Canon, amongst other companies, has just played an important part in extending the base spec of the HEVC codec to fold in features that the average high-end user or production crew could find invaluable as the codec matures.
All in all there are 19 range extensions to the codec, all of which were completed last month, but the ones particularly relevant here include additional support for colour depth beyond 10-bits per sample and 4:2:2/4:4:4 chroma sampling.
“In order to extend the HEVC’s previous 4:2:0 chroma sampling and realise the 4:2:2/4:4:4 chroma sampling of the HEVC range extensions, Canon developed and proposed multiple new technologies for the extensions that achieved an improved video data compression ratio while also making the technologies easier to realise,” stated the company. “As a result, some of these proposed technologies were incorporated into the HEVC range extensions.”
According to Canon these features should enable maintenance of high image quality during the shooting, editing and output of both 4K and 8K video footage. Certainly they will boost rich colour reproduction and make smooth colour expression more achievable, all of which in turn should greatly increase the codec’s potential as an acquisition format — not just a transmission format —for both high res cinema and broadcast.