Industry Forum to promote Versatile Video Coding | Ericsson Research Blog

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Industry Forum to promote Versatile Video Coding

Video is the single most important data traffic driver in mobile networks. According to the latest Ericsson Mobility report it is forecast to grow by 45 percent annually to account for 73 percent of all mobile data traffic in 2023. This is why video compression is key to Ericsson and a great motivation for our research team contributing to the emerging Versatile Video Coding (VVC) standard in the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG).

VVC has a huge potential in future networks and would be a perfect complement to the 5G standard for mobile communication. To this end, Ericsson and a number of companies just launched the Media Coding Industry Forum (MC-IF) in order to work together towards wide-spread adoption of MPEG standards and in particular VVC. The launch event took place at the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam during the popular International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) that attracted more than 57 000 visitors.

The idea behind the MC-IF is to provide a meeting place, open for all companies to join. It will be a venue for cross-industry discussions and information sharing, complementing the work done by MPEG by focusing on promotion and non-technical aspects of media standards.

The initial focus of the forum will be the VVC standard that MPEG, part of ISO/IEC, started working on earlier this year in collaboration with the Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG), part of ITU-T. This new video standard will provide a significant improvement in compression performance over its predecessor High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC). In fact, some proposals to VVC have already demonstrated 40% bitrate reduction compared to HEVC.

The design constraints of VVC will make sure that the standard will be suitable for high-quality video and in particular High Dynamic Range. It expected to be a key enabler for Ultra-High Definition with 8K resolution (four times more than 4K) as well as immersive video applications using Virtual Reality (VR) and 360° video. And as mentioned above, VVC will also be a perfect complement to new emerging network protocols, such the 5G standard for mobile communication.


Presenters at the MC-IF inauguration event, representing Tencent, Ericsson, CableLabs, Zetacast, and Divideon.

At open and informal meetings in April and July earlier this year, companies from all parts of the media ecosystem expressed their interest to create a forum and participate in discussions well in advance of the VVC standard finalization in 2020. The expectations spanned topics from usability of the standard, understanding requirements of the ecosystem to promotion and new opportunities for the standard. This encouraged us to set up the MC-IF in record speed to launch it during the IBC show. Within a week of the first press release the MC-IF had 20 members – and the list is growing!

Any company that joins before Oct 12 will be an initial member. However, one of the benchmarks of MC-IF is to maintain an equal and open weight amongst all members irrespective of their size and role in the media service and delivery ecosystem.

The first MC-IF member meeting will take place in Macau, China on 13-14 October. After that, the plan is to have quarterly and geographically dispersed face-to-face meetings. Some meetings may be coordinated with MPEG meetings, but in order to reach all parts of the ecosystem, an effort will be made to coordinate with tradeshows and conventions where implementors and other potential users of the standard will meet.

For more information about the MC-IF or its future schedule, please visit the MC-IF website or send an e-mail to info@mc-if.org. You are very welcome to become a member of this global community. See you in Macau in October!

Per Fröjdh

Dr. Per Fröjdh is Director of Media Standardization at Ericsson and has thirty years’ experience in research and innovation. He has contributed to the video compression standards AVC/H.264 and HEVC/H.265 in MPEG and ITU, served on the advisory committee for the W3C, and has been the editor of 15 standards on streaming, file formats, and multimedia telephony in MPEG, ITU, 3GPP and IETF. Currently he is the Multimedia Chair at the Swedish Standards Institute and Head of Delegation to MPEG for Sweden. He is also Board Director, Treasurer and Promotions Chair of the DASH Industry Forum as well as Steering Board Member of DVB. Per holds a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Chalmers University in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Per Fröjdh