Divideon starts collaboration with Sharp Labs of America
Divideon has started a collaboration with Sharp Labs of America and is now an approved vendor of consultancy services, supporting Sharp Lab of America’s quest for more efficient video compression technology. The collaboration is a long-term engagement and involves among other things representation in world leading standards organizations such as MPEG (ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29).
Divideon patent granted in United Kingdom (in addition to Sweden)
Divideon has received a grant of patent for “Compression of segmented video” in United Kingdom (GB2568992). The patent covers a method for supporting efficient and seamless switching between various encoded video resolutions in a segmented video stream even when prediction is allowed across different video segments (so-called Open GOP Intra coding). A grant of patent for the same method has already been received in Sweden (SE1730236).
The xvc codec applied to 4D Light Field Compression
“What is the best compression method for light field data?” This was the question that researchers at Brno University of Technology wanted to find the answer to. By treating 4D light fields as a sequence of 2D images, modern video codecs (HEVC, AV1 and xvc) could be tested against still image codecs (JPEG and JPEG2000) and their 3D and 4D extensions. The results were presented at the 7th International Conference on Computer Graphics, Visualization and Computer Vision 2019, in Plzeň, CZ, and the paper is available here (direct link). And the conclusion? It turns out that the video codecs provide significantly better compression performance than the tested still image codecs. And when the video codecs are compared against each other the following is concluded: “Interestingly, the XVC codec has really shown better compression performance than HEVC and AV1, as claimed by the official website.”
Demo in Amsterdam, progress in Geneva and presentation in Los Angeles
The autumn of 2019 has been filled with exciting events and further developments for Divideon. During IBC in Amsterdam, Divideon co-sponsored the MC-IF Event with an excellent program of presentations and panels (read about the event here). We also showed demonstrations of the xvc decoder running at different bitrates on different devices with pure software decoding ranging from 240p at 100 kbps to 1080p at 2 mbps. Then, in Geneva, there was an MPEG meeting where both VVC and EVC were progressed to Draft International Standard stage. And just a bit more than a week after the closing of the MPEG meeting, Divideon’s CEO presented about the EVC standard at the SMPTE annual technical conference in Los Angeles. The presentation included both information about the motivation for the EVC standard as well as an overview of the technology included in the standard.
Successful MPEG meeting in Gothenburg – now preparing for IBC and MC-IF
In July 2019 the Swedish Institute for Standards hosted the MPEG meeting as well as JVET, JCT-VC, VCEG and SC29 meetings in Gothenburg, Sweden. With a record meeting attendance of more than 600 delegates and a much appreciated social event at Kajskjul 8, it is safe to say it was a successful meeting. Divideon was one of the sponsors and we are very happy to have contributed to MPEG in the effort to continuously move international standardization of multimedia technologies forward. Now we are in full preparation of the upcoming events at IBC in Amsterdam, where Divideon has been leading the planning of the MC-IF Event during IBC (more information and free registration at mc-if.org). Divideon is one of the sponsors of the MC-IF Event, and we will be demonstrating our software-defined next-generation decoding at the Crown Plaza South Hotel on September 17. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to schedule a meeting or private demo during IBC.
Compression performance and predictable licensing – xvc in a nutshell
While AVC/H.264 continues to be the default video codec in most deployed systems, more and more service providers are looking to the different options of next generation codecs in order to improve quality and reduce bandwidth costs. At Divideon we are continuing to develop the xvc codec, focusing on the technical performance and ensuring that xvc is available with a compelling licensing model. Which codec(s) will dominate in the next decade? Simon Forrest states that “Broadcasters may favour VVC and streaming services could utilise XVC or AV1” in a recent article at v-net.tv. That quote is also used by Adrian Pennington in an article entitled “Video Codecs Today: Minefield, Muddle, or Multiple Choice?” at streamingmedia.com. The same article also mentions the MPEG-5 EVC codec, a new MPEG project that Divideon is deeply involved in and which already includes several strong features from the xvc codec.
