Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute has announced the next generation of video compression standard called VVC (Versatile Video Coding). Also known as H.266, it’s the successor to the currently popular format H.265 (HEVC) which is widely used to compress multimedia content.
In addition to Fraunhofer HHI, various tech giants, including Apple, Sony, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Intel, etc., have also contributed to the development of VVC that started in 2015.
For the uninitiated, almost every video that you’ll find on the internet and locally is compressed using some codec. And right now, almost 80% of the internet traffic is courtesy of compressed videos you find on sites like YouTube, or elsewhere.
The latest video compression standard VVC cuts the file size to nearly half of what you get with HEVC. For instance, a 90-minute UHD video compressed with HEVC would take around 10GB of data to transmit. In comparison, a 90-minute video that uses VVC for compression would take just around 5GB without compromising the quality.
In other words, VVC (H.266) can make it faster and cheaper to transfer high-quality video content, especially on mobile networks or areas where the internet isn’t fast enough — not to mention storage space it would save on the hard drive.
Also, not just for UHD, the new VVC compression would reduce the storage footprint for all sorts of video content, including SD, HDR, and the modern 360 videos.
So, can I use VVC right now?
The answer is ‘No’ as most of the development is currently on paper. In fact, the chips that will be used decode VVC videos on devices are currently being designed.
As per the press release, Fraunhofer will publish the first software for both the encoder and decoder that is required to use VVC (H.266) sometime in the autumn later this year.
Furthermore, the Media Coding Industry Forum (MC-IF) has been founded to take care of the licensing part. Currently, it includes more than 30 companies and organizations.