The original blog post can be found at the Bitmovin Techblog and has been modified/updated here to focus on and highlight research aspects. Additionally, this version of the blog post will be also posted at ACM SIGMM Records.
The 131st MPEG meeting concluded on July 3, 2020, online, again but with a press release comprising an impressive list of news items which is led by
MPEG Announces VVC – the Versatile Video Coding Standard
Just in the middle of the SC29 (i.e., MPEG’s parent body within ISO) restructuring process, MPEG successfully ratified -- jointly with ITU-T’s VCEG within JVET -- its next-generation video codec among other interesting results from the 131st MPEG meeting:
Standards progressing to final approval ballot (FDIS)
- MPEG Announces VVC – the Versatile Video Coding Standard
- Point Cloud Compression – MPEG promotes a Video-based Point Cloud Compression Technology to the FDIS stage
- MPEG-H 3D Audio – MPEG promotes Baseline Profile for 3D Audio to the final stage
Call for Proposals
- Call for Proposals on Technologies for MPEG-21 Contracts to Smart Contracts Conversion
- MPEG issues a Call for Proposals on extension and improvements to ISO/IEC 23092 standard series
Standards progressing to the first milestone of the ISO standard development process
- Widening support for storage and delivery of MPEG-5 EVC
- Multi-Image Application Format adds support of HDR
- Carriage of Geometry-based Point Cloud Data progresses to Committee Draft
- MPEG Immersive Video (MIV) progresses to Committee Draft
- Neural Network Compression for Multimedia Applications – MPEG progresses to Committee Draft
- MPEG issues Committee Draft of Conformance and Reference Software for Essential Video Coding (EVC)
The corresponding press release of the 131st MPEG meeting can be found here: https://mpeg-standards.com/meetings/mpeg-131/. This report focused on video coding featuring VVC as well as PCC and systems aspects (i.e., file format, DASH).
MPEG Announces VVC – the Versatile Video Coding Standard
MPEG is pleased to announce the completion of the new Versatile Video Coding (VVC) standard at its 131st meeting. The document has been progressed to its final approval ballot as ISO/IEC 23090-3 and will also be known as H.266 in the ITU-T.
|VVC Architecture (from IEEE ICME 2020 tutorial of Mathias Wien and Benjamin Bross)
VVC is the latest in a series of very successful standards for video coding that have been jointly developed with ITU-T, and it is the direct successor to the well-known and widely used High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) and Advanced Video Coding (AVC) standards (see architecture in the figure above). VVC provides a major benefit in compression over HEVC. Plans are underway to conduct a verification test with formal subjective testing to confirm that VVC achieves an estimated 50% bit rate reduction versus HEVC for equal subjective video quality. Test results have already demonstrated that VVC typically provides about a 40%-bit rate reduction for 4K/UHD video sequences in tests using objective metrics (i.e., PSNR, VMAF, MS-SSIM). Application areas especially targeted for the use of VVC include
- ultra-high definition 4K and 8K video,
- video with a high dynamic range and wide colour gamut, and
- video for immersive media applications such as 360° omnidirectional video.
Furthermore, VVC is designed for a wide variety of types of video such as camera captured, computer-generated, and mixed content for screen sharing, adaptive streaming, game streaming, video with scrolling text, etc. Conventional standard-definition and high-definition video content are also supported with similar gains in compression. In addition to improving coding efficiency, VVC also provides highly flexible syntax supporting such use cases as (i) subpicture bitstream extraction, (ii) bitstream merging, (iii) temporal sublayering, and (iv) layered coding scalability.
The current performance of VVC compared to HEVC-HM is shown in the figure below which confirms the statement above but also highlights the increased complexity. Please note that VTM9 is not optimized for speed but functionality (i.e., compression efficiency).
|Performance of VVC, VTM9 vs. HM (taken from https://bit.ly/mpeg131).
MPEG also announces completion of ISO/IEC 23002-7 “Versatile supplemental enhancement information for coded video bitstreams” (VSEI), developed jointly with ITU-T as Rec. ITU-T H.274. The new VSEI standard specifies the syntax and semantics of video usability information (VUI) parameters and supplemental enhancement information (SEI) messages for use with coded video bitstreams. VSEI is especially intended for use with VVC, although it is drafted to be generic and flexible so that it may also be used with other types of coded video bitstreams. Once specified in VSEI, different video coding standards and systems-environment specifications can re-use the same SEI messages without the need for defining special-purpose data customized to the specific usage context.
At the same time, the Media Coding Industry Forum (MC-IF) announces a VVC patent pool fostering with an initial meeting on September 1, 2020. The aim of this meeting is to identify tasks and to propose a schedule for VVC pool fostering with the goal to select a pool facilitator/administrator by the end of 2020. MC-IF is not facilitating or administering a patent pool.
At the time of writing this blog post, it is probably too early to make an assessment of whether VVC will share the fate of HEVC or AVC (w.r.t. patent pooling). AVC is still the most widely used video codec but with AVC, HEVC, EVC, VVC, LCEVC, AV1, (AV2), and probably also AVS3 -- did I miss anything? -- the competition and pressure are certainly increasing.
MPEG promotes a Video-based Point Cloud Compression Technology to the FDIS stage
MPEG Systems related News
|Carriage of Video in MPEG Systems Standards (taken from https://bit.ly/mpeg131).