JPEG Column: 84th JPEG Meeting in Brussels, Belgium

The 84th JPEG meeting was held in Brussels, Belgium.

This meeting was characterised by significant progress in most of JPEG projects and also exploratory studies. JPEG XL, the new image coding system, has issued the Committee Draft, giving shape to this new effective solution for the future of image coding. JPEG Pleno, the standard for new imaging technologies, Part 1 (Framework) and Part 2 (Light field coding) have also reached Draft International Standard status.

Moreover, exploration studies are ongoing in the domain of media blockchain and on the application of learning solutions for image coding (JPEG AI). Both have triggered a number of activities providing new knowledge and opening new possibilities on the future use of these technologies in future JPEG standards.

The 84th JPEG meeting had the following highlights: 84th meetingTE-66694113_10156591758739370_4025463063158194176_n

  • JPEG XL issues the Committee Draft
  • JPEG Pleno Part 1 and 2 reaches Draft International Standard status
  • JPEG AI defines Common Test Conditions
  • JPEG exploration studies on Media Blockchain
  • JPEG Systems –JLINK working draft
  • JPEG XS

In the following, a short description of the most significant activities is presented.

 

JPEG XL

The JPEG XL Image Coding System (ISO/IEC 18181) has completed the Committee Draft of the standard. The new coding technique allows storage of high-quality images at one-third the size of the legacy JPEG format. Moreover, JPEG XL can losslessly transcode existing JPEG images to about 80% of their original size simplifying interoperability and accelerating wider deployment.

The JPEG XL reference software, ready for mobile and desktop deployments, will be available in Q4 2019. The current contributors have committed to releasing it publicly under a royalty-free and open source license.

 

JPEG Pleno

A significant milestone has been reached during this meeting: the Draft International Standard (DIS) for both JPEG Pleno Part 1 (Framework) and Part 2 (Light field coding) have been completed. A draft architecture of the Reference Software (Part 4) and developments plans have been also discussed and defined.

In addition, JPEG has completed an in-depth analysis of existing point cloud coding solutions and a new version of the use-cases and requirements document has been released reflecting the future role of JPEG Pleno in point cloud compression. A new set of Common Test Conditions has been released as a guideline for the testing and evaluation of point cloud coding solutions with both a best practice subjective testing protocol and a set of objective metrics.

JPEG Pleno holography activities had significant advances on the definition of use cases and requirements, and description of Common Test Conditions. New quality assessment methodologies for holographic data defined in the framework of a collaboration between JPEG and Qualinet were established. Moreover, JPEG Pleno continues collecting microscopic and tomographic holographic data.

 

JPEG AI

The JPEG Committee continues to carry out exploration studies with deep learning-based image compression solutions, typically with an auto-encoder architecture. The promise that these types of codecs hold, especially in terms of coding efficiency, will be evaluated with several studies. In this meeting, a Common Test Conditions was produced, which includes a plan for subjective and objective quality assessment experiments as well as coding pipelines for anchor and learning-based codecs. Moreover, a JPEG AI dataset was proposed and discussed, and a double stimulus impairment scale experiment (side-by-side) was performed with a mix of experts and non-experts in a controlled environment.

 

JPEG exploration on Media Blockchain

Fake news, copyright violation, media forensics, privacy and security are emerging challenges in digital media. JPEG has determined that blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (DLT) have great potential as a technology component to address these challenges in transparent and trustable media transactions. However, blockchain and DLT need to be integrated closely with a widely adopted standard to ensure broad interoperability of protected images. JPEG calls for industry participation to help define use cases and requirements that will drive the standardization process. In order to clearly identify the impact of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies on JPEG standards, the committee has organised several workshops to interact with stakeholders in the domain.

The 4th public workshop on media blockchain was organized in Brussels on Tuesday the 16th of July 2019 during the 84th ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29/WG1 (JPEG) Meeting. The presentations and program of the workshop are available on jpeg.org.

The JPEG Committee has issued an updated version of the white paper entitled “Towards a Standardized Framework for Media Blockchain” that elaborates on the initiative, exploring relevant standardization activities, industrial needs and use cases.

To keep informed and to get involved in this activity, interested parties are invited to register to the ad hoc group’s mailing list.

 

JPEG Systems – JLINK

At the 84th meeting, IS text reviews for ISO/IEC 19566-5 JUMBF and ISO/IEC 19566-6 JPEG 360 were completed; IS publication will be forthcoming.  Work began on adding functionality to JUMBF, Privacy & Security, and JPEG 360; and initial planning towards developing software implementation of these parts of JPEG Systems specification.  Work also began on the new ISO/IEC 19566-7 Linked media images (JLINK) with development of a working draft.

 

JPEG XS

The JPEG Committee is pleased to announce new Core Experiments and Exploration Studies on compression of raw image sensor data. The JPEG XS project aims at the standardization of a visually lossless low-latency and lightweight compression scheme that can be used as a mezzanine codec in various markets. Video transport over professional video links (SDI, IP, Ethernet), real-time video storage in and outside of cameras, memory buffers, machine vision systems, and data compression onboard of autonomous vehicles are among the targeted use cases for raw image sensor compression. This new work on raw sensor data will pave the way towards highly efficient close-to-sensor image compression workflows with JPEG XS.

 

Final Quote

“Completion of the Committee Draft of JPEG XL, the new standard for image coding is an important milestone. It is hoped that JPEG XL can become an excellent replacement of the widely used JPEG format which has been in service for more than 25 years.” said Prof. Touradj Ebrahimi, the Convenor of the JPEG Committee.

About JPEG

The Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) is a Working Group of ISO/IEC, the International Organisation for Standardization / International Electrotechnical Commission, (ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29/WG 1) and of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU-T SG16), responsible for the popular JPEG, JPEG 2000, JPEG XR, JPSearch, JPEG XT and more recently, the JPEG XS, JPEG Systems, JPEG Pleno and JPEG XL families of imaging standards.

More information about JPEG and its work is available at www.jpeg.org.

Future JPEG meetings are planned as follows:

  • No 85, San Jose, California, U.S.A., November 2 to 8, 2019
  • No 86, Sydney, Australia, January 18 to 24, 2020

MPEG Column: 127th MPEG Meeting in Gothenburg, Sweden

The original blog post can be found at the Bitmovin Techblog and has been modified/updated here to focus on and highlight research aspects.

Plenary of the 127th MPEG Meeting in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Plenary of the 127th MPEG Meeting in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The 127th MPEG meeting concluded on July 12, 2019 in Gothenburg, Sweden with the following topics:

  • Versatile Video Coding (VVC) enters formal approval stage, experts predict 35-60% improvement over HEVC
  • Essential Video Coding (EVC) promoted to Committee Draft
  • Common Media Application Format (CMAF) 2nd edition promoted to Final Draft International Standard
  • Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH) 4th edition promoted to Final Draft International Standard
  • Carriage of Point Cloud Data Progresses to Committee Draft
  • JPEG XS carriage in MPEG-2 TS promoted to Final Draft Amendment of ISO/IEC 13818-1 7th edition
  • Genomic information representation – WG11 issues a joint call for proposals on genomic annotations in conjunction with ISO TC 276/WG 5
  • ISO/IEC 23005 (MPEG-V) 4th Edition – WG11 promotes the Fourth edition of two parts of “Media Context and Control” to the Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) stage

The corresponding press release of the 127th MPEG meeting can be found here: https://mpeg.chiariglione.org/meetings/127

Versatile Video Coding (VVC)

The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) is pleased to announce that Versatile Video Coding (VVC) progresses to Committee Draft, experts predict 35-60% improvement over HEVC.

The development of the next major generation of video coding standard has achieved excellent progress, such that MPEG has approved the Committee Draft (CD, i.e., the text for formal balloting in the ISO/IEC approval process).

The new VVC standard will be applicable to a very broad range of applications and it will also provide additional functionalities. VVC will provide a substantial improvement in coding efficiency relative to existing standards. The improvement in coding efficiency is expected to be quite substantial – e.g., in the range of 35–60% bit rate reduction relative to HEVC although it has not yet been formally measured. Relative to HEVC means for equivalent subjective video quality at picture resolutions such as 1080p HD or 4K or 8K UHD, either for standard dynamic range video or high dynamic range and wide color gamut content for levels of quality appropriate for use in consumer distribution services. The focus during the development of the standard has primarily been on 10-bit 4:2:0 content, and 4:4:4 chroma format will also be supported.

The VVC standard is being developed in the Joint Video Experts Team (JVET), a group established jointly by MPEG and the Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) of ITU-T Study Group 16. In addition to a text specification, the project also includes the development of reference software, a conformance testing suite, and a new standard ISO/IEC 23002-7 specifying supplemental enhancement information messages for coded video bitstreams. The approval process for ISO/IEC 23002-7 has also begun, with the issuance of a CD consideration ballot.

Research aspects: VVC represents the next generation video codec to be deployed in 2020+ and basically the same research aspects apply as for previous generations, i.e., coding efficiency, performance/complexity, and objective/subjective evaluation. Luckily, JVET documents are freely available including the actual standard (committee draft), software (and its description), and common test conditions. Thus, researcher utilizing these resources are able to conduct reproducible research when contributing their findings and code improvements back to the community at large. 

Essential Video Coding (EVC)

MPEG-5 Essential Video Coding (EVC) promoted to Committee Draft

Interestingly, at the same meeting as VVC, MPEG promoted MPEG-5 Essential Video Coding (EVC) to Committee Draft (CD). The goal of MPEG-5 EVC is to provide a standardized video coding solution to address business needs in some use cases, such as video streaming, where existing ISO video coding standards have not been as widely adopted as might be expected from their purely technical characteristics.

