The Future Of MPEG

Last weekend, MPEG founder and convenor, Leonardo Chiariglione, announced his resignation after 32 years at the helm. He followed up with a series of blogs that were highly critical of the manner in which the ISO (one of MPEG’s parent bodies) operated. One of those blogs, titled “A Future without MPEG”, has prompted many to wonder if this is the end of the road for MPEG.

In the short- and medium-term future, the answer is no. MPEG has appointed an acting convenor to take over, along with a convenor support team consisting of eleven senior members of MPEG and its parent bodies. Three new video coding standards, VVC, EVC and LC-EVC, are all on track to be officially released in July.

It is also worth recalling that MPEG is not just limited to video coding standards. Its standards for audio coding (AAC and derivatives), file formats (MPEG-2 TS, ISO Base Media File Format and derivatives such as MP4), and streaming protocols (such as DASH, MMT) are widely adopted, and are actively being updated and improved to add new futures. Many other Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) – such as DVB, SMPTE, ATSC, 3GPP just to name a few – routinely adopt and integrate MPEG standards in their own outputs. For all these reasons, we remain optimistic that for the most part, MPEG’s activities will continue. – ATEME

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