April 17, 2024

AVC Market Analysis and Forecast: An overall examination of the AVC market

Advanced Video Coding (AVC), also referred to as H.264 or MPEG-4 Part 10, is a video compression standard that was developed collaboratively between the ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) and the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG). Since its official release in May 2003, AVC has been adopted as the standard for recording high-definition video content, streaming and storage applications.

History and Development

The development of AVC began in 2001 by the Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) and the Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG), which was chartered by the International Standards Organization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to work on the development of standards for digital video compression and coding. After extensive research, field tests and iterations over a period of two years, the final AVC standard was officially released in May 2003.

AVC was jointly developed as a solution that aimed to achieve twice the compression capabilities of preceding video compression standards like MPEG-2 and H.263 without compromising on quality. This made it highly suitable for applications that involved transmitting high-definition video content over narrower bandwidths. Some of the new tools and techniques incorporated in AVC included integer transform, in-loop deblocking filter, smaller block-based motion compensation etc.

Compression Techniques

Some of the key compression techniques used in AVC that helps it achieve higher compression ratios than preceding standards include:

– Variable block-size motion compensation with quarter-pixel precision: AVC allows using smaller block sizes for motion compensation down to 16×16 pixels along with fractional pixel motion vectors with quarter pixel precision. This improves inter prediction.

– In-loop deblocking filter: Controlling blocking artifacts in the coded video is important for better visual quality. AVC incorporates an adaptive in-loop deblocking filter which removes blockiness while encoding and decoding.

– Smaller transform sizes: AVC uses 4×4 and 8×8 transform sizes rather than just 16×16 as used earlier. Smaller sizes capture details and edge information better while providing additional flexibility.

– CABAC entropy coding: Context-based Adaptive Binary Arithmetic Coding (CABAC) provides superior entropy compression and is used instead of CAVLC in high profile applications.

– Reduced reference frames: Only one reference frame is used for long-term prediction rather than multiple frames as in prior standards, improving coding efficiency.

Adoption and Applications

Since its inception, AVC has been widely adopted as the video compression standard for a range of applications. It has become the most commonly used format for recording, compression, and distribution of high-definition video content. AVC is used for:

– HD video recording and production: Digital cinema, HD video cameras, Blu-ray Disc, HDTV broadcasting
– IPTV and Video streaming: Over-the-top (OTT) media services, online streaming portals
– Video conferencing: Commercial and residential applications
– Mobile video: 3G/4G mobile TV, mobile multimedia messaging
– Surveillance camera recording: IP-based security camera installations
– Medical imaging equipment: X-ray, MRI, ultrasound devices

Future Advancements

Although AVC represents a significant improvement in video compression capabilities, continued research aims to enable even higher resolutions and data rates for applications like ultra-high definition video. The standard is being further developed through amendments:

– Multiview Video Coding (MVC): Supports stereoscopic 3D video and free viewpoint television.
– Scalable Video Coding (SVC): Provides additional temporal, spatial and quality scalability.
– High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC/H.265): Achieves around 50% better compression than AVC for an equivalent visual quality.

Conclusion

As a universally adopted standard developed through collaboration between VCEG and MPEG, Advanced Video Coding (AVC) revolutionized digital video delivery and enabled the proliferation of HD video. Its widespread integration across industries underscores its success as a solution that fulfilled the twin objectives of maintaining quality while optimizing bandwidth usage. Further advancements are expected to build on AVC’s capabilities for emerging application domains as well.

*Note:
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it