Deep Render is a startup aiming AI smarts at the decades-old computer problem of compression. It has developed AI-only video compression technology that is already claimed to offer 5x smaller video file sizes, with sights set on up to 50x improvements. The firm has recently been embraced by the Intel Ignite startup acceleration program, which precipitated the video presentation below.
As an older computer enthusiast, I have experience with file and disk compression dating back to the 8- and 16-bit eras. Nowadays, the most useful compression algorithms make video files smaller while maintaining high-quality imagery and audio. As the Intel Ignite participant clip above notes, transferring video data is a huge problem for the internet’s infrastructure. Moreover, data-hungry, high-quality, fast frame rate, high-resolution videos and streams are increasingly popular.
Chri Besenbruch and Asralan Zafar co-founded Deep Render while they were computer science students at London’s Imperial College. The pair asserts that today’s advanced video requirements push up data volumes while traditional compression techniques and the internet buckle under pressure. Thus, people expecting great online video experiences often have to cope with lower frame rates, dropped frames, stuttering, artifacts, and other undesirable side effects of bandwidth constraints.
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The Deep Render duo confidently reckons they “can fix this problem.” Their AI compression technology is said to eschew the old guard and hit the source video data with a solely AI-driven compression pipeline. Zafar explains that “compression is all about exploiting redundancies” in the data and asserts the Deep Render AI compression “exploits redundancies in a far more fine-grained manner, tracing every single pixel, its movements, and destination in the frame sequence. Currently, it is boasted that Deep Render is “at 5x smaller file sizes now,” with estimates that this AI compression tech could deliver 50x smaller files than technologies like H.264.
You can read more about the company on their website. Sadly, a technology demo linked on the home page is restricted to commercial partners and investors. On the topic of investors, Deep Render raised $9 million in a Series A funding round back in March. That funding valued the startup at $30 million. Deep Render also netted a $2.7 million grant from the European Innovation Council.
Big Green Competitor
Other tech companies interested in leveraging AI to video compression include some big hitters like Alphabet’s DeepMind, Disney, and Nvidia.
In February, Tom’s Hardware GPU editor Jarred Walton pondered over Nvidia’s newly launched Video Super Resolution – Nvidia VSR. Naturally, this video technology, which can upscale lower-res videos to 4K, leans on similar technology to the firm’s better-known DLSS.