LCEVC (Low Complexity Enhancement Video Coding) is a low-complexity encoder/decoder is in the process of standardisation as MPEG-5 Part 2. Instead of being an entirely new codec, LCEVC improves detail and sharpness of any base video codec (e.g., AVC, HEVC, AV1, EVC or VVC) while lowering the overall computational complexity expanding the range of devices that can access high quality and/or low-bitrate video.
The idea is to use a base codec at lower resolution and add additional layer of encoded residuals to correct artifacts. Details are encoded with directional decomposition transform using a very small matrix (2×2 or 4×4) which is efficient at preserving high frequencies. As LCEVC uses parallelized techniques to reconstruct the target resolution, it encodes video faster than a full resolution base encoder.
LCEVC allows for enhancement layers to be added on top of existing bitstreams, so for example UHD resolution can be used where only HD was possible before thanks to sharing decoding between the ASIC and CPU. LCEVC can be decoded via light software processing, and even via HTML5.
In this presentation Guido Meardi from V-Nova introduces LCEVC and answers a few imporant question including: is it suitable for very high quality / bitrates compression and will it work with future codecs. He also shows performance data and benchmarks for live and VoD streaming, illustrating the compression quality and encoding complexity benefits achievable with LCEVC as an enhancement to H.264, HEVC and AV1.
The MPEG-5: Essential Video Codec (EVC) promises to do what no MPEG standard has done before, deliver great improvements in compression and give assurances over patents. With a novel standardisation process, EVC provides a royalty-free base layer plus licensing details are provided upfront.
SMPTE 2019 saw Jonatan Samuelson take us through the details. Founder of Divideon and an editor of the evolving standard. Jonatan starts by explaining the codec landscape in terms of the new and recent codecs coming online showing how EVC differs including from it’s sister codec, VVC in parallel with which EVC is being developed.
Jonatan explains how the patents are being dealt with, comparing to HEVC, he shows that there is a much more simplified range of patent holders. But importantly, the codec has very granular tools to turn on and off separate tools so that you can exclude any that you don’t wish to use for licensing reasons. This is the first time this level of control has been possible. Along with the royalty-free base layer, this codec hopes to provide companies the control they need in order to safely use the codec with predictable costs and without legal challenges.
Target applications for EVC are realtime encoding, video conferencing but also newer ’emerging’ video formats such as 8K with HDR & WCG. To do this, Jonatan explains the different blocks that create the codec itself ahead of walking us through the results.
AV1 and VVC are both new codecs on the scene. Codecs touch our lives every day both at work and at home. They are the only way that anyone receives audio and video online and television. So all together they’re pretty important and finding better ones generates a lot of opinion.
So what are AV1 and VVC? VVC is one of the newest codecs on the block and is undergoing standardisation in MPEG. VVC builds on the technologies standardised by HEVC but adds many new coding tools. The standard is likely to enter draft phase before the end of 2019 resulting in it being officially standardised around a year later. For more info on VVC, check out Bitmovin’s VVC intro from Demuxed
AV1 is a new but increasingly known codec, famous for being royalty free and backed by Netflix, Apple and many other big hyper scale players. There have been reports that though there is no royalty levied on it, patent holders have still approached big manufacturers to discuss financial reimbursement so its ‘free’ status is a matter of debate. Whilst there is a patent defence programme, it is not known if it’s sufficient to insulate larger players. Much further on than VVC, AV1 has already had a code freeze and companies such as Bitmovin have been working hard to reduce the encode times – widely known to be very long – and create live services.
Here, Christian Feldmann from Bitmovin gives us the latest status on AV1 and VVC. Christian discusses AV1’s tools before discussing VVC’s tools pointing out the similarities that exist. Whilst AV1 is being supported in well known browsers, VVC is at the beginning.
There’s a look at the licensing status of each codec before a look at EVC – which stands for Essential Video Coding. This has a royalty free baseline profile so is of interest to many. Christian shares results from a Technicolor experiment.
There are a lot of codecs both new and old that are in use or vying to be the next big thing. Tom Vaughan helps us see what they really can achieve and where each one is useful.
Recorded at San Francisco Video Tech Meetup in September, this video starts with a look at a the ‘hype cycle’. Tom places each codec, from MPEG 2 to VVC on the curve before looking at what the barriers to adoption are.
Tom then looks at HEVC discussing which devices can receive it, which can create it, the streaming services which support it and where adoption is likely to be. Finally, HEVC discussion is complete without a look at the HEVC patent landscape Venn diagram.
The focus then shifts to the Alliance for Open Media and their AV1 codec, its patent status and technical progress to date. He then discusses the performance of AV1, HEVC and Beamr against each other.
Almost brand new out of the starting blocks is VVC from MPEG and the Media Coding Industry Forum (MC-IF). Tom explains the aims of the forum and the VVC codec they are creating before taking questions from the floor.