As demand for high-quality video continues to rapidly rise with the popularity of streaming services, social media video and user generated content, analysts at Verified Market Research project that the market for video encoding technology will reach $3.1 billion by the end of the decade, growing at a steady CAGR of 5.31%.
We sat down with Justin Ridge, president of the Media Coding Industry Forum (MC-IF) and principal engineer at Nokia’s Multimedia Research and Standardization unit, to learn more about how video experiences are evolving. This is what he had to say:
Q: What is the mission of MC-IF, how has that mission evolved over the past few years, and what can we expect to see from the forum in 2024?
Ridge: The mission of MC-IF (Media Coding Industry Forum) is to promote technologies developed by MPEG. Over the past few years, MC-IF has focused on the deployment of VVC (Versatile Video Coding), a video codec that offers improved coding efficiency and versatility for a wide range of applications.
The adoption of VVC has significant business and economic implications for many different sectors of the economy. It introduces exciting opportunities to improve efficiency and performance while also creating new revenue streams for broadcasters, over-the-top service providers and other industries that depend on high-quality video to generate value. MC-IF is working to bring VVC to market by developing guidelines, increasing visibility, and showcasing interoperability at industry events.
In 2023, MC-IF released broadcast and streaming guidelines, which have been well-received.
For 2024, we want to build on the momentum we have established and reach out to a wider community of interest. Streaming service providers, consumer electronics companies, and emerging players — such as those working with drone technologies and security cameras — are among the audiences that we are reaching out to join MC-IF and contribute to the advancement of video codecs.
Q: Why is VVC an important encoding technology for the industry as a whole?
Ridge: VVC improves coding efficiency, allowing smaller file sizes to deliver the same video quality as those that require significantly more resources in terms of storage and bandwidth. It is designed to handle a wide range of applications and has attracted participants from various industries – such as digital entertainment, manufacturing, and logistics and other emerging areas of emerging technology.
In 2023, VVC was approved by a number of standards bodies — including SBTVD, DVB, SCTE and ATSC (where it is in-progress). This is important because, even though we are in the early stages of VVC adoption, these approvals create momentum for deployment. As a result, we expect VVC to be incorporated into a growing number of mobile devices and consumer electronics — especially smart TVs — in 2024. After that, we anticipate it to permeate into other areas, such as surveillance and security, in devices like drones and security cameras.
Q: How does VVC distinguish itself from alternatives in the market?
Ridge: VVC sets itself apart from legacy encoding technologies — and even current encoding alternatives — in several ways:
- Improved Coding Efficiency: VVC offers superior coding efficiency compared to previous generations of video codecs.
- Versatility: As the name suggests, VVC is designed to handle a wide range of applications. It incorporates various tools and features that make it suitable for different types of video content, such as HDR, 360-degree immersive video, and screen content.
- Open and Rigorous Development Process: VVC was developed through an open and rigorous process involving hundreds of technology experts. The contributions and specifications are subject to thorough public testing and validation processes. This ensures that VVC is reliable, robust, and suitable for large-scale deployments.
- Compatibility and Interoperability: VVC builds upon previous generations of video codecs. As a result, it shares similar architecture and tools with earlier MPEG codecs, accelerating hardware implementation and mitigating complexity while still creating eye-popping performance gains. This allows for a smooth transition and integration into existing ecosystems and workflows. It also enables interoperability between different products and devices.
Overall, VVC’s combination of improved coding efficiency, versatility, open development process, and compatibility make it a compelling choice for various industries and applications in the digital video space.
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