Workshop in Sunnyvale, demos at CES and MPEG meeting in Marrakesh
The new year has started of with a series of exciting events. The Media Coding Industry Forum (MC-IF) organized a workshop in Sunnyvale, California, with Divideon’s CEO as one of the speakers. Jan Ozer has written an article about the event available at streamingmedia.com with good coverage of the workshop in general, and a specific section about “Divideon’s Middle Ground” i.e. xvc. The MC-IF has been formed with the target of promoting MPEG standards and address the non-technical aspects of standards deployment, which in particular includes licensing. Divideon’s CEO Jonatan Samuelsson has been involved in the formation of MC-IF and is serving as MC-IF Board Member and Chief Communications Officer. More information about MC-IF, the members and upcoming events is available at mc-if.org. Divideon also demonstrated live 1080p software decoding on mobile phones at CES, and contributed to the MPEG meeting in Marrakesh.
Another award to Divideon, and paper about xvc for image compression available
The work on the xvc codec is continuing to impact and impress the compression industry. At the IBC show in Amsterdam, Divideon’s CEO received the award for best young professional. An interview is available in the “Best of IBC” journal and available online here. The xvc codec compresses video more efficiently than other video codecs such as HEVC and AV1 (link) but it is also an efficient still image compression format. At the Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) 2018, xvc was announced as one of the winners in the challenge on learned image compression (fastest top entry). The paper about xvc being applied for still image compression is available online here.
The xvc video codec in “codec wars” session at IBC
The IBC show is Europe’s largest media, entertainment and technology show, organized in Amsterdam in September every year. One important part of the show is the IBC conference which offers a high-standard program with a wide variety of topics, papers and speakers. This year there will be a specific session devoted to recent developments in video compression technology. The session, with the slightly provocative title “codec wars” will feature presentations about HEVC, AV1 and xvc. There will also be a panel discussion focused around status and trends in the video codec landscape where the audience will get a chance to bring forward their questions for discussion. The session will be held on September 16 at 9.15 AM and Divideon’s CEO Jonatan Samuelsson will present about the xvc codec and its advantages relative to other codecs such as AV1 and HEVC. More information about the session is available here.
Version 2.0 of xvc released with improved compression performance and a royalty-free baseline
Divideon has just released a new version of the xvc video codec. The official press release is available here. Version 2.0 of xvc includes new tools for improved compression performance and a royalty-free baseline profile. The xvc software is publicly available at GitHub under a dual licensing scheme; an LGPL license and a commercial license. And even though the codec and the software has been extended with new compression tools and new features such as multi-threaded encoding, xvc’s extensible bitstream structure and versioning framework ensures that all version 1 bitstreams are fully compatible and decodable by version 2 decoders.
The xvc codec wins price and stands strong against AI-empowered image compression schemes
The xvc codec is not only a very capable video compression format – which outperforms all other available video codecs (link) – it is also an extremely competent image compression format. This is recognized at the Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) 2018 where xvc has been announced as one of the winners in the challenge on learned image compression. The focus of the challenge, and the associated workshop, is on using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) techniques for image compression, but traditional approaches have also been welcomed to participate. The xvc codec has been designed for real-time decoding, typically at 30 frames per second or more, and does so far not include any elements of AI or ML. Nevertheless, the xvc codec provides better subjective quality than all other tested codecs, except for one, compared to which it falls short by only 0.007 in Mean Opinion Score (MOS) as can be seen at the challenge results page. But an important aspect to highlight is xvc’s fast decoding time. The xvc codec is between 29 times faster and 209 times faster compared to the other top performing schemes, which can explain why it’s awarded the price for fastest top entry.
Technical work towards new MPEG standard – and next version of xvc on it’s way
The MPEG standardization group (part of ISO/IEC) has kicked of technical work in a collaborative project together with VCEG (part of ITU-T) called JVET, and is aiming for publishing a new international video coding standard in late 2020. You can read more about the project at the MPEG convenor’s blog. A lot of new interesting technology will be evaluated in the context of the JVET project and Divideon is taking part in both technical and non-technical discussions and is continuing to work actively for reasonable licensing terms and rapid adoption of new technology for the benefit of the industry and the consumers. We are also continuing the work on the xvc codec, and the preparation for the second version of xvc is ramping up. Version two of xvc will provide better compression performance and include additional functionality, such as multi-threaded encoding – a feature that can already be turned on in the dev branch of the xvc repository by using the ‘-threads’ parameter.
