VVC / H.266 the codec that enters to fight for the 8K dominance

Today we want to echo the new VVC codec (Versatile Video Coding) also called H.266 which replaces the current H.265, a codec widely used by both companies and hobbyists to compress their videos.

A VVC compression system promises to minimize the need for streaming, theoretically this new codec can compress to 50% the size of streaming and thus we can have in the same wide 8K content with the quality of the current 4K in H.265.

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According to the press release of the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute responsible for the MPEG standards, this new format focuses mainly on streaming services, substantially improves motion detection and provides optimized support for 360° panorama videos. No doubt this codec can be excellent for VR applications.

H.266 / VVC has been developed with a focus on ultra high definition video content. The new standard is to be used, for example, when streaming 4K or 8K videos on the flat screen TV. The innovative data reduction also enables more efficient video transmission in the cellular network, where the data capacity is generally more limited. For a 90-minute UHD video, around ten gigabytes of data must be transferred when using the previous standard H.265 / HEVC. With H.266 / VVC you only need about five gigabytes with the same image quality. Another advantage of H.266 / VVC is its expanded field of application for all types of moving images. In this way, the new standard can also be used in a particularly efficient way on high-resolution 360-degree video panoramas or split screen contents.

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As always the future of the VVC / H.265 codec depends on licensing, if companies that want to use it have to pay exorbitant fees to have their content in this format its implementation will be in the minority. For now this is an unknown and although the allies of this platform are powerful brands such as Apple, Ericsson, Intel, Huawei, Microsoft, Sony and Qualcomm, it seems that AV1 is monopolizing the plans for the present and near future.

Its rival codec AV1 is currently in the process of implementation, is not limited by licenses and already has dedicated hardware in production. This year we have the Samsung and LG Smart TVs that already have SoC’s that allow 8K content to be played on Youtube and Netflix is implementing AV1 in its library for both video and still images. We’ll have to wait several years to see VVC/H.265 on the market if AV2 doesn’t come along in that time.

Technical Information and Sources

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