Technical Papers: This paper looks at future MPEG standards

Abstract

8K-TV momentum has grown these past years, fostered by CE-display manufacturers and perspective of Tokyo’s Olympics broadcasting. However, a broad 8K-TV deployment is still uncertain. Although HEVC provides sufficient coding efficiency to enable DTH broadcasting, the transmission cost remains high and the HEVC licensing situation makes deployment complicated, especially for DTT. In that context, the emerging codecs VVC and EVC are both capable of addressing these issues by increasing coding efficiency without repeating HEVC licensing situation. In this paper, we demonstrate how VVC and EVC could be 8K-broadcast enablers in the upcoming years. Based on encoding constraints coming from DVB-T2/S2 and 5G-broadcast transmission scenarios, the relevance of both codecs is assessed based on encoding efficiency and complexity criterions. In addition, we highlight that early 8K-deployment is possible with these codecs since a reduced set of tools is capable of achieving minimal required efficiency. Finally, some preliminary results of ATEME industrial VVC encoding platform are provided to show that early 8K deployment is possible using the latest video coding standards.

Introduction

4K-UHD is currently the state-of-the-art video format for broadcast, which has been commercially developed these last years, driven by DVB [1] and ATSC [2]. It provides increased Quality of Experience (QoE), thanks to NGA, HDR/WCG and HFR. The excellent coding efficiency of HEVC [3] enabled 148 4K-UHD services to be deployed in the past years over various networks [4]. Despite these deployments, the 4K-UHD adoption is slowed down by unclear HEVC licensing costs which accelerated the development of emerging video coding standards claiming straightforward licensing terms and further increased efficiency. Developed within the MPEG standardization committee, both VVC [5] and EVC [6] are candidates to supersede HEVC in that context.

In the meantime, the 8K format emerged, fostered by CE-display manufacturers and perspective of Tokyo’s Olympics in Japan [7]. A previous study [8] shows that to maintain an optimal QoE, 8K HEVC encoding requires up to 50Mbps which remains prohibitive in many transmission scenarios. Although 8K suffers from low content availability, the usage of VVC/EVC combined with latest transmission systems (e.g. DVB-T2/S2, ATSC-3.0 or 5G-Broadcast) offers the perspective of having 8K services deployed in the upcoming years. From a commercial standpoint, 8K is also endorsed by promising shipment forecasts, especially in China, as indicated in a recent market analysis [9].

DTH is currently the only delivery method compatible with 8K HEVC encoding requirements. It was demonstrated that a complete 36MHz transponder can host a single 8K channel [10]. DTT, which offers a lower bandwidth capability, could be used to deliver 8K channels but would require higher coding efficiency since realistic DVB-T2 or ATSC-3.0 configurations enable around 35Mbps [11][12]. In addition, the development of feMBMS [11] during the past years reinforce the fact that 5G-broadcast combined with next generation codec could drive 8K deployments in the future.

The rest of the paper is organized as follows. The potential 8K-broadcast deployment scenarios are first analyzed to extract encoding constraints that need to be addressed by VVC and EVC. Then, an experimental study is conducted to illustrate how EVC and VVC perform on 8K contents for thes

scenarios. The results are analyzed from both coding efficiency and complexity perspective. The pros and cons of each codec are also discussed in terms of packaging and transport capabilities. In addition, some results from our early industrial VVC encoder are provided in that context. The conclusion discusses remaining 8K technological locks and future outlook.

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