The MPEG-5 EVC standards includes a baseline profile that contains only technologies that are over 20 years old or are otherwise expected to be royalty-free. Additionally, a main profile adds a small number of additional tools, each providing significant performance gain. All main profile tools are capable of being individually switched off or individually switched over to a corresponding baseline tool. Organizations making proposals for the main profile have agreed to publish applicable licensing terms within two years of FDIS stage, either individually or as part of a patent pool.

Research aspects: Similar research aspects can be described for EVC and from a software engineering perspective it could be also interesting to further investigate this switching mechanism of individual tools or/and fall back option to baseline tools. Naturally, a comparison with next generation codecs such as VVC is interesting per se. The licensing aspects itself are probably interesting for other disciplines but that is another story…

Common Media Application Format (CMAF)

MPEG ratified the 2nd edition of the Common Media Application Format (CMAF)

The Common Media Application Format (CMAF) enables efficient encoding, storage, and delivery of digital media content (incl. audio, video, subtitles among others), which is key to scaling operations to support the rapid growth of video streaming over the internet. The CMAF standard is the result of widespread industry adoption of an application of MPEG technologies for adaptive video streaming over the Internet, and widespread industry participation in the MPEG process to standardize best practices within CMAF.

The 2nd edition of CMAF adds support for a number of specifications that were a result of significant industry interest. Those include

  • Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) multi-channel;
  • MPEG-H 3D Audio;
  • MPEG-D Unified Speech and Audio Coding (USAC);
  • Scalable High Efficiency Video Coding (SHVC);
  • IMSC 1.1 (Timed Text Markup Language Profiles for Internet Media Subtitles and Captions); and
  • additional HEVC video CMAF profiles and brands.

This edition also introduces CMAF supplemental data handling as well as new structural brands for CMAF that reflects the common practice of the significant deployment of CMAF in industry. Companies adopting CMAF technology will find the specifications introduced in the 2nd Edition particularly useful for further adoption and proliferation of CMAF in the market.

Research aspects: see below (DASH).

Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH)

MPEG approves the 4th edition of Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH)

The 4th edition of MPEG-DASH comprises the following features:

  • service description that is intended by the service provider on how the service is expected to be consumed;
  • a method to indicate the times corresponding to the production of associated media;
  • a mechanism to signal DASH profiles and features, employed codec and format profiles; and
  • supported protection schemes present in the Media Presentation Description (MPD).

It is expected that this edition will be published later this year. 

Research aspects: CMAF 2nd and DASH 4th edition come along with a rich feature set enabling a plethora of use cases. The underlying principles are still the same and research issues arise from updated application and service requirements with respect to content complexity, time aspects (mainly delay/latency), and quality of experience (QoE). The DASH-IF awards the excellence in DASH award at the ACM Multimedia Systems conference and an overview about its academic efforts can be found here.

Carriage of Point Cloud Data

MPEG progresses the Carriage of Point Cloud Data to Committee Draft

At its 127th meeting, MPEG has promoted the carriage of point cloud data to the Committee Draft stage, the first milestone of ISO standard development process. This standard is the first one introducing the support of volumetric media in the industry-famous ISO base media file format family of standards.

This standard supports the carriage of point cloud data comprising individually encoded video bitstreams within multiple file format tracks in order to support the intrinsic nature of the video-based point cloud compression (V-PCC). Additionally, it also allows the carriage of point cloud data in one file format track for applications requiring multiplexed content (i.e., the video bitstream of multiple components is interleaved into one bitstream).

This standard is expected to support efficient access and delivery of some portions of a point cloud object considering that in many cases that entire point cloud object may not be visible by the user depending on the viewing direction or location of the point cloud object relative to other objects. It is currently expected that the standard will reach its final milestone by the end of 2020.

Research aspects: MPEG’s Point Cloud Compression (PCC) comes in two flavors, video- and geometric-based but still requires to be packaged into file and delivery formats. MPEG’s choice here is the ISO base media file format and the efficient carriage of point cloud data is characterized by both functionality (i.e., enabling the required used cases) and performance (such as low overhead).

MPEG 2 Systems/Transport Stream

JPEG XS carriage in MPEG-2 TS promoted to Final Draft Amendment of ISO/IEC 13818-1 7th edition

At its 127th meeting, WG11 (MPEG) has extended ISO/IEC 13818-1 (MPEG-2 Systems) – in collaboration with WG1 (JPEG) – to support ISO/IEC 21122 (JPEG XS) in order to support industries using still image compression technologies for broadcasting infrastructures. The specification defines a JPEG XS elementary stream header and specifies how the JPEG XS video access unit (specified in ISO/IEC 21122-1) is put into a Packetized Elementary Stream (PES). Additionally, the specification also defines how the System Target Decoder (STD) model can be extended to support JPEG XS video elementary streams.

Genomic information representation

WG11 issues a joint call for proposals on genomic annotations in conjunction with ISO TC 276/WG 5

The introduction of high-throughput DNA sequencing has led to the generation of large quantities of genomic sequencing data that have to be stored, transferred and analyzed. So far WG 11 (MPEG) and ISO TC 276/WG 5 have addressed the representation, compression and transport of genome sequencing data by developing the ISO/IEC 23092 standard series also known as MPEG-G. They provide a file and transport format, compression technology, metadata specifications, protection support, and standard APIs for the access of sequencing data in the native compressed format.

An important element in the effective usage of sequencing data is the association of the data with the results of the analysis and annotations that are generated by processing pipelines and analysts. At the moment such association happens as a separate step, standard and effective ways of linking data and meta information derived from sequencing data are not available.

At its 127th meeting, MPEG and ISO TC 276/WG 5 issued a joint Call for Proposals (CfP) addressing the solution of such problem. The call seeks submissions of technologies that can provide efficient representation and compression solutions for the processing of genomic annotation data.

Companies and organizations are invited to submit proposals in response to this call. Responses are expected to be submitted by the 8th January 2020 and will be evaluated during the 129th WG 11 (MPEG) meeting. Detailed information, including how to respond to the call for proposals, the requirements that have to be considered, and the test data to be used, is reported in the documents N18648, N18647, and N18649 available at the 127th meeting website (http://mpeg.chiariglione.org/meetings/127). For any further question about the call, test conditions, required software or test sequences please contact: Joern Ostermann, MPEG Requirements Group Chair (ostermann@tnt.uni-hannover.de) or Martin Golebiewski, Convenor ISO TC 276/WG 5 (martin.golebiewski@h-its.org).

ISO/IEC 23005 (MPEG-V) 4th Edition

WG11 promotes the Fourth edition of two parts of “Media Context and Control” to the Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) stage

At its 127th meeting, WG11 (MPEG) promoted the 4th edition of two parts of ISO/IEC 23005 (MPEG-V; Media Context and Control) standards to the Final Draft International Standard (FDIS). The new edition of ISO/IEC 23005-1 (architecture) enables ten new use cases, which can be grouped into four categories: 3D printing, olfactory information in virtual worlds, virtual panoramic vision in car, and adaptive sound handling. The new edition of ISO/IEC 23005-7 (conformance and reference software) is updated to reflect the changes made by the introduction of new tools defined in other parts of ISO/IEC 23005. More information on MPEG-V and its parts 1-7 can be found at https://mpeg.chiariglione.org/standards/mpeg-v.


Finally, the unofficial highlight of the 127th MPEG meeting we certainly found while scanning the scene in Gothenburg on Tuesday night…

MPEG127_Metallica

JPEG Column: 83rd JPEG Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland

The 83rd JPEG meeting was held in Geneva, Switzerland.

The meeting was very dense due to the multiple activities taking place. Beyond the multiple standardization activities, like the new JPEG XL, JPEG Pleno, JPEG XS, HTJ2K or JPEG Systems, the 83rd JPEG meeting had the report and discussion of a new exploration study on the use of learning based methods applied to image coding, and two successful workshops, namely on digital holography applications and systems and the 3rd on media blockchain technology.

The new exploration study on the use of learning based methods applied to image coding was initiated at the previous 82nd JPEG meeting in Lisbon, Portugal. The initial approach provided very promising results and might establish a new alternative for future image representations.

The workshop on digital holography applications and systems, revealed the state of the art on industry applications and current technical solutions. It covered applications such as holographic microscopy, tomography, printing and display. Moreover, insights were provided on state-of-the-art holographic coding technologies and quality assessment procedures. The workshop allowed a very fruitful exchange of ideas between the different invited parties and JPEG experts.

The 3rd workshop of a series organized around media blockchain technology, had several talks were academia and industry shared their views on this emerging solution. The workshop ended with a panel where multiple questions were further elaborated by different panelists, providing the ground to a better understanding of the possible role of blockchain in media technology for the near future.

Two new logos for JPEG Pleno and JPEG XL, were approved and released during the Geneva meeting.

jpegpleno-logo  jpegxl-logo

The two new logos, for JPEG Pleno and JPEG XL

The 83rd JPEG meeting had the following highlights: 55540677_10156332786204370_7011318091044880384_n_h

  • New explorations studies of JPEG AI
  • The new Image Coding System JPEG XL
  • JPEG Pleno
  • JPEG XS
  • HTJ2K
  • JPEG Media Blockchain Technology
  • JPEG Systems – Privacy, Security & IPR, JPSearch and JPEG in HEIF

In the following a short summary of the most relevant achievements of the 83rd meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, are presented.

 

JPEG AI

The JPEG Committee is pleased to announce that it has started exploration studies on the use of learning-based solutions for its standards.

In the last few years, several efficient learning-based image coding solutions have been proposed, mainly with improved neural network models. These advances exploit the availability of large image datasets and special hardware, such as the highly parallelizable graphic processing units (GPUs). Recognizing that this area has received many contributions recently and it is considered critical for the future of a rich multimedia ecosystem, JPEG has created the JPEG AI AhG group to study promising learning-based image codecs with a precise and well-defined quality evaluation methodology.

In this meeting, a taxonomy was proposed and available solutions from the literature were organized into different dimensions. Besides, a list of promising learning-based image compression implementations and potential datasets to be used in the future were gathered.

