H.266/VVC is set to arrive with big promises.
No Film School detailed three new codecs that would surface this year, including Versatile Video Coding or H.266/VVC. Fraunhofer HHI, the German company behind the development of H.264 and H.265/HEVC has officially announced the new standard that's expected to reduce data requirements by 50% compared to H.265/HEVC.
Developed alongside industry partners Apple, Ericsson, Intel, Huawei, Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Sony, the new standard improves compression rates without compromising quality. Designed specifically for 4K and 8K streaming video, transfer rates have been cut in half, greatly improving the viewing experience. Fraunhofer says with H.265/HEVC, a 90-minute 4K UHD video required 10GB. H.266/VCC only requires 5GB.
Once implemented, the new H.266 standard will improve areas with slower data rates, allowing movies and shows found on Disney+, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and others to stream effortlessly. Mobile devices will benefit as well, using less data to transfer video or play movies. File sizes will be reduced by half saving valuable storage space on memory cards and drives.
The important thing to point out is how it will be licensed. The first version of H.265/HEVC was published in 2013 and the implementation has been slow because of complex licensing. H.266/VCC wants to avoid the issue, and Fraunhofer says it has created a "uniform and transparent licensing model," forming the Media Coding Industry Forum (MC-IF), which is comprised of over 30 companies and organizations to provide the licensing.
Though the codec requires new chips, Fraunhofer says, they are already being designed. Expect the first software to encode and decode the codec to arrive this fall. Whether or not companies will implement H.266/VCC into cameras, or if it will primarily remain a delivery codec, we'll have to wait and see.