New Video Compression Format Approved By The ITU
January 27, 2013

UN Telecommunications Group Approves New HEVC Video Codec

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

The telecommunications arm of the United Nations (UN) has approved a new video compression format that they say could drastically reduce the amount of bandwidth needed for such files.

According to the Associated Press (AP), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) announced on Friday that the new codec, H.265, “would require just half the amount of data needed by its predecessor, H.264.”

Furthermore, the Geneva, Switzerland-based agency said that the current format is currently responsible for 40-percent of all Internet traffic, and that the H.265 codec could result in innovations such as faster movie download speeds and improved video streaming quality, said a report published by CTV News.

“ITU-T´s Study Group 16 has agreed first-stage approval (consent) of the much-anticipated standard known formally as Recommendation ITU-T H.265 or ISO/IEC 23008-2. It is the product of collaboration between the ITU Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) and the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG),” the organization said in a statement Friday.

“ITU-T H.264 underpinned rapid progression and expansion of the video ecosystem, with many adopting it to replace their own proprietary compression codecs,” added ITU Secretary General Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré. “The industry continues to look to ITU and its partners as the global benchmark for video compression, and I have no doubt that this new standard will be as effective as its predecessor in enabling the next wave of innovation in this fast-paced industry.”

The UN group said that the current codec is used in products and services provided by a vast array of different companies, including Apple, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba. It is used to broadcast high-definition video over both broadcast and cable television networks, as well as dish-based TV services, Blu-Ray discs, mobile phones, Internet Protocol television (IPTV), video-conferencing, and more.

The next generation format, which is casually being referred to as High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), will “provide a flexible, reliable and robust solution, future-proofed to support the next decade of video,” the ITU said.

“The new standard is designed to take account of advancing screen resolutions and is expected to be phased in as high-end products and services outgrow the limits of current network and display technology,” they added. “Companies including ATEME, Broadcom, Cyberlink, Ericsson, Fraunhofer HHI, Mitsubishi and NHK have already showcased implementations of HEVC.”