JPEG XL

The JPEG Committee continues to develop the JPEG XL Image Coding System, a standard for image coding that offers substantially better compression efficiency than relevant alternative image formats, along with features desirable for web distribution and efficient compression of high quality images.

Software for the JPEG XL verification model has been implemented. A series of experiments showed promising results for lossy, lossless and progressive coding. In particular, photos can be stored with significant savings in size compared to equivalent-quality JPEG files. Additionally, existing JPEG files can also be considerably reduced in size (for faster download) while retaining the ability to later reproduce the exact JPEG file. Moreover, lossless storage of images is possible with major savings in size compared to PNG. Further refinements to the software and experiments (including enhancement of existing JPEG files, and animations) will follow.

JPEG Pleno

The JPEG Committee has three activities in JPEG Pleno: Light Field, Point Cloud, and Holographic image coding. A generic box-based syntax has been defined that allows for signaling of these modalities, independently or composing a plenoptic scene represented by different modalities. The JPEG Pleno system also includes a reference grid system that supports the positioning of the respective modalities. The generic file format and reference grid system are defined in Part 1 of the standard, which is currently under development. Part 2 of the standard covers light field coding and supports two encoding mechanisms. The launch of specifications for point cloud and holographic content is under study by the JPEG committee.

JPEG XS

The JPEG committee is pleased to announce the creation of an Amendment to JPEG XS Core Coding System defining the use of the codec for raw image sensor data. The JPEG XS project aims at the standardization of a visually lossless low-latency and lightweight compression scheme that can be used as a mezzanine codec in various markets. Among the targeted use cases for raw image sensor compression, one can cite video transport over professional video links (SDI, IP, Ethernet), real-time video storage in and outside of cameras, memory buffers, machine vision systems, and data compression onboard of autonomous cars. One of the most important benefit of the JPEG XS codec is an end-to-end latency ranging from less than one line to a few lines of the image.

HTJ2K

The JPEG committee is pleased to announce a significant milestone, with ISO/IEC 15444-15 High-Throughput JPEG 2000 (HTJ2K) submitted to ISO for immediate publication as International Standard. HTJ2K opens the door to higher encoding and decoding throughput for applications where JPEG 2000 is used today.

The HTJ2K algorithm has demonstrated an average tenfold increase in encoding and decoding throughput compared to the algorithm currently defined by JPEG 2000 Part 1. This increase in throughput results in an average coding efficiency loss of 10% or less in comparison to the most efficient modes of the block coding algorithm in JPEG 2000 Part 1 and enables mathematically lossless transcoding to and from JPEG 2000 Part 1 codestreams.

JPEG Media Blockchain Technology

In order to clearly identify the impact of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies on JPEG standards, the committee has organized several workshops to interact with stakeholders in the domain. The programs and proceedings of these workshop are accessible on the JPEG website:

  1. 1st JPEG Workshop on Media Blockchain Proceedings, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC29/WG1, Vancouver, Canada, October 16th, 2018

  2. 2nd JPEG Workshop on Media Blockchain Proceedings, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC29/WG1, Lisbon, Portugal, January 22nd, 2019

  3. 3rd JPEG Workshop on Media Blockchain Proceedings, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC29/WG1, Geneva, Switzerland, March 20th, 2019

A 4th workshop is planned during the 84th JPEG meeting to be held in Brussels, Belgium on July 16th, 2019. The JPEG Committee invites experts to participate to this upcoming workshop.

JPEG Systems – Privacy, Security & IPR, JPSearch, and JPEG-in-HEIF.

At the 83rd meeting, JPEG Systems realized significant progress towards improving users’ privacy with the DIS text completion of ISO/IEC 19566-4 “Privacy, Security, and IPR Features” which will be released for ballot. JPEG Systems continued to progress on image search and retrieval with the FDIS text release of JPSearch ISO/IEC 24800 Part 2- 2nd edition. Finally, support for JPEG 2000, JPEG XR, and JPEG XS images encapsulated in ISO/IEC 15444-12 are progressing towards IS stage; this enables these JPEG images to be encapsulated in ISO base media file formats, such as ISO/IEC 23008-12 High efficiency file format (HEIF).

Final Quote

“Intelligent codecs might redesign the future of media compression. JPEG can accelerate this trend by producing the first AI based image coding standard.” said Prof. Touradj Ebrahimi, the Convenor of the JPEG Committee.

About JPEG

The Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) is a Working Group of ISO/IEC, the International Organisation for Standardization / International Electrotechnical Commission, (ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29/WG 1) and of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU-T SG16), responsible for the popular JPEG, JPEG 2000, JPEG XR, JPSearch, JPEG XT and more recently, the JPEG XS, JPEG Systems, JPEG Pleno and JPEG XL families of imaging standards.

The JPEG Committee nominally meets four times a year, in different world locations. The 82nd JPEG Meeting was held on 19-25 January 2018, in Lisbon, Portugal. The next 84th JPEG Meeting will be held on 13-19 July 2019, in Brussels, Belgium.

More information about JPEG and its work is available at jpeg.org or by contacting Antonio Pinheiro or Frederik Temmermans of the JPEG Communication Subgroup.

If you would like to stay posted on JPEG activities, please subscribe to the jpeg-news mailing list.

Future JPEG meetings are planned as follows:

  • No 84, Brussels, Belgium, July 13 to 19, 2019
  • No 85, San Jose, California, U.S.A., November 2 to 8, 2019
  • No 86, Sydney, Australia, January 18 to 24, 2020

MPEG Column: 126th MPEG Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland

The original blog post can be found at the Bitmovin Techblog and has been modified/updated here to focus on and highlight research aspects.

The 126th MPEG meeting concluded on March 29, 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland with the following topics:

  • Three Degrees of Freedom Plus (3DoF+) – MPEG evaluates responses to the Call for Proposal and starts a new project on Metadata for Immersive Video
  • Neural Network Compression for Multimedia Applications – MPEG evaluates responses to the Call for Proposal and kicks off its technical work
  • Low Complexity Enhancement Video Coding – MPEG evaluates responses to the Call for Proposal and selects a Test Model for further development
  • Point Cloud Compression – MPEG promotes its Geometry-based Point Cloud Compression (G-PCC) technology to the Committee Draft (CD) stage
  • MPEG Media Transport (MMT) – MPEG approves 3rd Edition of Final Draft International Standard
  • MPEG-G – MPEG-G standards reach Draft International Standard for Application Program Interfaces (APIs) and Metadata technologies

The corresponding press release of the 126th MPEG meeting can be found here: https://mpeg.chiariglione.org/meetings/126

Three Degrees of Freedom Plus (3DoF+)

MPEG evaluates responses to the Call for Proposal and starts a new project on Metadata for Immersive Video

MPEG’s support for 360-degree video — also referred to as omnidirectional video — is achieved using the Omnidirectional Media Format (OMAF) and Supplemental Enhancement Information (SEI) messages for High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC). It basically enables the utilization of the tiling feature of HEVC to implement 3DoF applications and services, e.g., users consuming 360-degree content using a head mounted display (HMD). However, rendering flat 360-degree video may generate visual discomfort when objects close to the viewer are rendered. The interactive parallax feature of Three Degrees of Freedom Plus (3DoF+) will provide viewers with visual content that more closely mimics natural vision, but within a limited range of viewer motion.

At its 126th meeting, MPEG received five responses to the Call for Proposals (CfP) on 3DoF+ Visual. Subjective evaluations showed that adding the interactive motion parallax to 360-degree video will be possible. Based on the subjective and objective evaluation, a new project was launched, which will be named Metadata for Immersive Video. A first version of a Working Draft (WD) and corresponding Test Model (TM) were designed to combine technical aspects from multiple responses to the call. The current schedule for the project anticipates Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) in July 2020.

Research aspects: Subjective evaluations in the context of 3DoF+ but also immersive media services in general are actively researched within the multimedia research community (e.g., ACM SIGMM/SIGCHI, QoMEX) resulting in a plethora of research papers. One apparent open issue is the gap between scientific/fundamental research and standards developing organizations (SDOs) and industry fora which often address the same problem space but sometimes adopt different methodologies, approaches, tools, etc. However, MPEG (and also other SDOs) often organize public workshops and there will be one during the next meeting, specifically on July 10, 2019 in Gothenburg, Sweden which will be about “Coding Technologies for Immersive Audio/Visual Experiences”. Further details are available here.

Neural Network Compression for Multimedia Applications

MPEG evaluates responses to the Call for Proposal and kicks off its technical work

Artificial neural networks have been adopted for a broad range of tasks in multimedia analysis and processing, such as visual and acoustic classification, extraction of multimedia descriptors or image and video coding. The trained neural networks for these applications contain a large number of parameters (i.e., weights), resulting in a considerable size. Thus, transferring them to a number of clients using them in applications (e.g., mobile phones, smart cameras) requires compressed representation of neural networks.

At its 126th meeting, MPEG analyzed nine technologies submitted by industry leaders as responses to the Call for Proposals (CfP) for Neural Network Compression. These technologies address compressing neural network parameters in order to reduce their size for transmission and the efficiency of using them, while not or only moderately reducing their performance in specific multimedia applications.

After a formal evaluation of submissions, MPEG identified three main technology components in the compression pipeline, which will be further studied in the development of the standard. A key conclusion is that with the proposed technologies, a compression to 10% or less of the original size can be achieved with no or negligible performance loss, where this performance is measured as classification accuracy in image and audio classification, matching rate in visual descriptor matching, and PSNR reduction in image coding. Some of these technologies also result in the reduction of the computational complexity of using the neural network or can benefit from specific capabilities of the target hardware (e.g., support for fixed point operations).

