The design of HEVC, the next generation of video compression standards, incorporates the latest state-of-the-art technologies and algorithmic advances to address the persistent demand for broader usage of video content, video migration to broadband networks, diversification of mobile devices, ever-higher resolutions for cameras and displays, and increasingly high video quality.
HEVC is the latest in the series of video compression standards to be developed jointly by VCEG and MPEG. The HEVC project was formally launched in January 2010 following studies by both MPEG and VCEG to assess the readiness and availability of technology simultaneously with an analysis of industry needs for a new standard, and approval by the SC 29 and SG 16 higher-level committees to launch the JCT-VC. The major goal of the project is to develop the next generation video coding standard that could achieve the same level of video quality with a substantial savings (e.g. reduction by half) relative to the bit rate required by AVC. Initial measurements of the capability of HEVC, at this stage, indicate that its performance is already meeting or exceeding the targets set by this goal.
According to the ITU press release, "ITU-T H.265 / ISO/IEC 23008-2 HEVC will provide a flexible, reliable and robust solution, future-proofed to support the next decade of video. The new standard is designed to take account of advancing screen resolutions and is expected to be phased in as high-end products and services outgrow the limits of current network and display technology."
Companies including Cisco, ATEME, Broadcom, Cyberlink, Ericsson, Fraunhofer HHI, Mitsubishi, NHK, NTT DOCOMO and Qualcomm have already showcased implementations of HEVC. The new standard includes a ‘Main’ profile that supports 8-bit 4:2:0 video, a ‘Main 10’ profile with 10-bit support, and a ‘Main Still Picture’ profile for still image coding that employs the same coding tools as a video ‘intra’ picture.
"The ITU/ISO/IEC Joint Collaborative Team on Video Coding (JCT-VC) (formerly JVT) will continue work on a range of extensions to HEVC, including support for 12-bit video as well as 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 chroma formats. Another important element of this work will be the progression of HEVC towards scalable video coding. The three bodies will also work within the Joint Collaborative Team on 3D-Video (JCT-3V) on the extension of HEVC towards stereoscopic and 3D video coding."