Sustainability of Digital Formats: Planning for Library of Congress Collections

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MPEG-4, Advanced Video Coding, High Profile

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Format Description Properties Explanation of format description terms

Identification and description Explanation of format description terms

Full name Information technology -- Coding of audio-visual objects (formal name); MPEG-4, Advanced Video Coding (part 10), High Profile.
Description

The High Profile of MPEG-4_AVC (from ITU-T H.264) supports 4:2:0 chroma at 8 bits per channel, adaptive macroblock-level switching between 8x8 and 4x4 transform block size, encoder-specified quantization scaling matrices, encoder-specified separate control of the quantization parameter for each chroma component, and monochrome sequences. The Overview and Introduction to the Fidelity Range Extensions states that "the High profile seems to be overtaking the Main profile as the primary choice for broadcast and other entertainment-quality applications."

NOTE: this Web page drafted prior to the amendment of the standard to add the four High profiles.Comments welcome.

Production phase Generally a final-state (end-user delivery) format.
Relationship to other formats
    Subtype of MPEG-4_AVC, MPEG-4, Advanced Video Coding (Part 10) (H.264)
    Used by MP4_FF_2_AVC_HP, MPEG-4 File Format, V.2, with AVC, High Profile

Local use Explanation of format description terms

LC experience or existing holdings  
LC preference  

Sustainability factors Explanation of format description terms

Disclosure Open standard. See MPEG-4_AVC.
    Documentation See MPEG-4_AVC. This profile is not yet in the formal specification; information may be found in Overview and Introduction to the Fidelity Range Extensions.
Adoption From H.264/MPEG4-AVC Fidelity Range Extensions: Tools, Profiles, Performance, and Application Areas:
The High profile "has recently been included in some important application standards or specifications of industry consortia:
  • The [European] specifications TS 101 154 and TS 102 005 of DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting) specify HP for satellite,cable, and terrestrial broadcasting using MPEG-2 transport stream or IP, respectively
  • The HD-DVD specification of the DVD Forum makes HP mandatory for every decoder
  • The BD specification of the Blu-Ray Disc Association (BDA) also makes HP mandatory for every decoder"

See also MPEG-4_AVC.

    Licensing and patents See MP4_FF_2.
Transparency See MP4_FF_2.
Self-documentation See MP4_FF_2.
External dependencies See MP4_FF_2.
Technical protection considerations See MP4_FF_2.

Quality and functionality factors Explanation of format description terms

Moving Image
Normal rendering Good support.
Clarity (high image resolution) See MPEG-4_AVC. Depends in part on the level and encoding algorithm selected. The High Profile has the potential to produce greater clarity than MPEG-4_AVC_BP, MPEG-4_AVC_MP, and MPEG-4_AVC_EP at a given picture size and data rate. By the same token, MPEG-4_AVC_HP clarity can be surpassed by MPEG-4_AVC_H10P, MPEG-4_AVC_H422P, and MPEG-4_AVC_H444P.
Functionality beyond normal rendering See MP4_FF_2.

File type signifiers and format identifiers Explanation of format description terms

Tag Value Note
Filename extension Not applicable.  Pertains to the file format; see MP4_FF_2
Internet Media Type Not applicable.  Pertains to the file format; see MP4_FF_2
Magic numbers Not applicable.  Pertains to the file format; see MP4_FF_2
File type brand (ISO Base Media File Format) See note.  Indicated in file wrapper and relates to "brands" defined in ISO_BMFF. Wrapping MPEG-4_AVC bitstreams in MP4_FF_1 (unlikely) would occasion the use of mp41; in MP4_FF_2 (more likely), use mp42.
Indicator for profile, level, version, etc. 100
profile_idc: described as a part of Annex A of Part 10 of the standard, pp. 204-05.

Notes Explanation of format description terms

General From H.264/MPEG4-AVC Fidelity Range Extensions: Tools, Profiles, Performance, and Application Areas: "All four [High] profiles inherit the tool set of the Main profile, and as their common intersection, the High profile (HP) additionally contains all major new tools for improving the coding efficiency. Relative to the Main profile (MP), these tools imply only moderate (if any) increases in complexity both in terms of implementation and computational costs (at the decoder side), as briefly discussed for the case of the 8x8 transform in the previous section. Therefore, the High profile with its restriction to 8-bit video in 4:2:0 chroma format (or optionally in monochrome format) is likely to replace the Main profile for prospective applications of H.264/MPEG4-AVC in typical consumer applications."
History  

Format specifications Explanation of format description terms


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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22-Feb-2017 12:37:42 EST