Research aspects: This topic has been addressed already in previous articles here and here. An interesting observation after this meeting is that apparently the compression efficiency is remarkable, specifically as the performance loss is negligible for specific application domains. However, results are based on certain applications and, thus, general conclusions regarding the compression of neural networks as well as how to evaluate its performance are still subject to future work. Nevertheless, MPEG is certainly leading this activity which could become more and more important as more applications and services rely on AI-based techniques.

Low Complexity Enhancement Video Coding

MPEG evaluates responses to the Call for Proposal and selects a Test Model for further development

MPEG started a new work item referred to as Low Complexity Enhancement Video Coding (LCEVC), which will be added as part 2 of the MPEG-5 suite of codecs. The new standard is aimed at bridging the gap between two successive generations of codecs by providing a codec-agile extension to existing video codecs that improves coding efficiency and can be readily deployed via software upgrade and with sustainable power consumption.

The target is to achieve:

  • coding efficiency close to High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) Main 10 by leveraging Advanced Video Coding (AVC) Main Profile and
  • coding efficiency close to upcoming next generation video codecs by leveraging HEVC Main 10.

This coding efficiency should be achieved while maintaining overall encoding and decoding complexity lower than that of the leveraged codecs (i.e., AVC and HEVC, respectively) when used in isolation at full resolution. This target has been met, and one of the responses to the CfP will serve as starting point and test model for the standard. The new standard is expected to become part of the MPEG-5 suite of codecs and its development is expected to be completed in 2020.

Research aspects: In addition to VVC and EVC, LCEVC is now the third video coding project within MPEG basically addressing requirements and needs going beyond HEVC. As usual, research mainly focuses on compression efficiency but a general trend in video coding is probably observable that favors software-based solutions rather than pure hardware coding tools. As such, complexity — both at encoder and decoder — is becoming important as well as power efficiency which are additional factors to be taken into account. Other issues are related to business aspects which are typically discussed elsewhere, e.g., here.

Point Cloud Compression

MPEG promotes its Geometry-based Point Cloud Compression (G-PCC) technology to the Committee Draft (CD) stage

MPEG’s Geometry-based Point Cloud Compression (G-PCC) standard addresses lossless and lossy coding of time-varying 3D point clouds with associated attributes such as color and material properties. This technology is appropriate especially for sparse point clouds.

MPEG’s Video-based Point Cloud Compression (V-PCC) addresses the same problem but for dense point clouds, by projecting the (typically dense) 3D point clouds onto planes, and then processing the resulting sequences of 2D images with video compression techniques.

G-PCC provides a generalized approach, which directly codes the 3D geometry to exploit any redundancy found in the point cloud itself and is complementary to V-PCC and particularly useful for sparse point clouds representing large environments.

Point clouds are typically represented by extremely large amounts of data, which is a significant barrier for mass market applications. However, the relative ease to capture and render spatial information compared to other volumetric video representations makes point clouds increasingly popular to present immersive volumetric data. The current implementation of a lossless, intra-frame G-PCC encoder provides a compression ratio up to 10:1 and acceptable quality lossy coding of ratio up to 35:1.

Research aspects: After V-PCC MPEG has now promoted G-PCC to CD but, in principle, the same research aspects are relevant as discussed here. Thus, coding efficiency is the number one performance metric but also coding complexity and power consumption needs to be considered to enable industry adoption. Systems technologies and adaptive streaming are actively researched within the multimedia research community, specifically ACM MM and ACM MMSys.

MPEG Media Transport (MMT)

MPEG approves 3rd Edition of Final Draft International Standard

MMT 3rd edition will introduce two aspects:

  • enhancements for mobile environments and
  • support of Contents Delivery Networks (CDNs).

The support for multipath delivery will enable delivery of services over more than one network connection concurrently, which is specifically useful for mobile devices that can support more than one connection at a time.

Additionally, support for intelligent network entities involved in media services (i.e., Media Aware Network Entity (MANE)) will make MMT-based services adapt to changes of the mobile network faster and better. Understanding the support for load balancing is an important feature of CDN-based content delivery, messages for DNS management, media resource update, and media request is being added in this edition.

On going developments within MMT will add support for the usage of MMT over QUIC (Quick UDP Internet Connections) and support of FCAST in the context of MMT.

Research aspects: Multimedia delivery/transport is still an important issue, specifically as multimedia data on the internet is increasing much faster than network bandwidth. In particular, the multimedia research community (i.e., ACM MM and ACM MMSys) is looking into novel approaches and tools utilizing exiting/emerging protocols/techniques like HTTP/2, HTTP/3 (QUIC), WebRTC, and Information-Centric Networking (ICN). One question, however, remains, namely what is the next big thing in multimedia delivery/transport as currently we are certainly in a phase where tools like adaptive HTTP streaming (HAS) reached maturity and the multimedia research community is eager to work on new topics in this domain.

MPEG Column: 125th MPEG Meeting in Marrakesh, Morocco

The original blog post can be found at the Bitmovin Techblog and has been modified/updated here to focus on and highlight research aspects.

The 125th MPEG meeting concluded on January 18, 2019 in Marrakesh, Morocco with the following topics:

  • Network-Based Media Processing (NBMP) – MPEG promotes NBMP to Committee Draft stage
  • 3DoF+ Visual – MPEG issues Call for Proposals on Immersive 3DoF+ Video Coding Technology
  • MPEG-5 Essential Video Coding (EVC) – MPEG starts work on MPEG-5 Essential Video Coding
  • ISOBMFF – MPEG issues Final Draft International Standard of Conformance and Reference software for formats based on the ISO Base Media File Format (ISOBMFF)
  • MPEG-21 User Description – MPEG finalizes 2nd edition of the MPEG-21 User Description

The corresponding press release of the 125th MPEG meeting can be found here. In this blog post I’d like to focus on those topics potentially relevant for over-the-top (OTT), namely NBMP, EVC, and ISOBMFF.

Network-Based Media Processing (NBMP)

The NBMP standard addresses the increasing complexity and sophistication of media services, specifically as the incurred media processing requires offloading complex media processing operations to the cloud/network to keep receiver hardware simple and power consumption low. Therefore, NBMP standard provides a standardized framework that allows content and service providers to describe, deploy, and control media processing for their content in the cloud. It comes with two main functions: (i) an abstraction layer to be deployed on top of existing cloud platforms (+ support for 5G core and edge computing) and (ii) a workflow manager to enable composition of multiple media processing tasks (i.e., process incoming media and metadata from a media source and produce processed media streams and metadata that are ready for distribution to a media sink). The NBMP standard now reached Committee Draft (CD) stage and final milestone is targeted for early 2020.

In particular, a standard like NBMP might become handy in the context of 5G in combination with mobile edge computing (MEC) which allows offloading certain tasks to a cloud environment in close proximity to the end user. For OTT, this could enable lower latency and more content being personalized towards the user’s context conditions and needs, hopefully leading to a better quality and user experience.

For further research aspects please see one of my previous posts

MPEG-5 Essential Video Coding (EVC)

MPEG-5 EVC clearly targets the high demand for efficient and cost-effective video coding technologies. Therefore, MPEG commenced work on such a new video coding standard that should have two profiles: (i) royalty-free baseline profile and (ii) main profile, which adds a small number of additional tools, each of which is capable, on an individual basis, of being either cleanly switched off or else switched over to the corresponding baseline tool. Timely publication of licensing terms (if any) is obviously very important for the success of such a standard.

The target coding efficiency for responses to the call for proposals was to be at least as efficient as HEVC. This target was exceeded by approximately 24% and the development of the MPEG-5 EVC standard is expected to be completed in 2020.

As of today, there’s the need to support AVC, HEVC, VP9, and AV1; soon VVC will become important. In other words, we already have a multi-codec environment to support and one might argue one more codec is probably not a big issue. The main benefit of EVC will be a royalty-free baseline profile but with AV1 there’s already such a codec available and it will be interesting to see how the royalty-free baseline profile of EVC compares to AV1.

For a new video coding format we will witness a plethora of evaluations and comparisons with existing formats (i.e., AVC, HEVC, VP9, AV1, VVC). These evaluations will be mainly based on objective metrics such as PSNR, SSIM, and VMAF. It will be also interesting to see subjective evaluations, specifically targeting OTT use cases (e.g., live and on demand).

ISO Base Media File Format (ISOBMFF)

The ISOBMFF (ISO/IEC 14496-12) is used as basis for many file (e.g., MP4) and streaming formats (e.g., DASH, CMAF) and as such received widespread adoption in both industry and academia. An overview of ISOBMFF is available here. The reference software is now available on GitHub and a plethora of conformance files are available here. In this context, the open source project GPAC is probably the most interesting aspect from a research point of view.

JPEG Column: 82nd JPEG Meeting in Lisbon, Portugal

The 82nd JPEG meeting was held in Lisbon, Portugal. Highlights of the meeting are progress on JPEG XL, JPEG XS, HTJ2K, JPEG Pleno, JPEG Systems and JPEG reference software.

JPEG has been the most common representation format of digital images for more than 25 years. Other image representation formats have been standardised by JPEG committee like JPEG 2000 or more recently JPEG XS. Furthermore, JPEG has been extended with new functionalities like HDR or alpha plane coding with the JPEG XT standard, and more recently with a reference software. Another solutions have been also proposed by different players with limited success. The JPEG committee decided it is the time to create a new working item, named JPEG XL, that aims to develop an image coding standard with increased quality and flexibility combined with a better compression efficiency. The evaluation of the call for proposals responses had already confirmed the industry interest, and development of core experiments has now begun. Several functionalities will be considered, like support for lossless transcoding of images represented with JPEG standard.

A 2nd workshop on media blockchain technologies was held in Lisbon, collocated with the JPEG meeting. Touradj Ebrahimi and Frederik Temmermans opened the workshop with presentations on relevant JPEG activities such as JPEG Privacy and Security. Thereafter, Zekeriya Erkin made a presentation on blockchain, distributed trust and privacy, and Carlos Serrão presented an overview of the ISO/TC 307 standardization work on blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. The workshop concluded with a panel discussion chaired by Fernando Pereira where the interoperability of blockchain and media technologies was discussed. A 3rd workshop is planned during the 83rd meeting to be held in Geneva, Switzerland on March 20th, 2019.

