H.264/MPEG4-AVC

H.264/MPEG-4 AVC is a video coding standard that was developed by the Joint Video Team (JVT) of the ITU-T Visual Coding Experts Group (VCEG) and the ISO/IEC Moving Pictures Experts Group (MPEG). Today the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC standard is used in more than 1 billion devices.

The work on H.264/MPEG-4 was split into 4 phases:

  • Phase 1: Development of the first H.264/MPEG-4 AVC version:
    Specification of the Baseline, Main, and Extended profiles,
    December 2001 – May 2003.
  • Phase 2: Development of Fidelity Range Extension (FRExt):
    Specification of the High profile and professional profiles,
    June 2003 – October 2004.
  • Phase 3: Extension for Scalable Video Coding (SVC):
    Specification of the Scalable Baseline, Scalable High, and Scalable High Intra profiles,
    November 2005 – July 2007.
  • Phase 4: Extension for Multiview Video Coding (MVC):
    Specification of the Stereo High and Multiview High profiles,
    July 2006 – March 2009.

Contributions of the Image & Video Coding Group

The Image and Video Coding Group contributed actively to all phases of the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC development.

In phase 1 (first version of H.264/MPEG-4 AVC), the Image and Video Coding Group contributed:

In phase 2 (fidelity range extension), the Image and Video Coding Group contributed:

  • Base model for the development of the High profile
  • Design for supporting 8×8 transforms
  • Design for 8×8 intra prediction

In phase 3 (Scalable Video Coding, SVC), the Image and Video Coding Group contributed:

In phase 4 (Multiview Coding, MVC), the Image and Video Coding Group contributed in collaboration with the 3D Coding Group:

  • The first model for MVC that became that first Working Draft and has remained almost unchanged (only additional high-level signaling concepts have been included)

Administrative Support

In all phases the Image and Video Coding Group was involved in the administration of the JVT standardization in various ways:

  • Thomas Wiegand has been appointed as Co-Chair and Editor of the JVT project.
  • Detlev Marpe has been appointed as Editor for phase 2.
  • Heiko Schwarz has been appointed as Editor starting with phase 3 of the standardization and as Coordinator for the SVC reference software.
  • Karsten Sühring has been appointed as Coordinator for the JM reference software.