Technical Emmy for H.264/MPEG-4 AVC

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I have many ways of reminding my wife I'm an hopeless video nerd. Among them is that I only pay attention to the Emmy Awards she's watching when the recap of the technical awards comes on.

So, I was really excited that our own Dr. Gary Sullivan, chairman of the Joint Video Team, was on hand last week to receive a 2008 Primetime Emmy® Engineering Award for developing H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile. In the words of the Academy:

Joint Video Team Standards Committee (JVT) for the development of the High Profile for H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC. The High Profile enables high definition images in the H.264 video coding system used today to deliver HD video over satellite and cable TV as well as Blu-ray Disc. The JVT is a standardization team comprised of members from the International Standardization Organization (ISO), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

The award recognized Broadcom, NTT DoCoMo, Dolby Laboratories, Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute, Microsoft, Motorola, Panasonic, Sony, and Thomson as contributing companies, as well as standards organizations ISO, IEC, and ITU.

Gary has long represented Microsoft as as chair and co-chair of the Joint Video Team that coordinated the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC effort between ITU-T VCEG and ISO/IEC MPEG, amongst his many other efforts like DXVA; his page on Wikipedia has more details.

I suppose some people might be surprised at Microsoft's inclusion here, but they shouldn't be. While Microsoft has a long heritage of making our own ground-up codecs like VC-1, we've also long been involved in standards-based codecs, including the original MPEG-4 Part 2 as well as MPEG-4 Part 10/H.264. And we've got a number of products that incorporate H.264 today, including Mediaroom, the Zune 4/8 and 80, and Xbox 360. H.264 are and VC-1 are both great codecs, with somewhat different sweet spots, and we use either or both as appropriate in our products, platforms, and services.

The picture above has, left to right: Malcolm Johnson (director of the ITU standardization bureau), Ajay Luthra (JVT vice-chair from Motorola), Gary Sullivan (JVT chair from Microsoft), Thomas Wiegand (JVT vice-chair from Fraunhofer HHI), and Scott Jameson (chair of ISO/IEC JTC 1)


And a few other articles/posts about the award:


EE Times


Minoru "Mick" Etoh's blog (who represented DoCoMo at the ceremony)

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