ECO mode launches for climate-friendly video streaming and GAIA research project wins CSI Magazine Award

Online data traffic accounts for more than fifty percent of global greenhouse gas emissions attributed to digital technologies. Now, with the GAIA project, Bitmovin and the University of Klagenfurt are working to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions along the entire video “supply chain”. The 3.3 million euro project recently won the CSI Magazine Award for the best sustainability initiative. In parallel, the Bitmovin player’s ECO mode was recently launched, giving customers control over the level of CO2 emissions and costs they save.

“Online video traffic is growing exponentially, and consequently the amount of energy required for video streaming is also on the rise. If we succeed in making significant improvements here, we can make a meaningful contribution to the fight against climate change,” says Christian Timmerer, GAIA project manager and head of the ATHENA laboratory at the University of Klagenfurt. For years, ATHENA has been working intensively on the development of new video streaming technologies.

Through GAIA, Bitmovin and the University of Klagenfurt want to address the high consumption levels and the accompanying high emissions. Greater sustainability and a reduction in energy consumption along the entire video streaming supply chain will be achieved by, on the one hand, creating better awareness of resource consumption. To achieve this, it will be necessary to improve the prediction of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions – from the creation of content and server-side encoding to video transmission and rendering when reaching the recipients. Moreover, advanced analyses and optimisation at all stages of the transmission chain will reduce consumption and emissions.

The project commenced in October 2022. Since then, new approaches to enable climate-friendly video streaming have already been presented in numerous journal articles and at conferences. The ECO mode in the Bitmovin player is a new feature for customers that allows them to reduce CO2 emissions and costs at the same time by reducing data traffic. The end user now plays an active role in reducing emissions.

The CSI Magazine Awards 2023 were presented in Amsterdam on 15 September 2023.

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