Current H.265/HEVC Development Timeline

Current H.265/HEVC Development Timeline

NGCodec was at the JCT-VC/MPEG Meeting in San Jose, to help the industry to continue with the development of the HEVC standard. This was a very busy meeting where we did substantial work over 9 days. JCT-VC continued working on version 2 (Rext) and some further enhancements related to scalability (SHVC). They were a number of additional MPEG activities that were conducted outside JCT-VC.

The work on HEVC version 2 (range extensions) was very active at this meeting, improving on some of the techniques that were added to the working draft at the previous meeting and started working on the profile definition.The version 2 of the specification is expected to be approved in July of 2014.

It is expected that includes new profiles: Main 12, Main 4:2:2 12, Main 4:4:4 12, Main 4:2:2 10, Main 4:4:4 10, Main 4:4:4 8, monochrome 12, monochrome 16 and a number of all Intra profiles (including a 16 bits 4:4:4).

MPEG and ITU decided to issue on a Call for Proposals (CfP) in relation to techniques specially designed for screen content material that will be part of new profiles that are envisioned to reach FDAM (Final Draft) stage in October 2015. This will be in addition to the current work that is part of range extension. The responses for this CfP will be evaluated at the next JCT-VC meeting.

Further work was conducted on the text for the scalable technology based on HEVC (called SHVC). It is the intention to reach the FDAM stage in July 2014. This will be suitable for applications that required scalability (resolution, frame rate, quality, color gamut etc.). Most of the work on this project was on high level syntax clean ups, but we had some good work on color gamut and bit-depth scalability and the possibility of having a Hybrid approach, where the base layer could be AVC/H.264 and the enhancement will be based on HEVC. More work needs to be done on this area, but it could be part of the first version of Scalable profiles.

MPEG continued the work on a royalty free video standard. It continued on the Video Coding for Browsers, based on the previous work done by Google on VP8, it was decided to extend the timeline and a new version of the working draft (3rd) was created a this meeting. MPEG is also driving two additional activities, one based on H.264 CBP (WebVC) and one started from scratch (IVC). MPEG performed some testing of the 3 schemes, but it was concluded that they available options perform in a similar way no major conclusions could be extracted.

There were some further study of adding some additional interlaced video coding tools to HEVC (based on PAFF), they were limited evidence being presented at this meeting and it was agreed to present some further evidence at the next meeting and decide if we issue a CfP on this topic, it was generally perceived that current version of HEVC may be suitable for the efficient coding of interlaced content and with substantial gains compared with H.264/AVC.

Further work was conducted in relation to the support of the XYZ colour space in HEVC.

There were a number of 3D/multiview related activities, including AVC+depth, MVC+depth, Multiview HEVC, those were worked on by JCT-3V.

JPEG and MPEG are developing a file format for the coding of still images based on HEVC.