Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Happy World Standards Day 2020 - Protecting the planet with standards

Today on October 14, we celebrate the World Standards Day, "the day honors the efforts of the thousands of experts who develop voluntary standards within standards development organizations" (SDOs). Many SDOs such as W3C, IETF, ITU, ISO (incl. JPEG and MPEG) celebrate this with individual statements, highlighting the importance of standards and interoperability in today's information and communication technology landscape. Interestingly, this year's topic for the World Standards Day within ISO is about protecting the planet with standards (also here). I have also blogged about the World Standards Day in 2017 and 2019.

In this blog post, I'd like to highlight what MPEG can do to protect the planet (with standards). In general, each generation of video codec improves coding efficiency significantly (by approx. 50%) but with increased complexity that impacts compute/memory requirements. An overview of the video codecs can be found in the figure below and I would like specifically point to MPEG-2 (H.262 | 13818-2), AVC, HEVC, and VVC. 

History of international video coding standardization [full slide deck here].

The performance history of standard generations can be seen in the figure below which roughly indicates the 50% bitrate reduction at a given constant quality.
The performance history of standard generations [full slide deck here].

Furthermore, MPEG specified ISO/IEC 23001-11:2019 also referred to as "Energy-efficient media consumption (green metadata)" that specifies metadata for energy-efficient decoding, encoding, presentation, and selection of media. The actual specification can be purchased here and an overview can be found also here.

While it's true that streaming video accounts for the majority of today's internet traffic that even increased in the current COVID-19 pandemic, it's also true that "moving bits is easier than moving physical objects/bodies". Having that said, we are committed to further optimize resource allocation for all stages of video streaming from provisioning to consumption, e.g., as part of the ATHENA and APOLLO projects). In this context, we are organizing a special session at PCS'21 entitled "Video encoding for large scale HAS deployments" where we argue that optimizing video encoding for large scale HAS deployments is the next step in order to improve the Quality of Experience (QoE) while optimizing costs.

Since July 2020, MPEG is operating under a new structure and while writing this blog post, the 132nd MPEG meeting is taking place online discussing new standards according to its roadmap (see figure below). An overview/archive of my MPEG reports can be found here and the report for the 132nd MPEG meeting will be there also shortly after the MPEG meeting.

MPEG Roadmap as of July 2020.

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