The US Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has awarded an Emmy for outstanding achievement in engineering to the expert group responsible for “High Efficiency Video Coding”, the video compression standard that has emerged as the primary coding format for Ultra-High Definition (UHD) TV.
The Emmy honours the achievements of the ISO/IEC Moving Pictures Expert Group of ISO/IEC JTC1 subcommittee 29 and the Joint Collaborative Team on Video Coding, a team of experts representing the ITU Video Coding Experts Group of ITU-T Study Group 16.
The award is the second Primetime Emmy to recognize the prestige of the video coding work driven in collaboration by IEC, ISO and ITU.
“ITU, ISO and IEC provide the technical foundations of the extraordinary innovation that we see in video,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “I am pleased to join the US Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in celebrating the experts at the heart of this longstanding collaboration in international standardization.”
“It is a real pleasure to see the work of our experts recognized in this way,” said Sergio Mujica, Secretary-General of ISO. “This group, which is at the forefront of innovation and technology in video, shows how successful we can be when we work together with a common aim.”
IEC General Secretary & CEO Frans Vreeswijk adds: “My sincere congratulations to the team of experts behind this standard and a big thank you to the US Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for recognizing the importance of international standards, which are the result of fruitful collaboration between many countries and organizations.”
Video accounts for about 75 % of all consumer Internet traffic, a figure expected to rise to over 80 % by 2020. The majority of this video is coded using international standards developed in collaboration by IEC, ISO and ITU.
“High Efficiency Video Coding” (HEVC), published as ISO/IEC 23008-2 | ITU-T H.265, gains the recognition of an Emmy Award for forging the path to UHD “4K” and “8K” TV.
HEVC is a significant evolution from its predecessor ISO/IEC 23008-2 | ITU-T H.265 Advanced Video Coding (AVC). The arrival of MPEG-4 | H.264 AVC in 2003 is credited with unlocking significant advances in video spanning HDTV to 3G mobile multimedia, a contribution to TV engineering recognized with a Primetime Emmy Award in 2008.
HEVC was released in 2013 to support the next decade of innovation in video. HEVC uses half the bandwidth of MPEG-4 | H.264 AVC, delivering an HD viewing experience while concurrently enabling operators to utilize network capacity more efficiently. The standard has proven especially valuable in accelerating the rollout of UHD.
HEVC enables high-dynamic-range as well as wide-colour gamut coding and has been selected as the primary format for the delivery of full 10-bit UHD video. The standard’s support for synthetic content, 3D and multiview enables practical applications of virtual and augmented reality.
HEVC is at play in all UHD distribution channels, from mobile broadband to satellite, cable and fibre-optic communications. The standard is supported by all UHD viewing devices, whether traditional TVs, tablets or smartphones.
HEVC has been incorporated into the standards and consortium specifications of 3GPP, ARIB, ATSC, Blu-Ray, Digital UK, DVB, EBU, ETSI and the Ultra HD Forum, in addition to those of IEC, ISO and ITU.
The video coding collaboration of IEC, ISO and ITU remains as ambitious as ever. The collaboration is working towards 2020 with the aim of delivering a new video coding standard to succeed HEVC. The next-generation standard will again feature double the compression capability of its predecessor.