The 82nd JPEG meeting had the following highlights: jpeg82ndpicS

  • The new working item JPEG XL
  • JPEG Pleno
  • JPEG XS
  • HTJ2K
  • JPEG Systems – JUMBF & JPEG 360
  • JPEG reference software

 

The following summarizes various highlights during JPEG’s Lisbon meeting. As always, JPEG welcomes participation from industry and academia in all its standards activities.

JPEG XL

The JPEG Committee launched JPEG XL with the aim of developing a standard for image coding that offers substantially better compression efficiency when compared to existing image formats, along with features desirable for web distribution and efficient compression of high quality images. Subjective tests conducted by two independent research laboratories were presented at the 82nd meeting in Lisbon and indicate promising results that compare favorably with state of the art codecs.

A development software for the JPEG XL verification model is currently being implemented. A series of experiments have been also defined for improving the above model; these experiments address new functionalities such as lossless coding and progressive decoding.

JPEG Pleno

The JPEG Committee has three activities in JPEG Pleno: Light Field, Point Cloud, and Holographic image coding.

At the Lisbon meeting, Part 2 of JPEG Pleno Light Field was refined and a Committee Draft (CD) text was prepared. A new round of core experiments targets improved subaperture image prediction quality and scalability functionality.

JPEG Pleno Holography will be hosting a workshop on March 19th, 2019 during the 83rd JPEG meeting in Geneva. The purpose of this workshop is to provide insights in the status of holographic applications such as holographic microscopy and tomography, displays and printing, and to assess their impact on the planned standardization specification. This workshop invites participation from both industry and academia experts. Information on the workshop can be find at https://jpeg.org/items/20190228_pleno_holography_workshop_geneva_announcement.html

JPEG XS

The JPEG Committee is pleased to announce a new milestone of the JPEG XS project, with the Profiles and Buffer Models (JPEG XS ISO/IEC 21122 Part 2) submitted to ISO for immediate publication as International Standard.

This project aims at standardization of a visually lossless low-latency and lightweight compression scheme that can be used as a mezzanine codec within any AV market. Among the targeted use cases are video transport over professional video links (SDI, IP, Ethernet), real-time video storage, memory buffers, omnidirectional video capture and rendering, and sensor compression (for example in cameras and in the automotive industry). The Core Coding System allows for visually lossless quality at moderate compression rates, scalable end-to-end latency ranging from less than a line to a few lines of the image, and low complexity real time implementations in ASIC, FPGA, CPU and GPU. The new part “Profiles and Buffer Models” defines different coding tools subsets addressing specific application fields and use cases. For more information, interested parties are invited to read the JPEG White paper on JPEG XS that has been recently published on the JPEG website (https://jpeg.org).

 HTJ2K

The JPEG Committee continues its work on ISO/IEC 15444-15 High-Throughput JPEG 2000 (HTJ2K) with the development of conformance codestreams and reference software, improving interoperability and reducing obstacles to implementation.

The HTJ2K block coding algorithm has demonstrated an average tenfold increase in encoding and decoding throughput compared to the block coding algorithm currently defined by JPEG 2000 Part 1. This increase in throughput results in an average coding efficiency loss of 10% or less in comparison to the most efficient modes of the block coding algorithm in JPEG 2000 Part 1, and enables mathematically lossless transcoding to-and-from JPEG 2000 Part 1 codestreams.

JPEG Systems – JUMBF & JPEG 360

At the 82nd JPEG meeting, the Committee DIS ballots were completed, comments reviewed, and the standard progressed towards FDIS text for upcoming ballots on “JPEG Universal Metadata Box Format (JUMBF)” as ISO/IEC 19566-5, and “JPEG 360” as ISO/IEC 19566-6. Investigations continued to generalize the framework to other applications relying on JPEG (ISO/IEC 10918 | ITU-T.81), and JPEG Pleno Light Field.

JPEG reference software

With the JPEG Reference Software reaching FDIS stage, the JPEG Committee reaches an important milestone by extending its specifications with a new part containing a reference software. With its FDIS release, two implementations will become official reference to the most successful standard of the JPEG Committee: The fast and widely deployed libjpeg-turbo code, along with a complete implementation of JPEG coming from the Committee itself that also covers coding modes that were only known by a few experts.

 

Final Quote

“One of the strengths of the JPEG Committee has been in its ability to identify important trends in imaging technologies and their impact on products and services. I am delighted to see that this effort still continues and the Committee remains attentive to future.” said Prof. Touradj Ebrahimi, the Convenor of the JPEG Committee.

About JPEG

The Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) is a Working Group of ISO/IEC, the International Organisation for Standardization / International Electrotechnical Commission, (ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29/WG 1) and of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU-T SG16), responsible for the popular JPEG, JPEG 2000, JPEG XR, JPSearch and more recently, the JPEG XT, JPEG XS, JPEG Systems and JPEG Pleno families of imaging standards.

The JPEG Committee nominally meets four times a year, in different world locations. The 82nd JPEG Meeting was held on 19-25 October 2018, in Lisbon, Portugal. The next 83rd JPEG Meeting will be held on 16-22 March 2019, in Geneva, Switzerland.

More information about JPEG and its work is available at www.jpeg.org or by contacting Antonio Pinheiro or Frederik Temmermans (pr@jpeg.org) of the JPEG Communication Subgroup.

If you would like to stay posted on JPEG activities, please subscribe to the jpeg-news mailing list on http://jpeg-news-list.jpeg.org.  

Future JPEG meetings are planned as follows:

  • No 83, Geneva, Switzerland, March 16 to 22, 2019
  • No 84, Brussels, Belgium, July 13 to 19, 2019

 

MPEG Column: 124th MPEG Meeting in Macau, China

The original blog post can be found at the Bitmovin Techblog and has been modified/updated here to focus on and highlight research aspects.

The MPEG press release comprises the following aspects:

  • Point Cloud Compression – MPEG promotes a video-based point cloud compression technology to the Committee Draft stage
  • Compressed Representation of Neural Networks – MPEG issues Call for Proposals
  • Low Complexity Video Coding Enhancements – MPEG issues Call for Proposals
  • New Video Coding Standard expected to have licensing terms timely available – MPEG issues Call for Proposals
  • Multi-Image Application Format (MIAF) promoted to Final Draft International Standard
  • 3DoF+ Draft Call for Proposal goes Public

Point Cloud Compression – MPEG promotes a video-based point cloud compression technology to the Committee Draft stage

At its 124th meeting, MPEG promoted its Video-based Point Cloud Compression (V-PCC) standard to Committee Draft (CD) stage. V-PCC addresses lossless and lossy coding of 3D point clouds with associated attributes such as colour. By leveraging existing and video ecosystems in general (hardware acceleration, transmission services and infrastructure), and future video codecs as well, the V-PCC technology enables new applications. The current V-PCC encoder implementation provides a compression of 125:1, which means that a dynamic point cloud of 1 million points could be encoded at 8 Mbit/s with good perceptual quality.

A next step is the storage of V-PCC in ISOBMFF for which a working draft has been produced. It is expected that further details will be discussed in upcoming reports.

Research aspects: Video-based Point Cloud Compression (V-PCC) is at CD stage and a first working draft for the storage of V-PCC in ISOBMFF has been provided. Thus, a next consequence is the delivery of V-PCC encapsulated in ISOBMFF over networks utilizing various approaches, protocols, and tools. Additionally, one may think of using also different encapsulation formats if needed.

MPEG issues Call for Proposals on Compressed Representation of Neural Networks

Artificial neural networks have been adopted for a broad range of tasks in multimedia analysis and processing, media coding, data analytics, and many other fields. Their recent success is based on the feasibility of processing much larger and complex neural networks (deep neural networks, DNNs) than in the past, and the availability of large-scale training data sets. Some applications require the deployment of a particular trained network instance to a potentially large number of devices and, thus, could benefit from a standard for the compressed representation of neural networks. Therefore, MPEG has issued a Call for Proposals (CfP) for compression technology for neural networks, focusing on the compression of parameters and weights, focusing on four use cases: (i) visual object classification, (ii) audio classification, (iii) visual feature extraction (as used in MPEG CDVA), and (iv) video coding.

Research aspects: As point out last time, research here will mainly focus around compression efficiency for both lossy and lossless scenarios. Additionally, communication aspects such as transmission of compressed artificial neural networks within lossy, large-scale environments including update mechanisms may become relevant in the (near) future.

 

MPEG issues Call for Proposals on Low Complexity Video Coding Enhancements

Upon request from the industry, MPEG has identified an area of interest in which video technology deployed in the market (e.g., AVC, HEVC) can be enhanced in terms of video quality without the need to necessarily replace existing hardware. Therefore, MPEG has issued a Call for Proposals (CfP) on Low Complexity Video Coding Enhancements.

The objective is to develop video coding technology with a data stream structure defined by two component streams: a base stream decodable by a hardware decoder and an enhancement stream suitable for software processing implementation. The project is meant to be codec agnostic; in other words, the base encoder and base decoder can be AVC, HEVC, or any other codec in the market.

Research aspects: The interesting aspect here is that this use case assumes a legacy base decoder – most likely realized in hardware – which is enhanced with software-based implementations to improve coding efficiency or/and quality without sacrificing capabilities of the end user in terms of complexity and, thus, energy efficiency due to the software based solution. 

 

MPEG issues Call for Proposals for a New Video Coding Standard expected to have licensing terms timely available

At its 124th meeting, MPEG issued a Call for Proposals (CfP) for a new video coding standard to address combinations of both technical and application (i.e., business) requirements that may not be adequately met by existing standards. The aim is to provide a standardized video compression solution which combines coding efficiency similar to that of HEVC with a level of complexity suitable for real-time encoding/decoding and the timely availability of licensing terms.

Research aspects: This new work item is more related to business aspects (i.e., licensing terms) than technical aspects of video coding.

 

Multi-Image Application Format (MIAF) promoted to Final Draft International Standard

The Multi-Image Application Format (MIAF) defines interoperability points for creation, reading, parsing, and decoding of images embedded in High Efficiency Image File (HEIF) format by (i) only defining additional constraints on the HEIF format, (ii) limiting the supported encoding types to a set of specific profiles and levels, (iii) requiring specific metadata formats, and (iv) defining a set of brands for signaling such constraints including specific depth map and alpha plane formats. For instance, it addresses use case like a capturing device may use one of HEIF codecs with a specific HEVC profile and level in its created HEIF files, while a playback device is only capable of decoding the AVC bitstreams.

Research aspects: MIAF is an application format which is defined as a combination of tools (incl. profiles and levels) of other standards (e.g., audio codecs, video codecs, systems) to address the needs of a specific application. Thus, the research is related to use cases enabled by this application format. 

 

3DoF+ Draft Call for Proposal goes Public

Following investigations on the coding of “three Degrees of Freedom plus” (3DoF+) content in the context of MPEG-I, the MPEG video subgroup has provided evidence demonstrating the capability to encode a 3DoF+ content efficiently while maintaining compatibility with legacy HEVC hardware. As a result, MPEG decided to issue a draft Call for Proposal (CfP) to the public containing the information necessary to prepare for the final Call for Proposal expected to occur at the 125th MPEG meeting (January 2019) with responses due at the 126th MPEG meeting (March 2019).

Research aspects: This work item is about video (coding) and, thus, research is about compression efficiency.

 

What else happened at #MPEG124?

  • MPEG-DASH 3rd edition is still in the final editing phase and not yet available. Last time, I wrote that we expect final publication later this year or early next year and we hope this is still the case. At this meeting Amendment.5 is progressed to DAM and conformance/reference software for SRD, SAND and Server Push is also promoted to DAM. In other words, DASH is pretty much in maintenance mode.
  • MPEG-I (systems part) is working on immersive media access and delivery and I guess more updates will come on this after the next meeting. OMAF is working on a 2nd edition for which a working draft exists and phase 2 use cases (public document) and draft requirements are discussed.
  • Versatile Video Coding (VVC): working draft 3 (WD3) and test model 3 (VTM3) has been issued at this meeting including a large number of new tools. Both documents (and software) will be publicly available after editing periods (Nov. 23 for WD3 and Dec 14 for VTM3).

 

JPEG Column: 81st JPEG Meeting in Vancouver, Canada

The 81st JPEG meeting was held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, at which significant efforts were put into the analysis of the responses to the call for proposals on the next generation image coding standard, nicknamed JPEG XL, that is expected to provide a solution for image format with improved quality and flexibility, allied with a better compression efficiency. The responses to the call confirms the interest of different parties on this activity. Moreover, the initial  subjective and objective evaluation of the different proposals confirm a significative evolution on both quality and compression efficiency that will be provided by the future standard.

Apart the multiple activities related with several standards development, a workshop on Blockchain technologies was held at Telus facilities in Vancouver, with several talks on Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies, and a Panel where the influence of these technologies on multimedia was analysed and discussed. A new workshop is planned at the 82nd JPEG meeting to be held in Lisbon, Portugal, in January 2019.

The 81st JPEG meeting had the following highlights:JPEG81VancouverCut

  • JPEG Completes Initial Assessment on Responses for the Next Generation Image Coding Standard (JPEG XL);
  • Workshop on Blockchain technology;
  • JPEG XS Core Coding System submitted to ISO for immediate publication as International Standard;
  • HTJ2K achieves Draft International Status;
  • JPEG Pleno defines a generic file format syntax architecture.

The following summarizes various highlights during JPEG’s Vancouver meeting.

JPEG XL completes the initial assessment of responses to the call for proposals

 The JPEG Committee launched the Next Generation Image Coding activity, also referred to as JPEG XL, with the aim of developing a standard for image coding that offers substantially better compression efficiency than existing image formats, along with features desirable for web distribution and efficient compression of high quality images. A Call for Proposals on Next Generation Image Coding was issued at the 79th JPEG meeting.

Seven submissions were received in response to the Call for Proposals. The submissions, along with the anchors, were evaluated in subjective tests by three independent research labs. At the 81st JPEG meeting in Vancouver, Canada, the proposals were evaluated using subjective and objective evaluation metrics, and a verification model (XLM) was agreed upon. Following this selection process, a series of experiments have been designed in order to compare the performance of the current XLM with alternative choices as coding components including those technologies submitted by some of the top performing submissions; these experiments are commonly referred to as core experiments and will serve to further refine and improve the XLM towards the final standard. 

Workshop on Blockchain technology

On October 16th, 2018, JPEG organized its first workshop on Media Blockchain in Vancouver. Touradj Ebrahimi JPEG Convenor and Frederik Temmermans a leading JPEG expert, presented on the background of the JPEG standardization committee and ongoing JPEG activities such as JPEG Privacy and Security. Thereafter, Eric Paquet, Victoria Lemieux and Stephen Swift shared their experiences related to blockchain technology focusing on standardization challenges and formalization, real world adoption in media use cases and the state of the art related to consensus models. The workshop closed with an interactive discussion between the speakers and the audience, moderated by JPEG Requirements Chair Fernando Pereira.

The presentations from the workshop are available for download on the JPEG website. In January 2019, during the 82nd JPEG meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, a 2nd workshop will be organized to continue the discussion and interact with European stakeholders. More information about the program and registration will be made available on jpeg.org.

In addition to the workshop, JPEG issued an updated version of its white paper “JPEG White paper: Towards a Standardized Framework for Media Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies” that elaborates on the blockchain initiative, exploring relevant standardization activities, industrial needs and use cases. The white paper will be further extended in the future with more elaborated use cases and conclusions drawn from the workshops. To keep informed and get involved in the discussion, interested parties are invited to register to the ad hoc group’s mailing list via http://jpeg-blockchain-list.jpeg.org.

WorkshopBlockChainCut

Touradj Ebrahimi, convenor of JPEG, giving the introductory talk in the Workshop on Blockchain technology.


JPEG XS

The JPEG committee is pleased to announce a significant milestone of the JPEG XS project, with the Core Coding System (aka JPEG XS Part-1) submitted to ISO for immediate publication as International Standard. This project aims at the standardization of a near-lossless low-latency and lightweight compression scheme that can be used as a mezzanine codec within any AV market. Among the targeted use cases are video transport over professional video links (SDI, IP, Ethernet), real-time video storage, memory buffers, omnidirectional video capture and rendering, and sensor compression (for example in cameras and in the automotive industry). The Core Coding System allows for visual transparent quality at moderate compression rates, scalable end-to-end latency ranging from less than a line to a few lines of the image, and low complexity real time implementations in ASIC, FPGA, CPU and GPU. Beside the Core Coding System, Profiles and levels (addressing specific application fields and use cases), together with the transport and container formats (defining different means to store and transport JPEG XS codestreams in files, over IP networks or SDI infrastructures) are also being finalized and their expected submission for publication as International Standard is Q1 2019.

HTJ2K

The JPEG Committee has reached a major milestone in the development of an alternative block coding algorithm for the JPEG 2000 family of standards, with ISO/IEC 15444-15 High Throughput JPEG 2000 (HTJ2K) achieving Draft International Status (DIS).

The HTJ2K algorithm has demonstrated an average tenfold increase in encoding and decoding throughput compared to the algorithm currently defined by JPEG 2000 Part 1. This increase in throughput results in an average coding efficiency loss of 10% or less in comparison to the most efficient modes of the block coding algorithm in JPEG 2000 Part 1, and enables mathematically lossless transcoding to and from JPEG 2000 Part 1 codestreams.

The JPEG Committee has begun the development of HTJ2K conformance codestreams and reference software.

JPEG Pleno

The JPEG Committee is currently pursuing three activities in the framework of the JPEG Pleno Standardization: Light Field, Point Cloud and Holographic content coding.

At the Vancouver meeting, a generic file format syntax architecture was outlined that allows for efficient exchange of these modalities by utilizing a box-based file format. This format will enable the carriage of light field, point cloud and holography data, including associated metadata for colour space specification, camera calibration etc. In the particular case of light field data, this will encompass both texture and disparity information.

For coding of point clouds and holographic data, activities are still in exploratory phase addressing the elaboration of use cases and the refinement of requirements for coding such modalities. In addition, experimental procedures are being designed to facilitate the quality evaluation and testing of technologies that will be submitted in later calls for coding technologies. Interested parties active in point cloud and holography related markets and applications, both from industry and academia are welcome to participate in this standardization activity.

Final Quote

“JPEG XL standard will enable a higher quality content while improving on compression efficiency and offering new features useful for emerging multimedia applications. said Prof. Touradj Ebrahimi, the Convenor of the JPEG Committee.

About JPEG

The Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) is a Working Group of ISO/IEC, the International Organisation for Standardization / International Electrotechnical Commission, (ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29/WG 1) and of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU-T SG16), responsible for the popular JPEG, JPEG 2000, JPEG XR, JPSearch and more recently, the JPEG XT, JPEG XS, JPEG Systems and JPEG Pleno families of imaging standards.  

The JPEG Committee nominally meets four times a year, in different world locations. The 81st JPEG Meeting was held on 12-19 October 2018, in Vancouver, Canada. The next 82nd JPEG Meeting will be held on 19-25 January 2019, in Lisbon, Portugal.

More information about JPEG and its work is available at www.jpeg.org or by contacting Antonio Pinheiro or Frederik Temmermans (pr@jpeg.org) of the JPEG Communication Subgroup.

If you would like to stay posted on JPEG activities, please subscribe to the jpeg-news mailing list on http://jpeg-news-list.jpeg.org.  

Future JPEG meetings are planned as follows:

  • No 82, Lisbon, Portugal, January 19 to 25, 2019
  • No 83, Geneva, Switzerland, March 16 to 22, 2019
  • No 84, Brussels, Belgium, July 13 to 19, 2019

 

JPEG Column: 80th JPEG Meeting in Berlin, Germany

The 80th JPEG meeting was held in Berlin, Germany, from 7 to 13 July 2018. During this meeting, JPEG issued a record number of ballots and output documents, spread through the multiple activities taking place. These record numbers are very revealing of the level of commitment of JPEG standardisation committee. A strong effort is being accomplished on the standardisation of new solutions for the emerging image technologies enabling the interoperability of different systems on the growing market of multimedia. Moreover, it is intended that these new initiatives should provide royalty-free patent licensing solutions at least in one of the available profiles, which shall promote a wider adoption of these future JPEG standards from the consumer market, and applications and systems developers.

A significant progress in low latency and high throughput standardisation initiatives has taken place at Berlin meetings. The new part 15 of JPEG 2000, known as High Throughput JPEG 2000 (HTJ2K), is finally ready and reached committee draft status. Furthermore, JPEG XS profiles and levels were released for their second and final ballot. Hence, these new low complexity standards foresee to be finalised in a short time, providing new solutions for developers and consumers on applications where mobility is important and large bandwidth is available. Virtual and augmented reality, as well as 360º images and video, are among the several applications that might benefit from these new standards.

Berlin80T1cut

JPEG meeting plenary in Berlin.

The 80th JPEG meeting had the following highlights:

  • HTJ2K reaches Committee Draft status;
  • JPEG XS profiles and levels are under ballot;
  • JPEG XL publishes additional information to the CfP;
  • JPEG Systems – JUMBF & JPEG 360;
  • JPEG-in-HEIF;
  • JPEG Blockchain white paper;
  • JPEG Pleno Light Field verification model.

The following summarizes the various highlights during JPEG’s Berlin meeting.

HTJ2K

The JPEG committee is pleased to announce a significant milestone, with ISO/IEC 15444-15 High-Throughput JPEG 2000 (HTJ2K) reaching Committee Draft status.

HTJ2K introduces a new FAST block coder to the JPEG 2000 family. The FAST block coder can be used in place of the JPEG 2000 Part 1 arithmetic block coder, and, as illustrated in Table 1, offers in average an order of magnitude increase on decoding and encoding throughput – at the expense of slightly reduced coding efficiency and elimination of quality scalability.

Table 1. Comparison between FAST block coder and JPEG 2000 Part 1 arithmetic block coder. Results were generated by optimized implementations evaluated as part of the HTJ2K activity, using professional video test images in the transcoding context specified in the Call for Proposal available at https://jpeg.org.  Figures are relative to JPEG2000 Part1 arithmetic block coder (bpp – bits per pixel).

JPEG 2000 Part 1 Block Coder Bitrate 0.5 bpp 1 bpp 2 bpp 4 bpp 6 bpp lossless
Average FAST Block Coder Speedup Factor 17.5x 19.5x 21.1x 25.5x 27.4x 43.7x
Average FAST Block Decoder Speedup Factor 10.2x 11.4x 11.9x 14.1x 15.1x 24.0x
Average Increase in Codestream Size  8.4%  7.3%   7.1% 6.6%  6.5%  6.6% 

Apart from the block coding algorithm itself, the FAST block coding algorithm does not modify the JPEG 2000 codestream, and allows mathematically lossless transcoding to and from JPEG 2000 codestreams. As a result the FAST block coding algorithm can be readily integrated into existing JPEG 2000 applications, where it can bring significant increases in processing efficiency. 

 

JPEG XS

This project aims at the standardization of a visually lossless low-latency and lightweight compression scheme that can be used as a mezzanine codec for the broadcast industry, Pro-AV and other markets. Targeted use cases are video transport over professional video links (SDI, IP, Ethernet), real-time video storage, memory buffers, omnidirectional video capture and rendering, and sensor compression (in particular in the automotive industry). The Core Coding System, expected to be published in Q4 2018 allows for visually lossless quality at 6:1 compression ratio for most content, 32 lines end-to-end latency, and ultra low complexity implementations in ASIC, FPGA, CPU and GPU. Following the 80th JPEG meeting in Berlin, profiles and levels (addressing specific application fields and use cases) are now under final ballot (expected publication in Q1 2019). Different means to store and transport JPEG XS codestreams in files, over IP networks or SDI infrastructures are also defined and go to a first ballot.

 

JPEG XL

The JPEG Committee issued a Call for Proposals (CfP) following its 79th meeting (April 2018), with the objective of seeking technologies that fulfill the objectives and scope of the Next-Generation Image Coding activity. The CfP, with all related info, can be found in https://jpeg.org/downloads/jpegxl/jpegxl-cfp.pdf. The deadline for expression of interest and registration was August 15, 2018, and submissions to the CfP were due on September 1, 2018. 

As outcome of the 80th JPEG meeting in Berlin, a document was produced containing additional information related to the objective and subjective quality assessment methodologies that will be used to evaluate the anchors and proposals to the CfP, available on https://jpeg.org/downloads/jpegxl/wg1n80024-additional-information-cfp.pdf. Moreover, a detailed workflow is described, together with the software and command lines used to generate the anchors and to compute objective quality metrics.

To stay posted on the action plan of JPEG XL, please regularly consult our website at jpeg.org and/or subscribe to its e-mail reflector.

 

JPEG Systems – JUMBF & JPEG 360

The JPEG Committee progressed towards a common framework and definition for metadata which will improve the ability to share 360 images. At the 80th meeting, the Committee Draft ballot was completed, the comments reviewed, and is now progressing towards DIS text for upcoming ballots on “JPEG Universal Metadata Box Format (JUMBF)” as ISO/IEC 19566-5, and “JPEG 360” as ISO/IEC 19566-6. Investigations have started to apply the framework on the structure of JPEG Pleno files.

 

JPEG-in-HEIF

The JPEG Committee made significant progress towards standardizing how JPEG XR, JPEG 2000 and the upcoming JPEG XS will be carried in ISO/IEC 23008-12 image file container.

 

JPEG Blockchain

Fake news, copyright violation, media forensics, privacy and security are emerging challenges for digital media. JPEG has determined that blockchain technology has great potential as a technology component to address these challenges in transparent and trustable media transactions. However, blockchain needs to be integrated closely with a widely adopted standard to ensure broad interoperability of protected images. JPEG calls for industry participation to help define use cases and requirements that will drive the standardization process. To reach this objective, JPEG issued a white paper entitled “Towards a Standardized Framework for Media Blockchain” that elaborates on the initiative, exploring relevant standardization activities, industrial needs and use cases. In addition, JPEG plans to organise a workshop during its 81st meeting in Vancouver on Tuesday 16th October 2018. More information about the workshop is available on https://www.jpeg.org. To keep informed and get involved, interested parties are invited to register on the ad hoc group’s mailing list at http://jpeg-blockchain-list.jpeg.org.

 

JPEG Pleno

The JPEG Committee is currently pursuing three activities in the framework of the JPEG Pleno Standardization: Light Field, Point Cloud and Holographic content coding.

At its Berlin meeting, a first version of the verification model software for light field coding has been produced. This software supports the core functionality that was indented for the light field coding standard. It serves for intensive testing of the standard. JPEG Pleno Light Field Coding supports various sensors ranging from lenslet cameras to high-density camera arrays, light field related content production chains up to light field displays.

For coding of point clouds and holographic data, activities are still in exploratory phase addressing the elaboration of use cases and the refinement of requirements for coding such modalities. In addition, experimental procedures are being designed to facilitate the quality evaluation and testing of technologies that will be submitted in later calls for coding technologies. Interested parties active in point cloud and holography related markets and applications, both from industry and academia are welcome to participate in this standardization activity.

 

Final Quote 

“After a record number of ballots and output documents generated during its 80th meeting, the JPEG Committee pursues its activity on the specification of effective and reliable solutions for image coding offering needed features in emerging multimedia applications. The new JPEG XS and JPEG 2000 part 15 provide low complexity compression solutions that will benefit many growing markets such as content production, virtual and augmented reality as well as autonomous cars and drones.” said Prof. Touradj Ebrahimi, the Convenor of the JPEG Committee.

 

About JPEG

The Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) is a Working Group of ISO/IEC, the International Organisation for Standardization / International Electrotechnical Commission, (ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29/WG 1) and of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU-T SG16), responsible for the popular JBIG, JPEG, JPEG 2000, JPEG XR, JPSearch and more recently, the JPEG XT, JPEG XS, JPEG Systems and JPEG Pleno families of imaging standards.

The JPEG Committee nominally meets four times a year, in different world locations. The 80th JPEG Meeting was held on 7-13 July 2018, in Berlin, Germany. The next 81st JPEG Meeting will be held on 13-19 October 2018, in Vancouver, Canada.

More information about JPEG and its work is available at www.jpeg.org or by contacting Antonio Pinheiro or Frederik Temmermans (pr@jpeg.org) of the JPEG Communication Subgroup.

If you would like to stay posted on JPEG activities, please subscribe to the jpeg-news mailing list on http://jpeg-news-list.jpeg.org.  

 

Future JPEG meetings are planned as follows:JPEG-signature

  • No 81, Vancouver, Canada, October 13 to 19, 2018
  • No 82, Lisbon, Portugal, January 19 to 25, 2019
  • No 83, Geneva, Switzerland, March 16 to 22, 2019

MPEG Column: 123rd MPEG Meeting in Ljubljana, Slovenia

The original blog post can be found at the Bitmovin Techblog and has been modified/updated here to focus on and highlight research aspects.

