How InterDigital Leads in Video Sustainability

How InterDigital Leads in Video Sustainability

How InterDigital Leads in Video Sustainability

September 11, 2023 / Posted By: InterDigital Comms

InterDigital is dedicated to making the connected world on which we depend possible, with more than 50 years of experience inventing foundational wireless and video technologies that have become essential to daily life. Alongside research and innovation in wireless and emerging technologies, InterDigital’s respected video heritage yields one of the industry’s leading innovation portfolios while also empowering new media capabilities and significantly contributing to global video standards.

Recently named one of LexisNexis’ top 100 leaders in sustainable innovation, InterDigital’s research and standards leadership is helping to empower the future of video content and new media experiences while taking steps to drive awareness and provide solutions to mitigate the energy consumption and environmental impact of our video habits.

Here are the facts: There are roughly five billion internet users globally, and more than 80% of content streamed on the internet is video. In addition, the International Energy Agency’s analysis of energy use within video streaming has found that 72% of video energy consumption comes from consumer devices, with the remaining attributed to data transmission and data centers.

As consumers, our voracious appetite for video and new media content is crystal clear, but we must also be aware of, and work to mitigate, the energy impact of video consumption.

Pixel Value Reduction (PVR)

InterDigital has pioneered innovations in energy-aware display technology that can help reduce energy consumption of video screens by intelligently optimizing pixel brightness. Put simply, our Pixel Value Reduction (PVR) solutions balance the ability to reduce the brightness of an image, or amount of energy consumed, while optimizing the perceived visual quality to the viewer. The goal is to ensure the viewer can't perceive the small reductions in pixel brightness which add up to colossal energy savings across billions of screens and a multitude of devices worldwide.

Outlined in an award-winning paper recognized by the ACM Mile High Video Conference, InterDigital’s innovation around PVR solutions focuses on two approaches to energy saving. The first approach focuses on the “just noticeable difference” and how to maintain the best possible image quality while making small incremental improvements towards energy savings. This approach prioritizes the artistic integrity of a broadcast piece of media, with the goal of making quality changes imperceivable to audiences, while nevertheless capturing whatever energy savings are possible. This approach helps ensure energy savings can be attained for even the most aesthetically demanding transmitted content.

The second approach is geared towards achieving specific levels of energy reduction and is more applicable to streaming content services, which already support a level of customization to the platform based on the internet speeds of the end user. InterDigital’s research has also explored the use of machine learning (ML) to achieve the optimal tradeoff between image quality and energy savings, so users can maximize energy savings across their TV screens.


Alongside innovations in energy aware media, InterDigital is also a leading contributor to the state-of-the-art video compression standard Versatile Video Codec (VVC), which is capable of a 40% reduction in bitrate on streamed video with no perceptible decrease in image quality, compared to the previous generation HEVC video codec. InterDigital’s research and standards contributions empower new 2D and immersive media opportunities, alongside advocacy for codecs like VVC that enable large reductions in bitrates which can result in potentially huge energy savings across the video value chain.

Leadership Recognition

InterDigital continues to raise awareness of the video industry’s energy consumption impact while also putting forth actionable solutions like PVR. InterDigital’s energy-aware advocacy has been acknowledged across industry circles and in global standards bodies such as ITU-R, MPEG, DVB, ATSC, and SMPTE, and InterDigital engineers are often consulted for their expertise and understanding of sustainability considerations.

Sustainability has become a hot topic across industry events and tradeshows, and InterDigital has emerged as a leader in sharing both industry insights and solutions to this global challenge. In fact, in 2021, InterDigital was successful in driving the adoption of an energy consumption effort within the ITU working group responsible for standardizing video and program production. More recently, InterDigital’s video experts hosted a collaborative workshop in Rennes, titled “Towards Sustainable and Energy-Aware Video Communications,” exploring sustainability across the video chain and introducing new approaches to monitor and reduce energy consumption. In addition to being awarded Best Full-Length Paper at the ACM Mile High Video Conference 2023 for research on “Energy-Aware Images: Quality of Experience vs Energy Reduction,” InterDigital’s groundbreaking paper “Pixel Value Adjustment to Reduce the Energy Requirements of Display Devices” was recently published in the August 2023 edition of SMPTE’s Motion Imaging Journal. At the upcoming International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP) in October, InterDigital has contributed three academic papers and will chair a critical session on Energy-Efficient Image and Video Communications.

In ITU-R, InterDigital has raised awareness of energy efficiency concerns and spearheaded an effort to integrate energy consumption considerations into broader video standards, which have since been adopted. InterDigital has been a leading contributor in the exploration of Energy Aware Broadcasting Systems, which encourage the adoption of energy efficiency schemes within broadcasting, as well as offsetting carbon through initiatives across the broadcasting sector. InterDigital is also leading a new amendment to the Green MPEG specification to leverage our Pixel Value Reduction solutions, by defining the framework to transmit and use the attenuation map, which can be computed by InterDigital technologies. In ATSC, InterDigital co-chairs the Planning Team on Sustainability in Media and Data Delivery Services (PT9), which studies the benefits of broadcast data delivery vis-à-vis sustainable energy usage. InterDigital also co-leads DVB’s study on Energy Aware Service Delivery and Consumption, which is working to make a tangible, sustainability-driven difference to the sector through emerging technologies and opportunities, while also contributing to the SMPTE Sustainability Working Group.


With a business model rooted in research and innovation, InterDigital’s impactful portfolio of foundational technologies include solutions that help the video entertainment industry achieve more sustainable outcomes without impacting visual quality. By pioneering research into energy-aware media solutions like PVR and state-of-the art compression codecs, InterDigital is setting an important framework for industry to integrate solutions that mitigate energy consumption throughout the production chain, while enabling increasingly diverse and immersive video experiences.