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Joint press release of ITU-T WP 3/16 and ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29/WG 11
San José, CA, USA, 10 February 2012

High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) achieves first formal milestone toward completion

HEVC reaches ISO/IEC committee draft status

ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29/WG 11 (informally known as the Moving Picture Experts Group – MPEG) and ITU-T SG 16 Working Party 3 (WP3/16) are pleased to recognize the completion of the ISO/IEC committee draft of the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard developed by the Joint Collaborative Team on Video Coding (JCT-VC), a joint team between MPEG and WP3/16.  The committee draft was approved for balloting at the 99th MPEG meeting (San Jose, USA, 10 February 2012) and is the first formal ISO/IEC milestone in the HEVC project. HEVC is expected to be submitted in January 2013 for final standardization approval in both ISO/IEC and ITU-T.

The design of HEVC, the next generation of video compression standards, incorporates the latest state-of-the-art technologies and algorithmic advances to address the persistent demand for broader usage of video content, video migration to broadband networks, diversification of mobile devices, ever-higher resolutions for cameras and displays, and increasingly high video quality.

The ISO/IEC's MPEG and ITU-T's video coding experts (currently Q6/16, informally known as the Visual Coding Experts Group – VCEG) have previously developed other successful video coding standards, providing the ability for products to interoperate using standard digital video formats.  Important milestones in this prior work have been the MPEG-2 standard (ISO/IEC 13818-2 and ITU-T H.262), and the AVC standard (ISO/IEC 14496-10 and ITU-T H.264). The MPEG-2 standard resulted in the creation of digital television as we know it today, while the AVC standard, developed about a decade after MPEG-2, provided a compelling advantage in compression capability by incorporating new advances in video coding technology that doubled the compression efficiency of MPEG-2.

HEVC is the latest in the series of video compression standards to be developed jointly by VCEG and MPEG. The HEVC project was formally launched in January 2010 following studies by both MPEG and VCEG to assess the readiness and availability of technology simultaneously with an analysis of industry needs for a new standard, and approval by the SC 29 and SG 16 higher-level committees to launch the JCT-VC.  The major goal of the project is to develop the next generation video coding standard that could achieve the same level of video quality with a substantial savings (e.g. reduction by half) relative to the bit rate required by AVC. Initial measurements of the capability of HEVC, at this stage, indicate that its performance is already meeting or exceeding the targets set by this goal.