After several years of research and development, Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute on Tuesday announced the official release of the new video codec standard — H.266/Versatile Video Codec (VCC). The new standard offers improved compression, reducing data requirements by around 50% without decreasing the video quality, as compared to the previous standard H.265/High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC).
With over 80% of the global Internet traffic comprising of video data, video compression comes in handy, offering smooth video streaming along with lowering the server load. H.266/VVC offers massive improvements over H.265/HEVC, for instance, HEVC requires 10 gigabytes of data to transmit a 90-min UHD video. With this new technology, only 5 gigabytes of data is required to achieve the same quality.
New video codec offers major advantages
The new codec is built for the next generation of video streaming. It can handle anything from SD to 8K as well as 360° videos, all with HDR. It’ll allow users to store more high-definition video and reduce the amount of data on cellular networks. The new codec will offer improvements in situations like Cloud Gaming, VOD, etc. Moreover, the incident where companies had to lower the quality of streaming due to everyone stuck at home will not an issue anymore.
Of course, it will still take years for consumer-facing devices and platforms to support H.266/VCC. As for the previous codec H.265/HEVC, it was completed in January 2013 but was supported by Apple’s iOS 11 in 2017. Google still doesn’t support HEVC out-of-the-box, instead, they use their own AV1 codec. On Android devices, you need to download third-party apps for playing HEVC videos.
The new H.266/VCC codec will be available for companies under a uniform and transparent licensing model based on the FRAND principle. The first software (for both encoder and decoder) to support H.266/VVC will be released later this year.