Tuesday, October 23, 2012

MPEG news: a report from the 102nd meeting, Shanghai, China

The 102nd MPEG meeting was held in Shanghai, China, October 15-19, 2012. The official press release can be found here (not yet available) and I would like to highlight the following topics:
  • Augmented Reality Application Format (ARAF) goes DIS
  • MPEG-4 has now 30 parts: Let's welcome timed text and other visual overlays
  • Draft call for proposals for 3D audio 
  • Green MPEG is progressing
  • MPEG starts a new publicity campaign by making more working documents publicly available for free

Augmented Reality Application Format (ARAF) goes DIS

MPEG's application format dealing with augmented reality reached DIS status and is only one step away from becoming in international standard. In a nutshell, the MPEG ARAF enables to augment 2D/3D regions of scene by combining multiple/existing standards within a specific application format addressing certain industry needs. In particular, ARAF comprises three components referred to as scene, sensor/actuator, and media. The scene component is represented using a subset of MPEG-4 Part 11 (BIFS), the sensor/actuator component is defined within MPEG-V, and the media component may comprise various type of compressed (multi)media assets using different sorts of modalities and codecs.

A tutorial from Marius Preda, MPEG 3DG chair, at the Web3D conference in August 2012 is provided below.

MPEG-4 has now 30 parts

Let's welcome timed text and other visual overlays in the family of MPEG-4 standards. Part 30 of MPEG-4 - in combination with an amendment to the ISO base media file format (ISOBMFF) -  addresses the carriage of W3C TTML including its derivative SMPTE Timed Text, as well as WebVTT. The types of overlays include subtitles, captions, and other timed text and graphics. The text-based overlays include basic text and XML-based text. Additionally, the standards provides support for bitmaps, fonts, and other graphics formats such as scalable vector graphics.

Draft call for proposals for 3D audio

MPEG 3D audio is concerned about various test items ranging from 9.1 over 12.1 up to 22.1 channel configurations. A public draft call for proposals has been issued at this meeting with the goal to finalize the call and the evaluation guidelines at the next meeting. The evaluation will be conducted in two phases. Phase one for higher bitrates (1.5 Mbps to 265 kbps) is foreseen to conclude in July 2013 with the evaluation of the answers to the call and the selection of the "Reference Model 0 (RM0)" technology which will serve as a basis for the development of an 3D audio standard. The second phase targets lower bitrates (96 kbps to 48 kbps) and builds on RM0 technology after this has been documented using text and code.

Green MPEG is progressing

The idea between green MPEG is to define signaling means that enable energy efficient encoding, delivery, decoding, and/or presentation of MPEG formats (and possibly others) without the loss of Quality of Experience. Green MPEG will address this issue from an end-to-end point of view with the focus - as usual - on the decoder. However, a codec-centric design is not desirable as the energy efficiency should not be affected at the expenses of the other components of the media ecosystem. At the moment, first requirements have been defined and everyone is free to join the discussions on the email reflector within the Ad-hoc Group.

MPEG starts a new publicity campaign by making more working documents publicly available for free

As a response to national bodies comments, MPEG is starting from now on to make more documents publicly available for free. Here's a selection of these documents which are publicly available here. Note that some may have an editing period and, thus, are not available at the of writing this blog post.
  • Text of ISO/IEC 14496-15:2010/DAM 2 Carriage of HEVC (2012/11/02)
  • Text of ISO/IEC CD 14496-30 Timed Text and Other Visual Overlays in ISO Base Media File Format (2012/11/02)
  • DIS of ISO/IEC 23000-13, Augmented Reality Application Format (2012/11/07)
  • DTR of ISO/IEC 23000-14, Augmented reality reference model (2012/11/21)
  • Study of ISO/IEC CD 23008-1 MPEG Media Transport (2012/11/12)
  • High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) Test Model 9 (HM 9) Encoder Description (2012/11/30)
  • Study Text of ISO/IEC DIS 23008-2 High Efficiency Video Coding (2012/11/30)
  • Working Draft of HEVC Full Range Extensions (2012/11/02)
  • Working Draft of HEVC Conformance (2012/11/02)
  • Report of Results of the Joint Call for Proposals on Scalable High Efficiency Video Coding (SHVC) (2012/11/09)
  • Draft Call for Proposals on 3D Audio (2012/10/19)
  • Text of ISO/IEC 23009-1:2012 DAM 1 Support for Event Messages and Extended Audio Channel Configuration (2012/10/31)
  • Internet Video Coding Test Model (ITM) v 3.0 (2012/11/02)
  • Draft Requirements on MPEG User Descriptions (2012/10/19)
  • Draft Use Cases for MPEG User Description (Ver. 4.0) (2012/10/19)
  • Requirements on Green MPEG (2012/10/19)
  • White Paper on State of the Art in compression and transmission of 3D Video (Draft) (2012/10/19)
  • White Paper on Compact Descriptors for Visual Search (2012/11/09)
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