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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 videoconferencing, and the MPEG-2 standard (ITU-T H.262) for entertainment-quality digital video​. 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 ITU-T T.81 standard and a suite of related 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 including JPEG, JBIG, JBIG2, JPEG-LS, JPEG 2000, MRC, and JPEG XR.

The ITU has been a major leader in digital video coding, with the coding formats 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 AVC and HEVC have been developed to provide enhanced support for 3D video and spatial and quality scalability.

Currently, VCEG is developing a next-generation video coding standard with compression capability beyond that of HEVC and its extensions, called Versatile Video Coding (VVC). The VVC standardization activity is being conducted jointly with MPEG in an effort called the Joint Video Experts Team (JVET).