Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

MPEG Issues Draft For More Efficient Video Compression

By - Source: MPEG | B 24 comments

The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) has issued a new draft for a video compression standard that provides a significant increase in compression.

The new High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) draft describes a technology that achieves about twice the compression levels of the current H.264/AVC standard.

“There’s a lot of industry interest in this because it means you can halve the bit rate and still achieve the same visual quality, or double the number of television channels with the same bandwidth, which will have an enormous impact on the industry,” said Ericsson's Per Fröjdh, chairman of the Swedish MPEG delegation. According to the manager, HEVC could be launched as early as 2013. “It will take time before it’s launched for a TV service, but adoption is much quicker in the mobile area, and we’ll probably see the first services for mobile use cases next year,” he said. Fröjdh stated that his group is also working on a naked-eye 3D video compression format for introduction in 2014.

An introduction of a new video compression format is always problematic and superior technology not always translates in market adoption. For example, there have been several attempts to replace the JPEG image format with formats such as JPEG2000 back in the 2000 time frame and, more recently, there has been an effort from Microsoft to make HD Photo (Windows Media Photo) available as a JPEG replacement that can reach quality levels of uncompressed TIFF images.

In the video arena, H.264 has been discussed because of its patent base that could expose adoption of the format to licensing fees, which prompted, for example, Google to pitch its own VP8-based WebM format. And, of course, there is still OGG/OGV, which is also looking to gain some traction. Despite Google's huge effort to drive WebM into the market, H.264 remains the preferred video format today and it showcases just how tough it is to replace what has been established as a standard in the market.

 

Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback

Display 24 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
  • 1 Hide
    nikorr , August 28, 2012 6:13 AM
    Also, the new H.265 standard, is ready for publication in early 2013.
  • -2 Hide
    derekullo , August 28, 2012 6:22 AM
    What is that blocking the left side of my TV?
  • 1 Hide
    myromance123 , August 28, 2012 6:29 AM
    That's pretty cool!
  • 8 Hide
    jdog2pt0 , August 28, 2012 6:31 AM
    "or double the number of television channels with the same bandwidth"

    Why D: There's already so many channels and nothing to watch! Quality over quantity please.
  • 6 Hide
    doorspawn , August 28, 2012 6:35 AM
    A near-halving of bytes for the same quality would be immense, similar to halving fuel consumption.
    Considering people have been researching video compression for many decades, I'm betting the "same quality" is really "a little bit worse".

    Basically, I'll believe it when I see it. Especially as they go on to say they're working on glasses-free 3D compression.

    Regardless, I totally agree that business is far too able to prevent transitioning to better tech like their example of jpeg vs jpeg2000.
  • 4 Hide
    dcay , August 28, 2012 7:14 AM
    NikorrAlso, the new H.265 standard, is ready for publication in early 2013.


    High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) is the new H.265.
  • 1 Hide
    annymmo , August 28, 2012 10:06 AM
    Also the new standard will cost a lot of money to license.
  • 4 Hide
    A Bad Day , August 28, 2012 11:43 AM
    annymmoAlso the new standard will cost a lot of money to license.


    The hardest part is transitioning into it. Standards take a very long time, like USB3 or Copperpeak (Thunderbolt).
  • 0 Hide
    torque79 , August 28, 2012 1:24 PM
    .... we keep getting more bandwidth available. can we please stop compressing everything to hell? Video compression and hidef audio (to less people) are the only reasons blu-ray is still important to those who care about quality.
  • 4 Hide
    _SirO_ , August 28, 2012 2:57 PM
    S
    torque79.... we keep getting more bandwidth available. can we please stop compressing everything to hell? Video compression and hidef audio (to less people) are the only reasons blu-ray is still important to those who care about quality.


    Sure we can, as long you don't mind waiting for 10 hours to download a 1080p video, or you like your HD live TV @ 5fps
  • 0 Hide
    Learn_w_Graffix , August 28, 2012 3:01 PM
    doorspawn -- thumbs up to your betting the "same quality" is really "a little bit worse"!
    An important question (THE key question, IMO, unless it is vastly superior) is whether this will be a "free for all to use" or "pay us to use" format. (And how can we accept a "pay us to use" format as an "standard"?) How does the performance of this compare with open source/free codecs?
  • -1 Hide
    torque79 , August 28, 2012 3:54 PM
    _SirO_S
    Sure we can, as long you don't mind waiting for 10 hours to download a 1080p video, or you like your HD live TV @ 5fps


    I don't mind waiting 10 hours to download, because it saves me the trip to the store to buy the blu-ray. Only have to download it once unless I delete it. Of course that does not work for broadcast TV, but I don't need 500 channels with 200 of them duplicates of eachother or with the same show on.
  • 1 Hide
    ravewulf , August 28, 2012 4:57 PM
    It's going to be interesting to see what Dark Shikari (of the x264 team) thinks about this version of the draft. He was not particularly pleased with the slowness of one of the early (2010) proposed versions http://x264dev.multimedia.cx/archives/360
  • 0 Hide
    Supertrek32 , August 28, 2012 4:58 PM
    NikorrAlso, the new H.265 standard, is ready for publication in early 2013.

