The world wants more video - Versatile Video Coding is the answer
Over the past couple of weeks, the world held its breath as NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover explored the surface of the Red Planet. The next-generation engineering camera imaging system attached to the rover has been transmitting images and video clips and for the first time in history, people have had the opportunity to get a real-life glimpse of what it’s like to be on Mars.
Meanwhile, back here on Earth, in a world where social distancing is the new normal, and most meetings and family gatherings take place virtually, video constitutes about three-quarters of Internet and mobile network traffic. The total amount of video traffic is set to rise rapidly driven by an ever-increasing number of connected video-enabled devices, higher resolution video content, and new types of video services. The growth in video traffic during the COVID pandemic over the last year has also highlighted the need for improved video compression, as major streaming service providers were forced to reduce bitrates in order to avoid network congestion.
The growth in video traffic during the COVID pandemic has highlighted the need for improved video compression.
The Versatile Video Coding standard is a perfect companion to 5G
The Versatile Video Coding (VVC/H.266) standard, developed through collaborative standardization efforts and finalized in July 2020 is the answer. The standard is superior in compression, dropping bitrate needs to half when compared to the previous video codec generation without reducing quality. And it is more flexible for different types of emerging video services, such as game streaming and immersive VR, 360-degree video streaming.
5G network technology will provide far lower end-to-end latency, enabling new types of video services, including cloud gaming as well as remote-operated machines and vehicles. But low delay won't be achieved unless video coding also enables it. VVC/H.266 is a perfect companion to 5G, thanks to its unique features that support low end-to-end latency, and together the two will enable a new era of video-based applications.
New video coding technology enables very low latency as well as compression without reducing quality.
Delivering video over networks is a joint effort
Nokia has been a major contributor to the long-term development of video and multimedia standardization, including VVC/H.266 and its predecessors. Over the past 30 years we have made significant contributions to the standardization of market-adopted voice & audio and video codecs.
In January 2021, The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) awarded a Technology & Engineering Emmy® Award to the standardization of the ISO Base Media File Format (ISOBMFF), which is the underlying format for the .mp4 files supported by virtually all consumer electronics devices. This was the fourth time Nokia’s work in the field of video research and standardization has had significant impacts on standards recognized with this prestigious award. The previous three awards were granted for the standardization of video codecs AVC/H.264 and HEVC/H.265.
All these different technologies play a vital role in delivering video over networks. Without them you wouldn’t be able to make video calls or stream movies in your own home. Most social media platforms would not exist. We would not know what the surface of Mars looks like.