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Introduction to the special section on the HEVC standard

: Ohm, J.-R.


IEEE transactions on circuits and systems for video technology 22 (2012), Nr.12, S.1647-1648
ISSN: 1051-8215
ISSN: 1558-2205
Fraunhofer HHI ()

Video compression, as typified by international video coding standards such as H.261, MPEG-1, H.262/MPEG-2 Part 2, H.263, MPEG-4 Part 2, and H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, has grown steadily more prominent and powerful since its infancy. Reducing the bit rate required for a given subjective reproduction quality remains one of the most challenging tasks in signal processing. The task keeps on evolving by the steady increase of picture resolution and frame rate of the video signal. Moreover, video applications have expanded over the last decade from television to notebooks, smartphones, tablets, and beyond-even expanding from 2-D into stereoscopic 3-D, with autostereoscopic 3-D starting to emerge from research laboratories worldwide. Video-based applications have experienced a relentless expansion of use, along with increased quality demands-with a progression from standard definition into high definition (HD), ultra-high definition, and beyond. This special section presents a new technology developed to respond to this daunting challenge. High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) is the next generation of compression standard. For those considering the use of HEVC in real-world products and applications, three questions are of fundamental importance. 1) What are its key technical design elements and how do they work? 2) How good is its compression capability? 3) How hard is it to implement? We have constructed this special section with one paper to answer each of these three questions.