Photo (from left) : Dr. Leonardo Chiariglione, Convenor of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29/WG 11, with Prof. Touradj Ebrahimi, Convenor of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29’s Advisory group on management, holding the two MPEG-4 Emmy statues at the 87th MPEG meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, in February 2009.

A Technology and Engineering Emmy Award for innovation in the MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding (AVC) standard was presented to ISO and IEC at an award ceremony in Las Vegas, USA, on 7 January 2009. ITU-T’s Video Coding Experts Group received a similar award for its role in the work.

This is the second Emmy awarded for development of the MPEG-4 AVC standard in the space of a few months. It follows the 2008 Primetime Emmy Engineering Award, presented in Hollywood, Los Angeles, USA, in August 2008.

ISO Secretary-General Rob Steele comments: "Despite the numerous benefits that International Standards bring to business, government and society, the experts who develop them are largely 'unsung heroes', so it is refreshing to see the team responsible for MPEG-4 AVC receiving such high-profile recognition."

The MPEG-4 AVC standard, embodied in the International Standard ISO/IEC 14496-10 and the ITU-T recommendation H.264, is a specification for high quality video compression. Particularly applicable for high definition (HD) applications, it forms part of a series of MPEG-4 standards related to multimedia.

The multi-part ISO/IEC 14496 series, Information technology – Coding of audio-visual objects, was developed by the joint technical committee ISO/IEC JTC 1, Information Technology, subcommittee SC 29, Coding of audio, picture, multimedia and hypermedia information, working group WG 11, Coding of moving pictures and audio.

The coveted Technology and Engineering Emmy awards of the U.S. National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) reward outstanding achievement in engineering and technical development. Launched in 1948, the awards honour development and innovation in broadcast technology and recognize companies, organizations and individuals for breakthroughs in technology that have a significant effect on television engineering. Award winners are determined by a panel of distinguished professionals in the television, broadcast and new media arena.

“These are truly dynamic and exciting times for the television industry, and these Emmy winners were rewarded for their significant impact in enhancing the consumer viewing experience,” said Peter Price, President of the Foundation NATAS, at the 60th Annual Technology and Engineering Emmy Awards ceremony.

This award marks the third time that ISO and IEC have been honoured by an Emmy award. In 1996, an Emmy was awarded for international standardization of JPEG, MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 (compression coding associated with, respectively, still photography, video CD and MP3, and digital TV set top boxes and DVD).