|International Telecommunication Union
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New Video Coding Standard Delivers Major Advances in
ITU standard opens new opportunities for entertainment & video
Geneva, 23 December 2002 — The technical design of a new video
compression standard was agreed this week in Japan. Known as H.264/AVC, it has
been developed by a group of the world’s leading technical experts, and
promises dramatic improvements in video quality. The new standard is likely to
find use in a wide variety of applications from mobile phones to High Definition
TV and is destined to revolutionize video picture quality over networks such as
the Internet, 3G Wireless and the PSTN.
The new standard is the achievement of the ITU and ISO/IEC Joint Video Team (JVT),
a pre-eminent group of experts from these three international standards
organizations. The new standard, which will be known as H.264 (the ITU-T name)
and as ISO/IEC 14496-10/MPEG-4 AVC (the ISO/IEC name), is expected to be
published in the second quarter of 2003.
Digital video is being used in an increasing array of applications that have
been fuelled by the development of video coding standards. The new standard
follows in the footsteps of earlier mould-breaking video coding advances, such
as H.261, H.262|MPEG2-Video (the product of an earlier collaboration between ITU
and ISO/IEC) and H.263, but surpasses earlier video standards in terms of video
quality, compression efficiency and resilience to packet and data loss, the type
of network impairments found on the Internet. Potentially it could halve the
bandwidth necessary for digital video services.
In addition to the potential of better image quality, improved data
compression offers advantages in terms of bandwidth usage (more channels over
existing systems) or greater media storage (more video files onto media such as
DVDs.) The many application areas likely to benefit include videoconferencing,
video broadcast, streaming and video on mobile devices, tele-medicine and
"We have achieved a key milestone in making this important new standard
available to the industry at large. It's a credit to the entire team that the
technical design was completed in record time and it paves the way for the
adoption of this exciting technology in 2003," said Gary Sullivan, chairman
of the JVT and the ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group VCEG.
"This result is testimony to the dedication and spirit of cooperation
achieved between a group of the world’s leading coding experts," said
Leonardo Chiariglione, Convenor of the MPEG Committee.
The JVT will spend the next three months on the final preparation of the text
for approval and publication by ISO/IEC and ITU-T.
Note for Editors
The JVT is a collaborative effort between the International Telecommunication
Union (ITU), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the
International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
For more information please contact:
Mr. Gary Sullivan
Rapporteur, Advanced video coding
ITU-T Study Group 16
Tel: +1 425 703 5308
Fax: +1 425 936 7329
Mr. John Magill
Tel: +44 1666 510 105
Fax: +44 8700 527 645
Mr. Simão Ferraz de Campos Neto
Counsellor, Study Group 16
Tel: +41 22 730 6805
Fax: +41 22 730 5853