Versatile Video Coding

Versatile Video Coding (VVC), also known as H.266,[1] ISO/IEC 23090-3,[2] MPEG-I Part 3 and Future Video Coding (FVC), is a video compression standard finalized on 6 July 2020, by the Joint Video Experts Team (JVET),[3] a joint video expert team of the VCEG working group of ITU-T Study Group 16 and the MPEG working group of ISO/IEC JTC 1. It is the successor to High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC, also known as ITU-T H.265 and MPEG-H Part 2). The aim is to make 4K broadcast and streaming commercially viable.[4]

VVC / H.266 / MPEG-I Part 3
Versatile video coding
StatusIn force
Year started2017
First published2020
Latest version1.0
29 August 2020
OrganizationITU-T, ISO, IEC
CommitteeSG16 (VCEG), MPEG
Base standardsH.261, H.262, H.263, H.264, H.265, MPEG-1
Domainvideo compression


In October 2015, the MPEG and VCEG formed the Joint Video Exploration Team (JVET) to evaluate available compression technologies and study the requirements for a next-generation video compression standard. The new algorithms should have a 30–50% better compression rate for the same perceptual quality, with support for lossless and subjectively lossless compression. It should support resolutions from 4K to 16K as well as 360° videos. VVC should support YCbCr 4:4:4, 4:2:2 and 4:2:0 with 10 to 16 bits per component, BT.2100 wide color gamut and high dynamic range (HDR) of more than 16 stops (with peak brightness of 1000, 4000 and 10000 nits), auxiliary channels (for depth, transparency, etc.), variable and fractional frame rates from 0 to 120 Hz, scalable video coding for temporal (frame rate), spatial (resolution), SNR, color gamut and dynamic range differences, stereo/multiview coding, panoramic formats, and still picture coding.YCbCr 4:4:4 and YCbCr 4:2:2 are supported since March 2019.[5] Work on high bit depth support (12 and 16 bits per component) started in October 2020[6] and is ongoing. Encoding complexity of several times (up to ten times) that of HEVC is expected, depending on the quality of the encoding algorithm (which is outside the scope of the standard). The decoding complexity is expected to be about twice that of HEVC.

VVC development is made using the VVC Test Model (VTM), a reference software codebase that was started with a minimal set of coding tools. Further coding tools are added after being tested in Core Experiments (CEs). Its predecessor was the Joint Exploration Model (JEM), an experimental software codebase that was based on the reference software used for HEVC.


JVET issued a final “Call for Proposals” in October 2017, with which the standardization process officially began.[7]

The first working draft of the Versatile Video Coding standard was released in April 2018.[8]

At IBC 2018, a preliminary implementation based on VVC was demonstrated that was said to compress video 40% more efficiently than HEVC.[9]

The content of the final standard was approved on 6 July 2020.[10][11][12]

Current scheduleEdit

  • October 2017: Call for Proposals
  • April 2018: Evaluation of the proposals received and first draft of the standard[13]
  • July 2019: Ballot issued for Committee Draft
  • October 2019: Ballot issued for Draft International Standard
  • 6 July 2020: Completion of final standard


To reduce the risk of the problems seen when licensing HEVC implementations, for VVC a new group called the Media Coding Industry Forum (MC-IF) was founded.[14][15] However, MC-IF has no official power over the standardization process, which is still based on pure technical merit.[16]

Four companies were vying to be the patent pool administrator for VVC, in a situation similar to the previous AVC [17] and HEVC [18] codecs. Two companies were selected:[19] Access Advance and MPEG LA.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "H.266: Versatile video coding". Archived from the original on 21 June 2021. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  2. ^ "Information technology — Coded representation of immersive media — Part 3: Versatile video coding". International Organization for Standardization. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  3. ^ "JVET - Joint Video Experts Team". Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  4. ^ PARVEZ, HUSAIN. "H.266 Explained: New Codec Promises 4K Video Streaming Using 50% Less Data". Retrieved 8 July 2020.
  5. ^ "A. Filippov, V. Rufitskiy et al., JVET-N0671, Support of 4:4:4 and 4:2:2 chroma formats in VVC". JVET document management system.
  6. ^ "T. Ikai, T. Zhou, T. Hashimoto, AHG12: VVC coding tool evaluation for high bit-depth coding". JVET document management system.
  7. ^ "N17195, Joint Call for Proposals on Video Compression with Capability beyond HEVC | MPEG". Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  8. ^ "N17669, Working Draft 1 of Versatile Video Coding | MPEG". Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  9. ^ "Fraunhofer Institut zeigt 50% besseren HEVC Nachfolger VVC auf der // IBC 2018". slashCAM (in German). Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI". Retrieved 8 July 2020.
  11. ^ "Versatile Video Coding | MPEG". Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  12. ^ ITU (27 April 2018). "Beyond HEVC: Versatile Video Coding project starts strongly in Joint Video Experts Team". ITU News. Archived from the original on 21 June 2021. Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  13. ^ "JVET-J1001: Versatile Video Coding (Draft 1)". April 2018.
  14. ^ Ozer, Jan (13 January 2019). "A Video Codec Licensing Update". Streaming Media Magazine. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  15. ^ "MC-IF". mc-if. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  16. ^ Feldman, Christian (7 May 2019). "Video Engineering Summit East 2019 –AV1/VVC Update". New York. Retrieved 20 June 2019. No change to the standardization has been done, so it could theoretically happen that the same thing with HEVC happens again. No measures have been done to prevent that, unfortunately. Also, JVET is not directly responsible; they are just a technical committee. (…) There is the Media Coding Industry Forum (…), but they don't have any real power.
  17. ^ Siglin, Timothy (12 February 2009). "The H.264 Licensing Labyrinth". Streaming Media Magazine. Retrieved 8 July 2020.
  18. ^ "Balance of Power Shifts Among HEVC Patent Pools". Streaming Media Magazine. 17 January 2020. Retrieved 8 July 2020.
  19. ^ "VVC Patent Pools: And Then There Were Two". Streaming Media Magazine. 28 January 2021. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  20. ^ "Fraunhofer HHI has developed a software encoder that fully exploits the compression potential of VVC. Its source code is available on GitHub". Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  21. ^ "Fraunhofer HHI has developed a resource efficient, multithreaded VVC software decoder that enables live decoding. Its source code is available on GitHub". Retrieved 29 June 2021.

External linksEdit