As an IT specialist, it is crucial to stay updated with current advancements in every technological field. Video compression is one of the areas showing rapid and continual growth in recent years.
Video compression, or video coding, is the process of reducing and eliminating unnecessary video data so that the digital video file can be effectively stored or transmitted. With increasing consumption of online video content, and the emergence of 4K, 8K, and VR/360-degree videos, the demand for more efficient and advanced video compression technologies is skyrocketing. This article explores some of the latest and most promising video compression technologies.
High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), also known as H.265, is a video compression standard designed to substantially improve coding efficiency compared to its predecessor, AVC (H.264):
- HEVC offers around twice the data compression ratio at the same level of video quality
- Alternatively, it can offer substantially improved video quality at the same bit rate.
However, as a more complex standard, the cost of encoding and decoding also increases.
AV1 is an open, royalty-free video coding format designed for video transmissions over the internet. It is developed by the Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia) and is currently being promoted as a successor to VP9 and HEVC.
- AV1 claims to improve coding efficiency by 20% over HEVC and VP9.
- AV1 is optimized for real-time web video applications, and other commercial and non-commercial applications.
However, similar to HEVC, AV1 also requires increased computing power for video coding and decoding.
Versatile Video Coding (VVC), or H.266, is the latest video compression standard developed by the Joint Video Experts Team (JVET). It is considered the true successor to H.265/HEVC:
- VVC is designed to achieve a significant improvement in compression efficiency over HEVC, primarily for Ultra High Definition (UHD) video applications.
- VVC provides 30% to 50% better data compression than its predecessor at the same level of video quality.
Similarly, VVC also has higher computational requirements.
The Role of AI and Machine Learning
AI and Machine Learning are opening new doors in the field of video compression:
- They are being used to develop algorithms that can dynamically adjust the quality of a video based on network conditions and device capabilities.
- Such technologies can enhance traditional video coding techniques, providing better video quality at lower bit rates.
The integration of AI and Machine Learning has the potential to revolutionize the field of video compression in the coming years.
Edge Computing for Video Compression
Edge computing is the practice of processing data near the edge of your network, where the data is being generated, rather than in a centralized data-processing warehouse.
- It’s contributing significantly to video compression technology, enabling optimized streaming for real-time applications like gaming and online broadcasting.
- Edge computing can improve network speed and connectivity, reducing network latency and improving the quality of streaming services.
Essential Video Coding (EVC) is another video coding standard that is being developed by MPEG. It has a two-layer structure: a base layer and an enhancement layer. The base layer provides a level of performance comparable to the previous coding standards, while the enhancement layer provides additional tools to improve compression performance.
Although these new technologies are promising, they have their own challenges including higher computational complexity and licensing issues. However, with the increasing demand for higher quality and lower latency video content, these advanced compression technologies are expected to play a crucial role in the future of video services.