August 21, 2023

Fraunhofer HHI and Electronic Team demonstrate how VVC technology provides a greatly enhanced multimedia experience

August 21, 2023

Using the Fraunhofer Versatile Video Decoder (VVdeC), Electronic Team, Inc. has introduced H.266/VVC Codec support to its popular Elmedia Player. The free media player for macOS is the first to natively support the playback of video encoded with the most recent and most efficient video coding standard Versatile Video Coding (VVC). VVdeC was developed at the “Video Communication and Applications” department of Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institut (HHI).

Fraunhofer HHI and Electronic Team, Inc. successfully collaborated to implement native support for the H.266/VVC standard in the latest release of the Elmedia player. Integrating Fraunhofer HHI’s VVC decoder VVdeC, Elmedia Player now allows VVC playback up to 8K. The player is optimized for ARM-based M1/M2 processors found in all new Apple computers. It enables smooth decoding of VVC-encoded videos up to 4K on Mac Laptops and up to 8K on more powerful Mac Desktops. 

“We are delighted with this collaboration and invite other media player developers to make use of our open-source VVC software implementations as well”, says Benjamin Bross, head of the “Video Coding Systems“ group at Fraunhofer HHI. “Employing H.266/VVC allows for a significant bitrate reduction without quality loss, resulting in more efficient use of network or storage capacity. Such reductions are crucial if we want to enable better multimedia experience”, adds Adam Wieckowski, co-head of the “Video Coding Systems“ group.

Considering that the first edition of the H.266/VVC standard was already approved three years ago, its adoption and integration into products and services are currently gaining momentum. “We believe that our VVC software decoder VVdeC along with the Elmedia Player will help accelerate the adoption of VVC by providing first-hand experience of its striking benefits”, says Dr. Detlev Marpe, head of the “Video Communication and Applications” department at Fraunhofer HHI. 

The Fraunhofer HHI team will show its VVC-related updates at the International Broadcast Convention (IBC) in Amsterdam from 15 to 18 September. Specifically, visitors will get the chance to see a playback of a VVC encoded 8K HDR video content on an Apple Mac Studio with an M2 Processor connected to an 8K OLED TV. The content was encoded with VVC using the open and optimized Versatile Video Encoder (VVenC), also developed by Fraunhofer HHI.

The new version of Elmedia Player for Mac with H.266/VVC codec support and other improvements is available for download. The basic version is free of charge.