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Question 6/16 – Visual coding
(Continuation of Question 6/16)


The goal of this Question is to produce Recommendations for visual signal coding methods appropriate for conversational (e.g. videoconferencing and video telephony) and non-conversational (e.g., multimedia streaming, broadcast TV, IPTV, file download, media storage/playback, or digital cinema) audio/visual services. Visual signal coding includes the coding of:

  • video sequences
  • still images
  • graphics
  • stereoscopic, multi-view, and free-viewpoint visual information
  • light fields and volumetric imagery
  • computer displays
  • medical imaging

This Question will focus on the maintenance and extension of existing video and still-image coding Recommendations, and laying the ground for new Recommendations using advanced techniques to significantly improve the trade-offs between bit rate, quality, delay, and algorithm complexity. Video, still-image, and other visual coding standards will be developed with sufficient flexibility to accommodate a diverse number of transport types (Internet, LAN, Mobile, ISDN, GSTN, H.222.0, NGN, etc.).

Study items

Study items to be considered include, but are not limited to:

  • New coding methods in order to achieve the following objectives:
    • improvements in compression efficiency
    • robust operation in error/loss-prone environments (e.g. non-guaranteed-bandwidth packet networks or mobile wireless communication)
    • reduction of real-time delay
    • reduction of channel acquisition time and random access latency
    • reduction of complexity
  • Organization of the compressed data format to support packetization and streaming
  • Development of supplemental enhancement information to accompany video and image data for enabling enhanced functionality in application environments
  • Study and specification of data for image/video annotation, indexing, and searching
  • Methods to allow streams to be easily mixed by MCUs or terminals
  • Techniques to permit networks or terminals to adjust the bit rate of video streams efficiently
  • Techniques for object coding and multi-view operation
  • Techniques for efficient compressed-digital to compressed-digital processing (including transcoding)
  • The impact of colorimetry, video and image quality assessment, and quality control requirements on video and image codec development
  • Computer graphics compression
  • Security aspects that directly affect video and still-image coding including watermarking techniques
  • Considerations on how to help measure and mitigate climate changes


Tasks include, but are not limited to:

  • Extensions to H.264: 2009-2010, including extensions for scalable video coding and multi-view video coding in particular
  • Conformance and reference software development and maintenance for H.264, including Recommendations H.264.1 and H.264.2
  • Development of supplemental enhancement information to accompany video and image data, including data for image/video annotation, indexing, and searching, including maintenance and extension of Recommendation H.271
  • Complete requirements definition and begin detailed algorithm design for "H.265"
  • Final Rec. H.265: expected 2010-2012 (given sufficient progress in contribution technology)
  • Development of new image coding (T.JXR) and digital imaging suite specifications
  • Maintenance of existing H-series video coding Recommendations, including H.120, H.261, H.262 | ISO/IEC 13818-2, H.263, H.264 | ISO/IEC 14496-10, H.264.1 and H.264.2
  • Maintain and extend existing Recommendations regarding still image coding, including Recommendations T.80, T.81, T.82, T.83, T.84, T.85, T.86, T.87, T.88, T.89, T.800, T.801, T.802, T.803, T.804, T.807, T.808, T.809, T.810, T.812, T.851, and T.870

An up-to-date status of work under this Question is found in the SG 16 work programme (




  • H.300 sub-series Systems Recommendations
  • H.222.0, H.241, H.245 and H.248 sub-series


  • 2, 3, 4, 7, 10, 20, 28/16

Study Groups:

  • ITU-T SGs 9, 11, 12, 13
  • ITU-R SG 6

Other Bodies:

  • ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29 (MPEG and JPEG/JBIG) for harmonization of advanced video and image coding objectives


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