The xvc codec at the IETF meeting – and new results for xvc
The xvc codec has been submitted to the NETVC Working Group of IETF as a candidate proposal and will be presented at the 101st IETF meeting in London. The submission, which is available here, includes a high-level description of xvc as well as performance numbers comparing a recent revisions of xvc with recent revisions of AV1 and HEVC. From the results, it can be noted that xvc is a clear overall winner and that xvc delivers extraordinarily good performance at lower resolutions (360p), with average bitrate savings relative to AV1 of 20% for single pass encoding and 16% for multi-pass encoding.
Divideon issues Call for Patents in xvc
Efficient video compression involves a large number of advanced processing steps applied to reduce video bandwidth as much as possible, without compromising visual quality. Developing and optimizing those processing steps requires a lot of hard work and throughout the years, a large number of organizations have been engaged in such development. Some combinations of processing steps, have been patented by the organization that have developed them, and at Divideon we are determined to share the licensing income from xvc with anyone that holds patents which read on xvc. We are already in contact with many organizations that have been involved in video compression technology development, but we are now also issuing a formal Call for Patents in xvc, in order to reach out to those that we might not previously have been in contact with. The Call for Patents in xvc is available here and patent holders are requested to contact email@example.com if they believe that they hold patents that read on xvc.
New xvc demo shows the quality improvement of deploying xvc
The xvc codec in the news
The xvc codec has now been available for a few months and it is starting to gain traction in the media streaming industry. An article about xvc can be found in the November/December 2017 issue of Streaming Media Magazine with the title “A Better HEVC Codec?”. The article is also available online here. The article summarizes some of the most central aspects of xvc and the xvc licensing model. There is also a short section around quality and compression performance relative to other codecs such as HEVC and AV1, mentioning that “in the two real-world files, xvc was the quality leader”. The article ends by emphasizing that “It’s definitely early days, but xvc appears to be a codec you should keep your eye on.”. The xvc codec was also one of the topics discussed at the Streaming Tech Sweden conference, where Divideon’s Jonatan Samuelsson presented about HEVC and xvc (slides available here).
Continued development of xvc
The first version of xvc was released less than a month ago but work towards the next version of xvc has already commenced. If you want to take a closer look at the development, or even start contributing to xvc, please check out https://github.com/divideon/xvc/tree/dev. Next week, Divideon will attend the MPEG meeting in Macau to present about xvc – and we are looking forward to valuable and fruitful discussions together with some of the world’s leading experts on video compression.
Introducing xvc – a world class video codec with indemnification
We are extremely proud to announce the release of xvc – a novel video codec with a revolutionary licensing model. The xvc codec is a software defined video codec with unprecedented performance, developed by Divideon. Please read the official press release for further details. Feel free to contact us if you have questions around xvc or if you would like to meet up and see our real-time xvc software decoding demo. We will be at IBC in Amsterdam from September 14 to September 18, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a meeting. At xvc.io you will find the source code of xvc and additional information about the codec and the one-stop shop license. We have also uploaded a white paper with background information about xvc.
Compression beyond HEVC at the MPEG meeting
Divideon attended the MPEG meeting in Turin in July 2017. One of the most interesting developments was in the area of video compression beyond HEVC. A Call for Evidence had been issued and it could be determined that there is technology showing improved performance relative to HEVC. The MPEG community is now taking the first steps towards starting a new project together with VCEG in developing a successor to HEVC. Divideon is actively taking part in this work, with a focus on making a future compression format broadly accessible, with extraordinary performance on low-bitrate streaming applications. An official press release from the MPEG meeting can be found at http://mpeg.chiariglione.org/meetings/119.
Divideon joins MPEG
Divideon is now a proud member of the MPEG community, joining forces with the largest and most productive video codec community in the world. MPEG has a remarkable history of producing media coding standards used all over the world, such as MPEG-2, AVC (MPEG-4 Part 10) and HEVC. MPEG meetings are being held four times per year with the next one scheduled for Torino in July 2017 (check out the MPEG website for more info). Would you like to meet up with us in Torino and learn more about Divideon, please send an email directly to email@example.com.
New Divideon website
Finally, a proper website for Divideon has been created. You can now find a little bit more information about Divideon, and we will continuously add more information about the company and the progress of our product development. Stay tuned to make sure you do not miss out on anything, or sign up for our newsletter so that you always get the latest news first.