    HEVC is h.265

    The same way h.264 is AVC. It just depends on which group you ask.

    I would assume h.265 will become the popular name, since h.264 is took precedence over AVC, and the increase in digit signals to people that's it's new and improved.

    It will be a long, long time before anything like this gets into television, but it will be great for everything internet related.

    torque79.... we keep getting more bandwidth available. can we please stop compressing everything to hell? Video compression and hidef audio (to less people) are the only reasons blu-ray is still important to those who care about quality.


    Umm... whut? This is allowing for greater compression ratios while maintaining the same quality. You get the same picture with less bits.

    Unless you're complaining about the quality of current compression schemes, in which case you're an idiot. Every video is compressed. Even your old DVDs which were around before the bandwidth compression push. Even your bluray discs are compressed. And guess what? They're using h.264 (AVC). AVC generally has the same quality as the old MPEG 2, and potentially better depending on the settings used when encoding.

    1080p bluray movies AREN'T POSSIBLE without AVC. With a small test sample video encoding standard quality MPEG (85%), a 720p clip from Halo: Reach is taking 38.5GB per hour. That means a 2 hour movie requires far more than what a DL Bluray disk can hold. And remember, that's only 720p. 1080p has over twice as many pixels to play with.

    If you want to moan about quality, then you should be screaming for uncompressed video (834GB per hour on 1080p 8bit). Otherwise sit down and shut up because practical quality is already readily available, and most technology can't even handle that kind of footage. THE DATA RATE OF THIS VIDEO IS HIGHER THAN THE READ SPEED ON NON-RAID MECHANICAL HARDDRIVES. You need a read speed of 240MB/s to play this. That's retarculous.

    (EDIT: Also, I should note that all calculations are done assuming 59.97 fps, since we're talking about high-quality footage).
  • -1 Hide
    LukeCWM , August 28, 2012 5:43 PM
    Supertrek32Unless you're complaining about the quality of current compression schemes, in which case you're an idiot.


    He's not an idiot. Everybody hyper-compresses everything, and the quality sucks. Watching a 2 hour 1080p file compressed to 20 GB is still bad, because even if you're lucky and there aren't any artifacts or glitches, the black levels still suck pretty bad.

    What torque79 wants is the same thing I want: If a file could previously be compressed to 5 GB poorly, let's not use this new format to compress it to 2.5 GB poorly. Instead, let's still compress it to 5 GB but with much fewer compression artifacts. Or at the very least, compress it to 3.75 GB to have a gain in quality and reduction in file size at the same time. (Numbers are theoretical, used to illustrate a point.)

    I'm looking forward to the day when all HDD copies of movies aren't poor versions of what's on the optical disc. We should be past this. We need what music has with FLAC (and other lossless audio formats): a file that is significantly smaller than uncompressed WAV, but with no loss in quality, with complete bit-for-bit reconstruction possible.
  • 0 Hide
    torque79 , August 28, 2012 5:59 PM
    Thank you luke. I don't even have to quote anything, that's exactly how I feel. I am hesitant to encourage any increased compression when most entertainment sources right now already over-compress too much for my taste. IF this new standard actually maintains THE SAME quality with 50% less data usage sign me up, and start using it for blu-rays while still using the whole dual-layer disk. In fact now that I think about it, that will allow 4k resolution with current optical blu-ray media at the same resulting video quality is that right? So for 8k we'll start needing something new?

    That's assuming no large special features consuming space of course, like the first Avatar bluray release that had nothing but the movie compressed as little as possible.
  • 1 Hide
    LukeCWM , August 28, 2012 6:11 PM
    torque79 In fact now that I think about it, that will allow 4k resolution with current optical blu-ray media at the same resulting video quality is that right? So for 8k we'll start needing something new?/citation]

    We're on the same page on this issue. =]

    However, 4k will be 4x the pixels of current 1080p. It's like arranging 1080p displays in a 2x2 formation (four TVs worth of resolution). I won't pass judgment on whether or not a new compression technique could enable us to use standard Blu-ray discs for 4k. I think there is something called Blu-ray XL, but I don't know much about it. Then again, aren't we almost past physical media?

    8k is a whole other animal. 33.2 megapixels. Not only is that a huge amount of information by itself, but the format is built to expand to 22.2 audio (24 channels instead of 6 or 8), and these will be at 96 kHz, which is twice the sample rate currently used on DVD's. Also, the 8k format is designed to allow 120 fps. I did some rough calculations to show that a current 1080p 2 hour movie compressed to 20 GB would take approximately 1 TB of space compressed as 8k. But for this, I was calculating current movies at 60 fps, and I just remembered, aren't they closer to 24 fps?