IMG_5700The MPEG press release comprises the following topics:

  • MPEG issues Call for Evidence on Compressed Representation of Neural Networks
  • Network-Based Media Processing – MPEG evaluates responses to call for proposal and kicks off its technical work
  • MPEG finalizes 1st edition of Technical Report on Architectures for Immersive Media
  • MPEG releases software for MPEG-I visual activities
  • MPEG enhances ISO Base Media File Format (ISOBMFF) with new features

MPEG issues Call for Evidence on Compressed Representation of Neural Networks

Artificial neural networks have been adopted for a broad range of tasks in multimedia analysis and processing, media coding, data analytics, translation and many other fields. Their recent success is based on the feasibility of processing much larger and complex neural networks (deep neural networks, DNNs) than in the past, and the availability of large-scale training data sets. As a consequence, trained neural networks contain a large number of parameters (weights), resulting in a quite large size (e.g., several hundred MBs). Many applications require the deployment of a particular trained network instance, potentially to a larger number of devices, which may have limitations in terms of processing power and memory (e.g., mobile devices or smart cameras). Any use case, in which a trained neural network (and its updates) needs to be deployed to a number of devices could thus benefit from a standard for the compressed representation of neural networks.

At its 123rd meeting, MPEG has issued a Call for Evidence (CfE) for compression technology for neural networks. The compression technology will be evaluated in terms of compression efficiency, runtime, and memory consumption and the impact on performance in three use cases: visual object classification, visual feature extraction (as used in MPEG Compact Descriptors for Visual Analysis) and filters for video coding. Responses to the CfE will be analyzed on the weekend prior to and during the 124th MPEG meeting in October 2018 (Macau, CN).

Research aspects: As this is about “compression” of structured data, research aspects will mainly focus around compression efficiency for both lossy and lossless scenarios. Additionally, communication aspects such as transmission of compressed artificial neural networks within lossy, large-scale environments including update mechanisms may become relevant in the (near) future. Furthermore, additional use cases should be communicated towards MPEG until the next meeting.

Network-Based Media Processing – MPEG evaluates responses to call for proposal and kicks off its technical work

Recent developments in multimedia have brought significant innovation and disruption to the way multimedia content is created and consumed. At its 123rd meeting, MPEG analyzed the technologies submitted by eight industry leaders as responses to the Call for Proposals (CfP) for Network-Based Media Processing (NBMP, MPEG-I Part 8). These technologies address advanced media processing use cases such as network stitching for virtual reality (VR) services, super-resolution for enhanced visual quality, transcoding by a mobile edge cloud, or viewport extraction for 360-degree video within the network environment. NBMP allows service providers and end users to describe media processing operations that are to be performed by the entities in the networks. NBMP will describe the composition of network-based media processing services out of a set of NBMP functions and makes these NBMP services accessible through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).

NBMP will support the existing delivery methods such as streaming, file delivery, push-based progressive download, hybrid delivery, and multipath delivery within heterogeneous network environments. MPEG issued a Call for Proposal (CfP) seeking technologies that allow end-user devices, which are limited in processing capabilities and power consumption, to offload certain kinds of processing to the network.

After a formal evaluation of submissions, MPEG selected three technologies as starting points for the (i) workflow, (ii) metadata, and (iii) interfaces for static and dynamically acquired NBMP. A key conclusion of the evaluation was that NBMP can significantly improve the performance and efficiency of the cloud infrastructure and media processing services.

Research aspects: I reported about NBMP in my previous post and basically the same applies here. NBMP will be particularly interesting in the context of new networking approaches including, but not limited to, software-defined networking (SDN), information-centric networking (ICN), mobile edge computing (MEC), fog computing, and related aspects in the context of 5G.

MPEG finalizes 1st edition of Technical Report on Architectures for Immersive Media

At its 123nd meeting, MPEG finalized the first edition of its Technical Report (TR) on Architectures for Immersive Media. This report constitutes the first part of the MPEG-I standard for the coded representation of immersive media and introduces the eight MPEG-I parts currently under specification in MPEG. In particular, it addresses three Degrees of Freedom (3DoF; three rotational and un-limited movements around the X, Y and Z axes (respectively pitch, yaw and roll)), 3DoF+ (3DoF with additional limited translational movements (typically, head movements) along X, Y and Z axes), and 6DoF (3DoF with full translational movements along X, Y and Z axes) experiences but it mostly focuses on 3DoF. Future versions are expected to cover aspects beyond 3DoF. The report documents use cases and defines architectural views on elements that contribute to an overall immersive experience. Finally, the report also includes quality considerations for immersive services and introduces minimum requirements as well as objectives for a high-quality immersive media experience.

Research aspects: ISO/IEC technical reports are typically publicly available and provides informative descriptions of what the standard is about. In MPEG-I this technical report can be used as a guideline for possible architectures for immersive media. This first edition focuses on three Degrees of Freedom (3DoF; three rotational and un-limited movements around the X, Y and Z axes (respectively pitch, yaw and roll)) and outlines the other degrees of freedom currently foreseen in MPEG-I. It also highlights use cases and quality-related aspects that could be of interest for the research community.

MPEG releases software for MPEG-I visual activities

MPEG-I visual is an activity that addresses the specific requirements of immersive visual media for six degrees of freedom virtual walkthroughs with correct motion parallax within a bounded volume. MPEG-I visual covers application scenarios from 3DoF+ with slight body and head movements in a sitting position to 6DoF allowing some walking steps from a central position. At the 123nd MPEG meeting, an important progress has been achieved in software development. A new Reference View Synthesizer (RVS 2.0) has been released for 3DoF+, allowing to synthesize virtual viewpoints from an unlimited number of input views. RVS integrates code bases from Universite Libre de Bruxelles and Philips, who acted as software coordinator. A Weighted-to-Spherically-uniform PSNR (WS-PSNR) software utility, essential to 3DoF+ and 6DoF activities, has been developed by Zhejiang University. WS-PSNR is a full reference objective quality metric for all flavors of omnidirectional video. RVS and WS-PSNR are essential software tools for the upcoming Call for Proposals on 3DoF+ expected to be released at the 124th MPEG meeting in October 2018 (Macau, CN).

Research aspects: MPEG does not only produce text specifications but also reference software and conformance bitstreams, which are important assets for both research and development. Thus, it is very much appreciated to have a new Reference View Synthesizer (RVS 2.0) and Weighted-to-Spherically-uniform PSNR (WS-PSNR) software utility available which enables interoperability and reproducibility of R&D efforts/results in this area.

MPEG enhances ISO Base Media File Format (ISOBMFF) with new features

At the 123rd MPEG meeting, a couple of new amendments related to ISOBMFF has reached the first milestone. Amendment 2 to ISO/IEC 14496-12 6th edition will add the option to have relative addressing as an alternative to offset addressing, which in some environments and workflows can simplify the handling of files and will allow creation of derived visual tracks using items and samples in other tracks with some transformation, for example rotation. Another amendment reached its first milestone is the first amendment to ISO/IEC 23001-7 3rd edition. It will allow use of multiple keys to a single sample and scramble some parts of AVC or HEVC video bitstreams without breaking conformance to the existing decoders. That is, the bitstream will be decodable by existing decoders, but some parts of the video will be scrambled. It is expected that these amendments will reach the final milestone in Q3 2019.

Research aspects: The ISOBMFF reference software is now available on Github, which is a valuable service to the community and allows for active standard’s participation even from outside of MPEG. It is recommended that interested parties have a look at it and consider contributing to this project.


What else happened at #MPEG123?

  • The MPEG-DASH 3rd edition is finally available as output document (N17813; only available to MPEG members) combining 2nd edition, four amendments, and 2 corrigenda. We expect final publication later this year or early next year.
  • There is a new DASH amendment and corrigenda items in pipeline which should progress to final stages also some time next year. The status of MPEG-DASH (July 2018) can be seen below.

DASHstatus0718

  • MPEG received a rather interesting input document related to “streaming first” which resulted into a publicly available output document entitled “thoughts on adaptive delivery and access to immersive media”. The key idea here is to focus on streaming (first) rather than on file/encapsulation formats typically used for storage (and streaming second). This document should become available here.
  • Since a couple of meetings, MPEG maintains a standardization roadmap highlighting recent/major MPEG standards and documenting the roadmap for the next five years. It definitely worth keeping this in mind when defining/updating your own roadmap.
  • JVET/VVC issued Working Draft 2 of Versatile Video Coding (N17732 | JVET-K1001) and Test Model 2 of Versatile Video Coding (VTM 2) (N17733 | JVET-K1002). Please note that N-documents are MPEG internal but JVET-documents are publicly accessible here: http://phenix.it-sudparis.eu/jvet/. An interesting aspect is that VTM2/WD2 should have >20% rate reduction compared to HEVC, all with reasonable complexity and the next benchmark set (BMS) should have close to 30% rate reduction vs. HEVC. Further improvements expected from (a) improved merge, intra prediction, etc., (b) decoder-side estimation with low complexity, (c) multi-hypothesis prediction and OBMC, (d) diagonal and other geometric partitioning, (e) secondary transforms, (f) new approaches of loop filtering, reconstruction and prediction filtering (denoising, non-local, diffusion based, bilateral, etc.), (g) current picture referencing, palette, and (h) neural networks.
  • In addition to VVC — which is a joint activity with VCEG –, MPEG is working on two video-related exploration activities, namely (a) an enhanced quality profile of the AVC standard and (b) a low complexity enhancement video codec. Both topics will be further discussed within respective Ad-hoc Groups (AhGs) and further details are available here.
  • Finally, MPEG established an Ad-hoc Group (AhG) dedicated to the long-term planning which is also looking into application areas/domains other than media coding/representation.

In this context it is probably worth mentioning the following DASH awards at recent conferences

Additionally, there have been two tutorials at ICME related to MPEG standards, which you may find interesting