Monday, July 6, 2020

H.266/Versatile Video Coding (VVC)

Fraunhofer HHI (via Hacker News):

This new standard offers improved compression, which reduces data requirements by around 50% of the bit rate relative to the previous standard H.265/High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) without compromising visual quality.


A uniform and transparent licensing model based on the FRAND principle (i.e., fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) is planned to be established for the use of standard essential patents related to H.266/VVC. For this purpose, the Media Coding Industry Forum (MC-IF) was founded. In addition to Fraunhofer Society, the MC-IF now includes +30 companies and organizations. The new chips required for the use of H.266/VVC, such as those in mobile devices, are currently being designed. Dr. Thomas Schierl, head of the Video Coding and Analytics department at Fraunhofer HHI, announced “this autumn Fraunhofer HHI will publish the first software (for both encoder and decoder) to support H.266/VVC.”


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Interesting that the big ones (notably apparently not Google) are signing up for this. I thought these wars were over for the next generation — that, instead, Apple and others are now aiming to implement AV1, intended to be about as good as HEVC, but royalty-free and therefore more likely to be a new long-term universal format. That would require the A14 or whatever to implement AV1 in hardware, though.

(FWIW, HEVC 1.0 shipped in 2013, but full encoding/decoding support didn't ship until Apple's 2017 OSes.)

I also assume Apple doesn't want to go back to a user-unfriendly situation where several different formats exist and you can't easily know which is support by which device.

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