Chapter 10. Extensions and directions
Since the first version of H.264/AVC was published in 2003, the video coding industry has continued to evolve. The range of platforms and delivery mechanisms for video continues to grow, with an increasing expectation that video content should be available on any platform from mobile to HD and 3D displays, over any network including broadcast, internet, mobile, etc. The standard itself has evolved since 2003. This chapter summarizes recent extensions to the standard and looks at what might come after H.264.
The so-called 'Professional' or 'Fidelity Range' extensions became the High Profiles of H.264, tools for coding High Definition and studio content with very high reproduction fidelity, described in earlier chapters.
The increasing need for coding the same original content at different bandwidths and display resolutions led to the development of the Scalable Video Coding (SVC) extension to H.264, standardised as H.264 SVC. SVC supports efficient coding of video in such a way that multiple versions of the video signal can be decoded at a range of bitrates, spatial resolutions and/or temporal resolutions or frame rates. By jointly coding multiple versions, it should be possible to deliver them in a more efficient way than the alternative of coding and transmitting each version separately.
There is a trend towards creating and delivering multiple views of the same video scene. Stereoscopic video, with suitable display technology, gives ...