ShowMax makes it possible to watch TV shows 42% faster [April Fool’s!]

Showmax

ShowMax has launched its new ‘power bingeing’ function, which speeds up TV shows and movies by as much as 42% without impacting voice or video quality.

The new power bingeing function means that ShowMax viewers can now fit three more episodes into a five-hour binge viewing session.

This new function is made possible by technology originally developed to reduce data consumption while watching video via a mobile connection.

“We have been grappling with the affordability of mobile data and how this impacts internet TV usage in Africa. That’s when it hit us – if we speed up shows, our customers will use less data,” said Mike Raath, ShowMax Chief Technology Officer.

The image below shows the new ShowMax power bingeing function in the desktop application.

Showmax

How the technology works

A significant proportion of verbal communication is made up of pauses and other non-lexical vocables.

Fillers such as ‘uh’, ‘erm’, and ‘ah’ can be removed without impacting the substance of a conversation.

ShowMax has developed proprietary technology to achieve this, speeding up conversation without causing a ‘helium voice’ effect.

“Our first attempts sounded like chipmunks on speed, but the engineers cracked the voice issue surprisingly quickly,” said Raath.

“Speeding up the video was much tougher. To be honest, everything we tried looked pretty much like an episode of Benny Hill.”

The answer came from a study on Critical Flicker Frequency (CFF). CFF is the threshold at which light flickers so quickly that it’s impossible to discern discrete flashes and instead one sees a steady glow.

“By manipulating frame rates and removing those beyond the perception limit of humans, we’ve managed to increase the speed of video without the characteristic jerky motion that you’d expect.”

ShowMax has now added a ‘power binge’ play button to all of its apps.

The following link gives a demonstration of sped-up content vs the original: ShowMax ‘Power Bingeing’ Function

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ShowMax makes it possible to watch TV shows 42% faster [April Fool’s!]

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