Versatile Video Coding (VVC) is the latest emerging standard for video compression, but Qualcomm has envisioned many more use cases for VVC other than video.
VVC (H.266) has promised to improve compression and reduce data requirements by around 50% of the bit rate relative to H.265/High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC). Qualcomm, one of the key figures in developing VVC, has said commercial deployments of the codec could begin as early as 2021.
Marta Karczewicz, vice president of technology at Qualcomm, said that VVC will help with more efficient transmission of Ultra HD and 4K content and preserve higher quality in terms of high dynamic range and wide color gamut. When Fierce Video recently spoke with her, she also outlined several applications other than streaming video that could benefit from VVC.
Microsoft, Amazon, Google and other tech giants are moving quickly with cloud gaming services and Karczewicz said that VVC will have specific tools to improve the encoding process for streaming AAA video games. These games have GPU-intensive visuals and extremely low-latency requirements along with text and sharp edges. She said VVC will come with screen content coding tools to better handle this type of content.
“If you compare VVC versus HEVC on this type of content, the gain is actually huge. We’re talking over 60%,” Karczewicz said.
The pandemic has caused a massive increase in video conferencing as work, school and various social functions have all gone virtual. Internet bandwidth usage has spiked as more people not only stream more video but use video conferencing for everything from work meeting to virtual happy hours.
Karczewicz said people will be able to enjoy higher quality video at lower bit rates for all of their video conferences.
Higher quality video is nice for entertainment and video meeting purposes but Karczewicz said it’s completely necessary for applications in telemedicine. She said telemedicine has gained adoption recently due to the pandemic but also because video quality is catching up with where it needs to be so medical professionals can better see what patients are dealing with.
“Basically, [VVC] is for entertainment but it can also be lifesaving,” Karczewicz said.
Internet of Things
Karczewicz said that many people don’t often realize that smart cities, autonomous vehicles and security applications are all video traffic and it may be growing the fastest. It’s machine-to-machine to some extend but it also requires sending video to be later analyzed.
“All these applications that are maybe not that visible but are becoming more and more important and becoming part of our everyday life; they are all running, so to speak, on video. And this traffic is increasing almost daily,” she said.