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MPEG, Advanced Video Coding featured at NAB2004

A full-day session called “MPEG — Advanced Video Coding and Beyond” was held at NAB2004 in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 18. It was part of the NAB’s New Media Professionals conference organized by the MPEG Industry Forum (MPEGIF) and SMPTE.

The session explored how the broadcast industry could exploit the capabilities of the new Advanced Video Coding (AVC) codec jointly developed by the ISO/ITU Joint Video Team (JVT).

AVC satisfies the next-generation compression requirements of virtually all media and provides potential benefits to emerging markets such as video over DSL and the capacity needed for high definition. There is also vital work going on in MPEG-7 on content description (rich “metadata”) and MPEG-21, an end-to-end interoperable media framework surrounding the compression standards.

The MPEG conference was split into a morning session – focused on the AVC codec and its broadcast applications — and an afternoon session, covering the business aspects and ongoing developments in standardization, MPEG-7 and MPEG-21. Topics addressed included the intense debate on licensing and the worldwide explosion in demand for next-generation compression, not only in the broadcast market but in telco and wireless sectors.

Keynotes were provided by Andre Mendes, chief technology integration officer at Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), and David Price, an MPEG Industry Forum Board member and vice president of business development at Harmonic. Participating broadcasters included the BBC and ABC. Key standards bodies will also be represented, including SMPTE, ATSC and DVB.

The afternoon business panel featured MPEG-LA and Via Licensing and the law firm Cooley and Godward. Attending technologists were from Motorola, (co-chair ISO/ITU Joint Video Team), Harmonic, Dolby, ContentGuard, Microsoft, TANDBERG Television, Dicas and Fraunhofer.

John Marino, NAB vice president, science and technology, welcomed the addition to the NAB program, saying, “After nearly a decade [of] using MPEG-2, broadcasters have a vested interest in where MPEG is going, and this conference session is required attending for those interested in how this area of technology is evolving.”

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