Fraunhofer HHI, along with partners including Apple, Ericsson, Intel, Huawei, Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Sony has released new global video coding standard H.266/Versatile Video Coding (VVC) that promises to cut file sizes in half. 

This new standard offers improved compression, which reduces data requirements by around 50% of the bit rate relative to the previous standard H.265/High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) without compromising visual quality. 

In other words, H.266/VVC offers faster video transmission for equal perceptual quality. Overall, H.266/VVC provides efficient transmission and storage of all video resolutions from SD to HD up to 4K and 8K, while supporting high dynamic range video and omnidirectional 360° video.

Through a reduction of data requirements, H.266/VVC makes video transmission in mobile networks (where data capacity is limited) more efficient. For instance, the previous standard H.265/HEVC requires ca. 10 gigabytes of data to transmit a 90-min UHD video. With this new technology, only 5 gigabytes of data are required to achieve the same quality. Because H.266/VVC was developed with ultra-high-resolution video content in mind, the new standard is particularly beneficial when streaming 4K or 8K videos on a flat screen TV. Furthermore, H.266/VVC is ideal for all types of moving images: from high-resolution 360° video panoramas to screen sharing contents.

“After dedicating almost three years toward this standard, we are proud to have been instrumental in developing H.266/VVC,” says Benjamin Bross, head of the Video Coding Systems group at Fraunhofer HHI and editor of the +500-page standard specification of H.266/VVC. “Because of the quantum leap in coding efficiency offered by H.266/VVC, the use of video will increase further worldwide. Moreover, the increased versatility of H.266/VVC makes its use more attractive for a broader range of applications related to the transmission and storage of video.”

“If you consider that Fraunhofer HHI already played a key role in the development of the previous video coding standards H.264/AVC and H.265/HEVC, then we are happy with the fact that more than 50% of the bits on the Internet are generated by a Fraunhofer HHI technology,” adds Dr. Detlev Marpe, head of the Video Coding and Analytics department at Fraunhofer HHI.

“H.266 with around 50% improved data requirements will benefit the large numbers of mobile and streaming service users” notes Alistair Washbourn, Commercial Director at ELEMENTS adding “Also relevant are the editors and production staff currently using H.265 in browser orientated proxy and cloud based workflows who are now remote working and may well be into the future.  50% improvement translates directly into usability and time saved whilst reducing service costs.

Jon Creamer