And the Emmy goes to … HEVC
Last night, the Television Academy awarded High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) an Emmy at the 69th Engineering Emmy Awards held at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles. It was my honor to attend the event representing Ericsson, a major contributor to the development of this important standard.
One of the main achievements of HEVC is its ability to compress video twice as efficiently as its predecessor AVC, which made HD television a success some ten years ago. Increased efficiency translates to bandwidth savings and reduced storage costs. It also paves the way for Ultra-High Definition (UHD) with four times more pixels. In fact, HEVC is the key technology behind UHD television, which creates immersive high-quality viewing experiences on TV screens, tablets and mobile devices.
But HEVC is not only designed to accommodate higher resolutions – more pixels – it is also highly suitable for providing better pixels by way of High Dynamic Range (HDR) and wider color gamut. An HDR display demonstrates peak brightness of up to 100 times higher than a traditional TV screen. It also enables darker blacks and improved contrasts in both dark and bright areas.
The Emmy for HEVC was awarded to the Joint Collaborative Team on Video Coding (JCT-VC) of the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG), part of ISO/IEC, and the Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG), part of ITU, where Ericsson has been working on video standardization for more than 20 years. The work on HEVC started ten years ago and Ericsson has played an important role throughout the entire process, from chairing core experiments and testing activities to contributing key technologies, which make up integral parts of the final standard. When it was time to issue the Draft International Standard in 2012, we also had the honor to host the 450-people strong MPEG committee in Stockholm for ten intensive days.
The Television Academy’s acknowledgment of HEVC highlights the importance of standardization across the entire TV and Media industry. And there is more to come. MPEG is currently finalizing its first Virtual Reality (VR) standard for 360-degree video (using HEVC) and we are also busy preparing for the development of next-generation compression of immersive video. On this note, Gary Sullivan, co-chair of JCT-VC, concluded:
"In another few years there may be another new standard that’s twice as good in compression as HEVC. HEVC has been a great milestone and it’s wonderful to see it get adopted into many products - but we never stop working."
Ericsson news about the award: HEVC awarded Engineering Emmy
Catch up on some of our HEVC and HDR research in these earlier posts on our blog: