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Nokia inventors celebrate Technology & Engineering Emmy® Awards

Nokia inventors celebrate Technology & Engineering Emmy® Awards

On November 4th, 2021, The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) held the 72nd Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy® Awards ceremony in honor of companies, organizations and individuals who have contributed to breakthroughs in broadcasting technologies. 

The File Format Subgroup of the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) was one of the winners of this prestigious award granted for the standardization of the ISO Base Media File Format (ISOBMFF), which is a globally adopted standard for media storage and streaming. Nokia was one of three companies to receive an Emmy statuette in recognition of our extensive contribution to the development of this multimedia standard over the past 20 years. We were delighted to receive it just a few days ago.

The winning team from left to right: Emre Aksu, Miska Hannuksela and Kashyap Kammachi Sreedhar

The winning team from left to right: Emre Aksu, Miska Hannuksela and Kashyap Kammachi Sreedhar

The ISOBMFF contains structural and media data information for timed presentations of audio and video files and is used as the basis for other media file formats. Its most common applications include recording video to a file and playback of a file both locally and while streaming over networks. Files with .mp4 file extension adhere the ISOBMFF. It is also capable of storing non-timed items, such as still images, into a file. The High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF), which is used in modern camera devices and applications, is derived from the ISOBMFF.  

Nokia’s inventors recognized with a total of eight Emmy® Awards

ISOBMFF is also pivotal in HTTP-based streaming, which was just last month awarded at the 73rd Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy® Awards ceremony. Nokia has been an active contributor in the standardization groups that achieved this recognition, namely MPEG and the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). This is the eighth time Nokia’s inventors have been recognized with an Emmy® Award. 

Five of the eight have been received for our work with our partners in the field of video research and standardization. The first three awards were granted for the standardization of the Advanced Video Coding (AVC/H.264) and High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC/H.265) standards. 

Nokia’s decades-long commitment to the development of ISOBMFF

Nokia has played an essential role in shaping the ISO Base Media File Format, contributing to a multitude of its key features. For example, as part of the MPEG File Format Subgroup we introduced an entity grouping mechanism to gather timed tracks and untimed items and to provide properties for such a group. This extensible mechanism has been widely deployed for various purposes. For instance, a still image and a short video clip that are captured at the same time can be grouped in a file to serve as alternative entities to display. This entity group can indicate a preference to display the video clip, but if the displaying device is not capable of video decoding, the entity group allows the device to display the still image instead of an empty screen. 

The full capacity of the Advanced Video Coding (AVC), the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), and the Versatile Video Coding (VVC) standards is unleashed in applications through specific features in the ISOBMFF. Nokia has been a leader in developing the specifications to map AVC, HEVC, and VVC video in the ISOBMFF. 

The VVC standard, for example, provides a unique feature known as subpictures, which is suitable for adaptive bandwidth-efficient delivery of immersive extended reality video, bringing the mainstream adoption of 360° video another step closer. Nokia was a driving force in specifying subpicture support for the ISOBMFF mapping of the VVC standard.

The fact that both the file format and the HTTP-based streaming technology were awarded makes me especially happy, because both of these technologies play a vital role in delivering video over networks. Without them you wouldn’t be able to stream videos over the Internet into your own home. 

Miska Hannuksela

About Miska Hannuksela

Miska Hannuksela, (M.Sc., Dr. Tech), is the Head of Video Research at Nokia Technologies and a Nokia Bell Labs Fellow. He is an internationally acclaimed expert in video and image compression and end-to-end multimedia systems.

Connect with Miska on LinkedIn

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