-Founder of SSIMWAVE. "Establishing a patented method for detecting banding will help preserve the content community's creative intent, driving all of the high engagement and deep emotion that was intended when the content was produced."

Banding is a common compression impairment that usually appears in smooth regions within encoded videos. All popular codecs, such as H.264/AVC, VP9, H.265/HEVC, and AV1 can introduce banding. Content-aware encoding approaches typically introduce more banding as content regions that are prone to banding are generally deemed low complexity by such encoders and are compressed even more than traditional approaches, resulting in even more banding. The impairment is noticeable in both SDR and HDR content, especially on high-resolution displays.

SSIMWAVE measures banding on the SSIMPLUS Banding Score, a 0-100 scale in which 0 means no visible banding is detected and 100 indicates situations in which banding makes the video hard to watch or even unwatchable. SSIMPLUS can detect banding at any point in the delivery chain from ingest to playout.

SSIMWAVE will show banding detection in action at Stand 1.B10 at IBC 2022 or via this video. SSIMWAVE also will showcase its newest live sports streaming benchmarking capabilities at IBC.

"Banding impairment is prevalent across all content, including tentpole titles, streaming services and display devices. We are excited to be partnering with content creators in preserving creative intent by monitoring and optimizing content delivery workflows to eliminate or reduce banding," said Dr. Abdul Rehman, CEO and Co-Founder of SSIMWAVE. "The patented ability of SSIMPLUS to detect banding will help the industry provide a superior video product that will raise the bar on consumer satisfaction."