Open Source VVenC And VVdeC H.266 Video Encoder And Decoder Now Run On x86 And Arm

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The VVdeC and VVenC standards were finalised in 2022, and the Fraunhofer HHI group has been working on them ever since.

Open source H.266/VCC video encoder and decoder VVenC and VVdeC are both optimised for SIMD instructions on x86 (SSE42/SIMDe and AVX2) and Arm, while the decoder is compatible with Windows, Linux, macOS, and Android.

In 2020, the H.266 video compression standard, also known as VCC (Versatile Video Coding), was approved with the promise of a 50% data reduction over the previous H.265/HEVC standard while maintaining the same visual quality. AV1 video codec ought to perform worse than H.266. Since the announcement, there had been no new developments, but the Realtek RTD1319D processor, which was unveiled last September and supports both 4K H.266 and AV1 video decoding, and the advancements made on the VVenC & VVdeC H.266 open source software encoder/decoder, which were discussed at FOSDEM 2023, may be changing that.

They both draw inspiration from VTM reference software for VCC, are written in C++ with a pure C interface, implement vectorization without the use of an assembler, and are provided under a BSD 3-Clause Clear licence that expressly grants no patent rights. The source code for both is accessible on GitHub.

VVdeC is fully Main10 profile compliant, supports more than 30 threads, runs on Windows, Linux (x86, Arm, RISC-V…), macOS (x86 and Arm), and Android. Since the first release, memory usage has been decreased by three times, and the developers are still making incremental advancements.

The VCenC open source H.266 encoder has five settings, faster, fast, medium, slow, and slower, each of which offers a distinct balance between quality and encoding speed. It is designed for offline use and VOD (Video-on-Demand) operations. Although multi-threading is supported, the encoding currently only supports 32 threads. Additionally, the developers plan to improve software efficiency. When using 8 threads, the Apple M1 Arm processor encodes data more quickly than an Intel Core i9-12900H processor.

It is now possible to incorporate VVenC & VVdeC into FFmpeg via third-party patches, which enables inclusion into mpv, VLC, and ExoPlayer. The VVdeC Web Player uses WebAssembly to play H.266 videos (without audio) in your browser as a final option.

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