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ITU completes HEVC specification

ITU reports that the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) specification has now been completed. HEVC received Consent at the January 2013 meeting of ITU-T SG16, and is currently also undergoing final approval in ISO/IEC JTC1/SC29/WG11 (MPEG). After final approval (expected no later than Spring 2013), the formal reference to the joint HEVC standard will be Rec. ITU-T H.265 | ISO/IEC 23008-2.

The HEVC specification is considered to be a major milestone in the development of video coding standards. It is the latest in a series of very successful such international standards, and is the direct successor to Rec. ITU-T H.264 | ISO/IEC 14496-10 Advanced Video Coding (AVC). It has been estimated that HEVC is capable of providing a similar quality at half the bit rate or less when compared to typical implementations of previous standards such as AVC. The performance of HEVC is believed to be particularly compelling at higher resolutions, and thus particularly relevant to applications that utilize HD and higher-resolution video formats such as 4K and 8K UHD.

Significant attention was paid to implementation issues such as parallel processing during the development of HEVC, so that the specification lends itself readily to implementation using current and forthcoming architectures.

The HEVC specification includes a “Main” profile that supports 8-bit 4:2:0 video, a “Main 10” profile with 10-bit support, and a “Main Still Picture” profile for still image coding that employs the same coding tools as a video ‘intra’ picture of the Main profile.

(ITU Report)