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Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG)

ITU-T SG 16 standardization on visual coding – the Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG)

The visual compression coding work in the ITU has a long and rich history dating back to the development of the H.120 digital video coding standard in 1984, its substantial revision in 1988, the early days of the JPEG work for still image compression, and the pioneering development of ITU-T H.261 for video compression. In July 2006, the video coding work of the ITU was voted as the most influential area of standardization work in the 50-year history of the ITU-T and its predecessor, the CCITT. In May 2015, the work of VCEG was one of five key areas of standardization recognized by an "ITU 150 Award", which was presented on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the ITU in 1865.

Today, work on visual coding within the ITU takes place under Question 6/16 of ITU-T Study Group 16, and the experts group is informally known as VCEG (Video Coding Experts Group or Visual Coding Experts Group).

In the image compression area, ITU experts were active in the production of the first generation of still image compression standards jointly with ISO/IEC JTC1/SC29/WG1 – in a group known as JPEG, which also gives its informal name to the famous suite of standards. Today, ITU-T Study Group 16 remains a partner to the work in SC 29/WG1 for various families of still image compression standards JPEG, JBIG, JBIG2, JPEG-LS, JPEG 2000, MRC, and JPEG XR.

The ITU has been a major leader in the digital video coding area, with the codecs defined in the H.120 and H.26x-series of Recommendations. Three of the ITU video coding standards are ITU-only developments: Three other video coding standards have been developed collaboratively with ISO/IEC JTC1 SC29/WG11 (also known as MPEG): Extensions of these video coding standards to provide enhanced support for 3D video are being developed in the collaborative team known as JCT-3V.

In current efforts, as recent work on extending HEVC and AVC is being finalized, VCEG is studying potential next-generation video coding techniques beyond the capabilities of HEVC and its current extensions. The technical investigation in this area is being conducted jointly with MPEG in an effort called the Joint Video Exploration Team (JVET). Once a sufficient advance in technology appears ready for standardization, this effort could result in the development of some additional extension of HEVC or in the development of an entirely new standard for video coding.