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Friday, February 05, 2010
Next MPEG Compression Scheme Under Way

MPEG, ITU and EBU are working with other organizations to develop the codec that will replace H.264.

The new High Efficiency Video Coding (HVC) is expected to compress video in resolutions from QVGA to 8Kx4K. It will be targeted at the same applications that use H.264 and MPEG-2 today.

Another goal for HVC is to improve on the efficiency of H.264 by a substantial amount. If the gain in compression efficiency is not very large, HVC use is likely to be more limited as was MPEG-4 Part 2. Both the resolution and efficiency will be helpful for proponents of UltraHD, since transmission of UltraHD content to the home is technically possible today, but not economically feasible, according to In-Stat.

The ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) together with the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) will once again collaborate on the development of the new compression scheme. MPEG issued a call for proposals for HVC technology in January 2010. Subjective testing will be done on the proposed technologies in 2010. The current timeline calls for approval of the new standard in 2012.

If HVC follows the pattern of MPEG AVC Part 10 (H.264), there will be a time lag between the final standard and the first products. Standardization of H.264 was complete in 2003, but the first H.264 real-time broadcast encoders and H.264 decoder ICs did not begin shipping in volume until 2005.

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