New H.266/VVC Codec Aims to Cut File Sizes in Half

H.266 / VVC will arrive with big promises.

No film school has introduced three new codecs that would appear this year, including Versatile Video Coding or H.266 / VVC. Fraunhofer HHI, the German company behind the development of H.264 and H.265 / HEVC, has officially announced the new standard, which is to reduce data requirements by 50% compared to H.265 / HEVC.

The new standard was developed together with the industrial partners Apple, Ericsson, Intel, Huawei, Microsoft, Qualcomm and Sony and improves the compression rates without compromising on quality. The transmission rates were specially developed and halved for 4K and 8K streaming videos, which significantly improved the viewing experience. According to Fraunhofer, H.265 / HEVC required 10 GB for a 90-minute 4K UHD video. H.266 / VCC only needs 5 GB.

Once implemented, the new H.266 standard improves areas with slower data rates so that films and shows can be streamed effortlessly on Disney +, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and others. Mobile devices also benefit from the fact that less data is used to transmit videos or to play films. The file size is reduced by half, saving valuable space on memory cards and drives.

It is important to point out how it is licensed. The first version of H.265 / HEVC was released in 2013 and implementation was slow due to complex licenses. H.266 / VCC wants to avoid the problem, and Fraunhofer says it has created a "unified and transparent licensing model" that forms the Media Coding Industry Forum (MC-IF), which is made up of over 30 companies and organizations to do this Problem solving licensing.

Although the codec requires new chips, according to Fraunhofer they are already being developed. Expect the first software to encode and decode the codec in the fall. We have to wait and see whether companies implement H.266 / VCC in cameras or whether it is primarily a delivery codec.


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