The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG), a group of technology experts formed to create new digital standards for audio and video compression, has a rich history when it comes to creating formats that affect everyone. Think of MP3, which is formally known as MPEG-1 Audio Layer III. MPEG-2 is used for DVD's, but also for digital television and some HD content. But the most recent standard that has become quite famous is probably H264, technically called MPEG-4 Part 10. It's used for compressing high definition video with small file sizes relative to other standards.
But because digital media consumption keeps growing and traditional systems can't always cope with the increased bandwidth required, 450 delegates from the The Moving Picture Experts Group have agreed on a new draft standard which could have "an enormous impact on the industry." These words come from the Swedish organiser of the meeting Per Fröjdh, who's a manager for visual technology at Ericsson Research:
"There’s a lot of industry interest in this because it means you can halve the bit rate and still achieve the same visual quality, or double the number of television channels with the same bandwidth."
The new standard will be called High Efficiency Video Coding, also known as H.265 and MPEG-H Part 2. Although the television industry probably isn't going to implement the new technique very soon, mobile service providers could incorporate the format into their services as early as next year, according to Fröjdh. Video is becoming a big part of all data sent over networks, and it keeps increasing. By 2015, it could be as much as 90 percent of all network traffic.