A new technical standard intended to reduce the bit rate required to deliver high-quality digital video to an array of technologies and applications has been promoted to the status of Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) and is expected to be available soon. The elevation of the standard – known unofficially as the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard – occurred during the 103rd meeting of the International Organization for Standardization / International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) Joint Technical Committee (JTC) 1, Information Technology, Subcommittee (SC) 29, Coding of audio, picture, multimedia and hypermedia information, Working Group (WG) 11, Coding of moving pictures and audio, also known as the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG), held January 21–25, 2013, in Geneva.
The new standard, which will be officially known as ISO/IEC 23008-2, was developed by MPEG in collaboration with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)’s Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) and will succeed the MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding (AVC) standard, which is part of the ISO/IEC 14496 series of standards, Information technology – Coding of audio-visual objects. That earlier standard, which was also developed in collaboration with VCEG, is currently the dominant standard for web video, representing more than 80% of videos published online.
By improving approaches to digital video compression, the HEVC standard is expected to bolster the future of video by reducing demand for bandwidth on overburdened global networks and to allow for the expansion of high-quality video to international mobile networks. MPEG and VCEG are currently collaborating on several extensions to the HEVC standard, including application range extensions and extensions for scalable video coding.
Created in 1987, JTC 1 works to address the standardization needs of the global ICT industry, speeding the developmental process and the wide deployment of relevant standards. The U.S. plays a leading role in JTC 1, with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) holding the secretariat and Karen Higginbottom, director of standards initiatives at Hewlett-Packard, serving at JTC 1’s chair. ANSI member and accredited standards developer the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) serves as the ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Administrator to ISO/IEC JTC 1 SC 29.