New video codec to ease pressure on global networks

Video standardsA new video coding standard building on the Prime-Time Emmy award winning ITU-T H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC was agreed by ITU members last week.

The new codec will considerably ease the burden on global networks where, by some estimates, video accounts for more than half of bandwidth use.

The new standard, known informally as – High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) – will need only half the bit rate of its predecessor, ITU-T H.264 / MPEG-4 Part 10 ‘Advanced Video Coding’ (AVC), which currently accounts for over 80 per cent of all web video.

HEVC will also facilitate a new phase of innovation in video production spanning the whole ICT spectrum, from mobile devices through to Ultra-High Definition TV.

ITU-T’s Study Group 16 has agreed first-stage approval (consent) of the much-anticipated standard known formally as Recommendation ITU-T H.265 or ISO/IEC 23008-2. It is the product of collaboration between the ITU Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) and the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG).

ITU Secretary-General Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré commented that ITU-T H.264 underpinned rapid progression and expansion of the video ecosystem, with many adopting it to replace their own proprietary compression codecs.

As a result, the industry continues to look to ITU and its partners as the global benchmark for video compression, and as a result, this new standard will be as effective as its predecessor in enabling the next wave of innovation in this fast-paced industry.

ITU-T H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC is deployed in products and services from companies including Adobe, Apple, BBC, BT, France Telecom, Intel, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, Polycom, Samsung, Sony, Tandberg, Toshiba and others to deliver high definition video images over broadcast television, cable TV, a variety of direct-broadcast satellite-based television services, Blu-Ray disc formats, mobile phones, videoconferencing tools, digital storage media, and Internet Protocol television (IPTV).

It also remains the most deployed global video compression standard.

ITU-T H.265 / ISO/IEC 23008-2 HEVC will provide a flexible, reliable and robust solution, future-proofed to support the next decade of video. The new standard is designed to take account of advancing screen resolutions and is expected to be phased in as high-end products and services outgrow the limits of current network and display technology.

toby-johnsonBy Toby Johnson, ITU

Toby Johnson is a communications professional with 15+ years experience in the tech space. In the UK he edited various trade magazines, also taking freelance commissions formore mainstream media. At ITU he has led a new era of outreach championing new and social media and pro-active relations. Currently, Toby heads up the media outreach, membership, academia and workshop organization for the standardization sector of ITU.

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