MPEG and JCT-VC/JCT-3V Meetings - Feb 2015 (Geneva)
NGCodec was at the MPEG/JCT-VC Meeting in Geneva to help the industry to continue with the development of the HEVC standard and other video compression activities. This was a busy meeting where we did substantial work over 10 days. JCT-VC continued working on the development of a new extension of the coding of screen content (SCC). MPEG conducted a number of video activities that were conducted outside JCT-VC, mostly in relation to High Dynamic Range video (HDR), future generation compression technologies and royalty free codecs. ITU/VCEG also initiated exploratory work in relation future generation compression technologies.
Screen Content Coding (SCC)
JCT-VC continued with the development of a new standard optimized for Screen Content Coding (SCC). Screen content is video containing a significant proportion of rendered graphics, text, or animation; the draft new SCC extensions of HEVC are capable of greatly improving the compression of screen content. Example applications include wireless displays, remote computer desktop and screen sharing for videoconferencing. They are a number of techniques under consideration, those include: Intra Block Copy, Adaptive Colour Transform and Palette Mode Coding. The results were considered very encouraging and offering substantial compression efficiency gains for this type of content compared with current 4:4:4 profiles standardized in HEVC RExt (version 2). JCT-VC created a new version of the working draft (WD) for the SCC that included Intra Block copy, Adaptive Colour Transform and Palette Mode coding, the goal of this work is delivering a new standard that is envisioned to reach FDAM (Final Draft) stage in February 2016.
JCT-3V completed the standardization final draft amendment (FDAM) for 3D-HEVC. 3D-HEVC improves the compression of 3D video with multiple views and depth maps by coupling together the encoding of the video views and the depth maps.
HDR and WCG
Further work was conducted in relation to the support of High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Wide Color Gamut (WCG) using HEVC or some extensions. There were very active work on defining the requirements and the way to technically address them. This is an area of great interest to several markets (i.e. broadcasting) as part of UHDTV services. MPEG decide to issue at this meeting a Call for Evidence on this area to have a better understanding of the technology available at the moment. The group would evaluate 3 options at the next meeting that could be used to deliver HDR: the first option is to use Main 10 with some transfer function adapted for HDR displays, the second options is to deliver a scalable approach based on SHVC that can support the legacy displays and the new HDR displays and the third option to make further changes to HEVC to improve the performance for HDR and WCG signals. Most of the companies involve on the HDR activities now believe that the Main 10 profile with the appropriate transfer function and some metadata (VUI or SEI) is enough for being able to transmit HDR content and there is not need to delay the deployment of serves that incorporate HDR as they can use existing decoder.
Royalty free video
MPEG continued the work on royalty free video standards. MPEG evaluated the meeting the negative national body responses to the Final Draft of International Standard on Video Coding for Browsers (VCB) based on the previous work done by Google on VP8. It was exposed during the meeting that there were claims that indicated that companies have IP on this format and that those were not willing to license that IP without charging a royalty. MPEG tried to deal with this situation and analyzed if it was true that VCB was using the previously patented technology but MPEG experts indicated that they are not capable of doing this task as in general are not allowed to look at.
Because of this MPEG will not proceed with the standardization of VP8 until the circumstances are changed.
Future Video Compression activities
Independently from each other, MPEG and ITU launched exploratory activities in the direction of a future video compression standard that will enhance HEVC. This is very normal and it is how it generally has be done, this happened in MPEG-2/H.262, MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 and HEVC/H.265 and most likely it will happen again on the next phase.
MPEG established an experimental environment to enable the investigation of future video compression technology based on HM 16 and intends to organize a workshop on future video compression and capturing technologies, to be held during the week of 19-23 October 2015 in Lucca, IT.
Qualcomm and Mediatek made a proposal showing 10% gains compared with HEVC and based on that VCEG has approved to go ahead and start a new KTA-like phase starting with this proposal and to start official exploration work on this area, it is still not very clear how this will be done, but things will become more clear on this area at the next meeting.
Future MPEG meetings
No. 112, Warsaw, Poland, 22 – 26 June 2015
No. 113, Lucca, Italy, 19 – 23 October 2015
No. 114, San Diego, USA, 22 – 26 February 2016
No. 115, Geneva, Switzerland, 30 – 03 May – June 2016