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An Artificial Intelligence Enhancing Video Quality Locally to Limit Internet Traffic Tied to Video Streaming

Project description

Reducing video data traffic to increase quality

Watching movies at home has come a long way since the glory days of the video stores and VHS tapes. Today’s videos are distributed over-the-top (OTT), making video streaming a major source of internet traffic. The OTT market is growing fast, driven mainly by Netflix and YouTube. But the surge in video streaming is mainly in developed countries. In the rest of the world, the situation is different. For instance, half of the world’s population still does not have internet access. In this context, the EU-funded ENHANCEplayer project aims to shrink the digital divide by decreasing video streaming traffic by 80 % while retaining video resolution and increasing quality. Specifically, it will leverage deep learning to automatically increase the resolution and quality of videos on consumer devices.


Video streaming consists in the encoding, transcoding, delivering, decoding & displaying of videos on smartphones, tablets, PCs, smart TVs & consoles. Videos distributed “over-the-top” (OTT) are streamed rather than distributed through traditional networks (broadcast, pay TV) and distributors (cable, satellite).

OTT is a vibrant $25bn market (2016) poised for spectacular growth: by 2025, it will reach $129bn, a 5.2x increase driven by powerhouses like Netflix and YouTube. Habits are changing fast: by 2020, 32% of videos will be consumed OTT (16h/week), vs. 5% in 2000 (2h/week).

Video streaming represents 63% of Internet traffic (2018) and is on the rise, going from 76k petabytes per month in 2018 to 160k in 2021 (x2.1) and driven by a push to 4K that quadruples traffic. While developed countries are challenged to address this surge, half of the World’s population still doesn’t have the Internet and is unlikely to be able to stream content when they get it, reinforcing the “Digital Divide”.

Reducing this burden will lead to a faster, cheaper and more stable Internet. It will slash content delivery costs, which reach millions of dollars a month for media companies. It will result in major savings for Internet providers that invest ~$300bn/year in infrastructure, or give them the opportunity to achieve much more for a similar investment.

Our goal is to decrease video streaming traffic by 80% while retaining video resolution and increasing quality. To do so, Artomatix and THEO will develop ENHANCEplayer, a solution that leverages Deep Learning to automatically increase the resolution and quality of videos on consumer devices. Built on top of THEO’s successful THEOplayer, it will consume the data of, say, a 360p video but display a High Definition one (1080p), effectively saving 84% in traffic. Public broadcasters NPO, RTP & VRT will help Artomatix & THEO define the product specifications, provide them with test videos and test the product once it is developed.


Net EU contribution
€ 1 137 500,00
DUBLIN 4 Dublin

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Ireland Eastern and Midland Dublin
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 1 625 000,00

Participants (4)