The German company Fraunhofer is responsible for the MPEG-3 music encoding format, H.264 (AVC) and H.265 (HEVC) video formats, is a pioneer in digital media compression, and now announces a new video compression standard called VVC, which marks a before and after in this sector.
Also known as H.266, VVC is Fraunhofer’s direct sequel to HEVC, the high-efficiency video coding standard that has been in use since 2013. It comes as a quantum leap in coding efficiency, and they promise to reduce data requirements by around 50% without compromising visual quality.
As an example: 4K video that previously required 10GB of data for 90 minutes of video can now be encoded in 5GB of data, which can revolutionize the world of Virtual Reality, or ultra-high resolution televisions.
Those of us who use Virtual Reality to visit scenes from all over the world are used to selecting 8k videos to obtain good resolution, and yet it is not 100% natural. 360-degree videos contain much more information than the rest, which is why the arrival of something that promises to allow efficient transmission and storage in all video resolutions ranging from the classic 480p SD to 8K, and support color palettes of High Dynamic Range (HDR), which require more bits per pixel for superior reproduction of brightness, darkness, and intermediate shading, is news.
VVC also supports adaptive resolution changes and mosaic-based streaming, with the ability to support wider color gamuts and even resolutions higher than 8K in the future.
H.266 / VVC will now require new encoding and decoding chips, which are already being designed. Apple, Ericsson, Intel, Huawei, Microsoft, Qualcomm and Sony are collaborating on the issue, so it is a solo project.
Fraunhofer says that VVC will be licensed under FRAND principles by the Media Coding Industry Forum (MC-IF), a group of more than 30 companies and organizations. Before that, the company plans to release the first H.266 encoder and decoder software this fall.