Tuesday, May 5, 2009

MPEG Press Release: MPEG Explores New Technologies for High Performance Video Coding (HVC)

Maui, Hawaii, USA – The 88th MPEG meeting was held in Maui, Hawaii, USA from the 20th to the 24th of April 2009.

Highlights of the 88th Meeting

Call for Evidence of Technologies Issued for HVC

Technology evolution will soon make possible the capture and display of video material with a quantum leap in quality when compared to the quality of HDTV. However, networks are already finding it difficult to carry HDTV content to end users at data rates that are economical. Therefore, a further increase of data rates, such as soon will be possible, will put additional pressure on the networks. For example:

· High-definition (HD) displays and cameras are affordable for consumer usage today, while the currently available internet and broadcast network capacity is not sufficient to transfer large amount of HD content economically. While this situation may change slowly over time, the next generation of ultra-HD (UHD) contents and devices, such as 4Kx2K displays for home cinema applications and digital cameras, are already appearing on the horizon.

· For mobile terminals, lightweight HD resolutions such as 720p or beyond will be introduced to provide perceptual quality similar to that of home applications. Lack of sufficient data rates as well as the prices to be paid for transmission will remain a problem for the long term.

MPEG has concluded that video bitrate (when current compression technology is used) will go up faster than the network infrastructure will be able to carry economically, both for wireless and wired networks. Therefore a new generation of video compression technology with sufficiently higher compression capability than the existing AVC standard in its best configuration (the High Profile), is needed. Such High-Performance Video Coding (HVC) would be intended mainly for high quality applications, by providing performance improvements in terms of coding efficiency at higher resolutions, with applicability for entertainment-quality services such as HD mobile, home cinema and Ultra High Definition (UHD) TV.

To start a more rigorous assessment about the feasibility of HVC, a Call for Evidence has been issued, with the expectation that responses would report about the existence of technologies that would be able to fulfill the aforementioned goals. A set of appropriate test materials and rate points that would match the requirements of HVC application scenarios has been defined. Responses to this call will be evaluated at the 89th MPEG meeting in July 2009. Depending on the outcome of this Call for Evidence, MPEG may issue a Draft Call for Proposals by the end of its 89th meeting. The Call for Evidence can be found as document ISO/IEC JTC1/SC29/WG11 N10553 at http://www.chiariglione.org/mpeg/hot_news.htm

MPEG Seeks Technologies to link Real and Virtual Worlds

At its 88th meeting, MPEG has published updated requirements (ISO/IEC JTC1/SC29/WG11 N10235) and issued an extended call for proposals (ISO/IEC JTC1/SC29/WG11 N10526) for an extension of the Media Context and Control project (ISO/IEC 23005 or MPEG-V) to standardize intermediate formats and protocols for the exchange of information between the (real) physical and virtual worlds. In particular, this extended call for proposals seeks technologies related to haptics and tactile, emotions, and virtual goods. Specifically, the goal of this project (formally called Information Exchange with Virtual Worlds) is to provide a standardized global framework and associated data representations to enable the interoperability between different virtual worlds (e.g. a digital content provider of a virtual world, a game with the exchange of real currency, or a simulator) and between virtual worlds and the real world (sensors, actuators, robotics, travel, real estate, or other physical systems). MPEG invites all parties with relevant technologies to submit these technologies for consideration. For more information, refer to the above documents, which are available at http://www.chiariglione.org/mpeg/hot_news.htm.

Digital Radio Service to be Extended with new BIFS

At its 88th meeting, MPEG has been informed by the digital radio industry of the increasing need for a new interactive BInary Format for Scenes (BIFS) service for digital radio. This new service will enable the presentation of supplemental information like EPG or advertisements on radios with displays capable of supporting this service. In addition, such displays may be used for controlling the radio.

In order to fulfill the additional requirements for this new service, MPEG has issued a Call for Proposals for new BIFS technologies in N10568. The result of this call will be used to define a new amendment for BIFS and a profile, including the new technologies, backward compatible with Core2D@level1.

The requirements for Interactive Services for Digital Radio can be found in document ISO/IEC JTC1/SC29/WG11 N10567 available at http://www.chiariglione.org/mpeg/hot_news.htm.

New Presentation Element Added to Multimedia Framework

The MPEG-21 Multimedia Framework already provides flexible and efficient ways to package multimedia resources and associated metadata in a structured manner. At its 88th meeting, MPEG advanced to the formal approval stage a new amendment to MPEG-21 (ISO/IEC JTC1/SC29/WG11 21000-2 PDAM 1 Presentation of Digital Item) to define a new element that can be used to provide information relevant to the presentation of multimedia resources. Specifically, the new element, called Presentation, will describe multimedia resources in terms of their spatio-temporal relationships and their interactions with users. In a related effort, MPEG also began the formal approval process for another amendment to MPEG-21 (ISO/IEC JTC1/SC29/WG11 21000-4 PDAM 2 Protection of Presentation Element) so that the new Presentation element can be associated with the Intellectual Property Management and Protection (IPMP) element for content protection and management.

Other Notable MPEG Events

MPEG Plans First MXM Developer’s Day

The first International MPEG Extensible Middleware (MXM) Developer’s Day will be held on 30 June at the Queen Mary University, London, U.K. The purpose of this event is to share with the software developer’s community the state of the art and the prospects of MPEG Extensible Middleware, a standard designed to promote the extended use of digital media content through increased interoperability and accelerated development of components, solutions, and applications. The event is free of charge. For more information, or to register, visit http://mxm.wg11.sc29.org.

MMT Workshop Targets Requirements for Streaming of MPEG Content

The Workshop for MPEG Media Transport (MMT) will be held on 1 July during the 89th MPEG meeting at the Queen Mary University in London, U.K. The purpose of this event is to gather new requirements, use cases, and contributions related to the transport of multimedia content over heterogeneous networks. In particular, MPEG is gathering information on current limitations of available standards in the area of media streaming and associated challenges in emerging network environments. The MMT workshop is also free of charge. For more information, visit http://www.chiariglione.org/mpeg/hot_news.htm

Communicating the large and sometimes complex array of technology that the MPEG Committee has developed is not a simple task. The experts past and present have contributed a series of white-papers that explain each of these standards individually. The repository is growing with each meeting, so if something you are interested is not there yet, it may appear there shortly – but you should also not hesitate to request it. You can start your MPEG adventure at: http://www.chiariglione.org/mpeg/mpeg-tech.htm

Future MPEG meetings are planned as follows:

For further information about MPEG, please contact:

mailto:leonardo(at)chiariglione(dot)org

or

This press release and other MPEG-related information can be found on the MPEG homepage:

http://www.chiariglione.org/mpeg

The text and details related to the Calls mentioned above (together with other current Calls) are in the Hot News section, http://www.chiariglione.org/mpeg/hot_news.htm. These documents include information on how to respond to the Calls.

The MPEG homepage also has links to other MPEG pages which are maintained by the MPEG subgroups. It also contains links to public documents that are freely available for download by those who are not MPEG members. Journalists that wish to receive MPEG Press Releases by email should contact Dr. Arianne T. Hinds using the contact information provided above.

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