    We are a very long way from seeing 8k widely adopted. That said, I am very enthusiastic about them testing it (like with the Olympics this year), because that means we are that much closer to widespread adoption of 4k.

    Someday maybe I can get a 3x1 EyeFinity array of vertical 4k monitors at 120 Hz. =D (Will be most epic game of Sim Tower ever!!!)
  • 1 Hide
    ravewulf , August 28, 2012 7:10 PM
    LukeCWMHe's not an idiot. Everybody hyper-compresses everything, and the quality sucks. Watching a 2 hour 1080p file compressed to 20 GB is still bad, because even if you're lucky and there aren't any artifacts or glitches, the black levels still suck pretty bad.What torque79 wants is the same thing I want: If a file could previously be compressed to 5 GB poorly, let's not use this new format to compress it to 2.5 GB poorly. Instead, let's still compress it to 5 GB but with much fewer compression artifacts. Or at the very least, compress it to 3.75 GB to have a gain in quality and reduction in file size at the same time. (Numbers are theoretical, used to illustrate a point.)I'm looking forward to the day when all HDD copies of movies aren't poor versions of what's on the optical disc. We should be past this. We need what music has with FLAC (and other lossless audio formats): a file that is significantly smaller than uncompressed WAV, but with no loss in quality, with complete bit-for-bit reconstruction possible.

    Just because a particular implementation is bad doesn't mean the codec itself is bad. If you want high quality h.264 go with the 10-bit x264 encoder with a low RF (20 is default, higher quality is 18, lossless is 0). In general x264 beats all the other h.264 encoders, but very few Blu-Rays use the x264 encoder. For a comparison of the quality of different h.264 encoders, see http://www.compression.ru/video/codec_comparison/h264_2012/

    Lossless HD video is completely impractical (ffv1 is like flac, but still not practical). What you want is an encode with TRANSPARENT quality, meaning it is still lossy but you can't tell the difference between the source and output.
  • 1 Hide
    torque79 , August 28, 2012 7:46 PM
    LukeCWM,
    1TB per 8k movie! wow my 4 hard drive enclosure won't cut it! Storage server here I come! That leaves a SERIOUS need for some new high capacity hard drive tech. Where is that holographic hard drive I read about so long ago?

    As for almost being past physical media I agree that is happening, but I don't see a replacement alternative with the same quality yet. I am worried (and fairly sure) full adoption will happen without the quality catching up, like with MP3's.

    ravewulf,
    is there some method of objectively measuring when "transparent" video quality is reached? Some would argue that dolby digital is "transparent" compression of audio but a lot of audiophiles/movie buffs could easily distinguish the difference with lossless depending on the movie. I agree that bad implementation does not mean the codec is bad, but I am skeptical that broadcasters or netflix etc will use this for better quality instead of more quantity. I would be thrilled to be proven wrong.
  • 0 Hide
    LukeCWM , August 28, 2012 10:01 PM
    torque79LukeCWM, 1TB per 8k movie! wow my 4 hard drive enclosure won't cut it! Storage server here I come! That leaves a SERIOUS need for some new high capacity hard drive tech. Where is that holographic hard drive I read about so long ago? As for almost being past physical media I agree that is happening, but I don't see a replacement alternative with the same quality yet. I am worried (and fairly sure) full adoption will happen without the quality catching up, like with MP3's.ravewulf, is there some method of objectively measuring when "transparent" video quality is reached? Some would argue that dolby digital is "transparent" compression of audio but a lot of audiophiles/movie buffs could easily distinguish the difference with lossless depending on the movie. I agree that bad implementation does not mean the codec is bad, but I am skeptical that broadcasters or netflix etc will use this for better quality instead of more quantity. I would be thrilled to be proven wrong.


    That's why I was so amazed they could be broadcasting 8k to multiple locations! Just think of the bitrate needed to transfer the data from continent to continent! However, I think they weren't streaming all of the Olympics: I think it was just an hour long demonstration. However, that would have really been something to experience... I've heard looking at an 8k TV is like looking out a window...

    Replacing physical media without proper quality is also my concern. I find low quality mp3s truly sound terrible. I can hardly watch music videos on Youtube anymore because it kills me to know the actual CD must sound so much better. I hope we don't lose our ability to get "transparent" movies (thanks for the term, ravewulf). In fact, I'd like it to get much easier to watch transparent movies.

    Same as above, but expressed in different words: if this new video compression is a significant improvement, people and companies need to focus on transparent quality first, then use remaining compression efficiency to reduce file sizes. Quality over quantity.
Display more comments