May 23, 2014

Another prestigious award: efficient video compression

In 2013, approximately 2 sextillion bytes worth of data was saved worldwide. More than half of this data is video data, which often is intended to be portrayed free of interference to a number of users simultaneously, via various different devices. At the same time, the intervals between the introduction of new transmission and playback formats, for example autostereoscopic 3D or 4K, are becoming shorter all the time.

This places the highest possible demands and expectations on the development of efficient compression procedures and codecs. The innovative solutions in this area were developed by the HHI work group “Image & Video Coding” together with international partners. The HHI team played a significant role in the development and establishment of the video compression standard H.264/MPEG-AVC, which is now a recognised norm and is used in over a billion devices with video functions worldwide. 

The HHI working group also played a major role in the development of the new standard, H.265/MPEG-HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding), which allows double the compression that was possible with the former H.264/AVC standard, without loss of quality. This technology enables a wide range of possibilities for streaming of high-quality content via Internet with resolutions of up to 8K UHD at low data volumes. 

Thomas Wiegand, Heiko Schwarz and Detlev Marpe’s team has already been awarded many highly prestigious prizes for their work on high performance video compression processes. The most recent, the FKTG Richard Theile Medal, was handed over to Prof. Thomas Wiegand at the recent FKTG Professional Symposium 2014 in Cologne.

The Richard Theile Medal appreciates outstanding achievements in the areas of television. Former recipients of the medal, which was first awarded in 1975, are Prof. Walter Bruch, inventor of the PAL colour television system and Manfred von Ardenne, developer of the first electronic television system.