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11.03.2003
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
MPEG completes systems support for AVC

The final element needed to carry the AVC codec (ISO/IEC 14496-10) within MPEG-4 Synchronized Streams was recently completed in Australia. Previously, MPEG completed the ability to carry AVC in its MP4 file format. The completion of this latest amendment to MPEG-4 Systems will see AVC used in audio, streaming text for subtitles, and 2D animated graphics.

MPEG has concluded the standardization and formal verification tests of Spectral Band Replication (SBR), the bandwidth extension tool defined in ISO/IEC 14496-3:2001/AMD1. The verification tests show that the new codec, MPEG-4 High Efficiency AAC, offers a coding gain over MPEG-4 AAC of at least 25 percent in the 24 kbps/channel.

One of the stereo tests shows that High Efficiency AAC operated at 32 kbps stereo performs statistically equivalent to the MPEG-4 AAC operated at 60kbps stereo. MPEG-4 AAC has until now been considered to be the most efficient coding scheme available on the market. However, in the 24 kbps/channel bit rate range, the new High Efficiency AAC has taken over the leading position by a wide margin.

The MPEG-4 Animation Framework eXtension (AFX)-ISO/IEC 14496-16-offers, for the first time, a unified standardized framework including a set of 3D tools operating at the geometry, modeling and biomechanical level, most of them already well-supported in the industry, and encompassing existing tools previously defined in MPEG-4 specification.

Responses are expected proposing algorithms and tools, which provide high flexibility in bit rate, frame size and frame rate adaptation at the bitstream level and high compression efficiency (near the performance of state-of-the-art single layer video coding).

Prospective proponents are asked to express their interest by December 1, 2003 and pre-register their proposals by December 31, 2003. Deadline for final registration is February 1, 2004, and submission of decoded materials to undergo formal subjective testing is due by February 16, 2004.

The MPEG Committee said that the applications expected to benefit most from improved scalable coding technologies include Internet video, wireless LAN video, and mobile wireless video for conversation. Also benefiting will be VOD, live broadcasting, multichannel content production and distribution, surveillance-and-storage, and layered protection of content.

For more information on filing proposals, visit the MPEG homepage at: www.chiariglione.org/mpeg.

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