The new H.266 codec is now official and promises better video compression and 8K streaming

Fraunhofer HHI has announced the new H.266 / VVC video compression standard (Versatile Video Codec), promising the same quality at half the bitrate.

H.266 is now official after several years of research and development. It’s about a high performance codec which will replace in the future the current H.265 / HEVC that was ratified in January 2013. The development of the new standard has had the collaboration of greats in the technology industry such as Apple, Ericsson, Intel, Huawei, Microsoft, Qualcomm and Sony .

The codec specifications are detailed through a document of more than 500 pages. Beyond the technical details, what is interesting to know is that it has been specifically designed taking into account the possibilities of High resolution streaming, 4K and 8K.

Among its advantages, Fraunhofer HHI promises a noticeable reduction in the required bit rate, up to 50% maintaining the same quality. As an example, a 90 minute 4K UHD video requires approximately 10 gigabytes of data for transmission. H.266 / VVC will require only 5 gigabytes.

Improved compression will allow users to capture higher quality images without significantly increasing storage space. It also means that streaming high-quality videos will be considerably less demanding, especially thinking about mobile device data rates.

The organization ensures that the new standard will play an important role in video transmission and storage, although its final implementation will depend on the manufacturers themselves. And it usually takes a long time. H.265 / HEVC was launched in 2013, but only since last year it began to receive widespread support. Companies like Google and Netflix will likely determine when or if the standard will go mainstream.

Fraunhofer plans to launch the first software encoder / decoder this spring, while the hardware chips will likely take considerably longer. But you have to start … It is estimated that H.265 and H.264 are used in more than 10 billion devices.

Streaming has revolutionized the world of content encoding. The need for high-quality video and content size to be able to be transmitted on the Internet forced the transition from the old XVID / DIVX (MPEG-4) to more efficient formats such as H.264 (MPEG-4 AVC) and the current H.265, capable of doubling efficiency, the possibility of playing videos with a higher bitrate (higher quality) and taking up less space / less data by streaming.

H.266 / VVC will not be alone and for sure Google will promote alternatives as the successor to VP9, ​​with the great advantage of being a open source format and completely royalty free.

More information | Fraunhofer HHI







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