Moving Picture Experts Group
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Moving Picture Experts Group
MPEG logo
Some well known older media formats based on MPEG standards

The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) is an alliance of working groups of ISO and IEC that sets standards for media coding, including compression coding of audio, video, graphics and genomic data, and transmission and file formats for various applications.[1] Together with the JPEG, MPEG is organized under ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29 - Coding of audio, picture, multimedia and hypermedia information (ISO/IEC Joint Technical Committee 1, Subcommittee 29).[2][3][4][5][6][7]

MPEG formats are used in various multimedia systems. The most well known older MPEG media formats typically use MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4 AVC media coding and MPEG-2 systems transport streams and program streams. Newer systems typically use the MPEG base media file format and dynamic streaming (a.k.a. MPEG-DASH).


MPEG was established in 1988 by the initiative of Hiroshi Yasuda (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone) and Leonardo Chiariglione,[8] who was the group's chair from its inception until June 6, 2020. The first MPEG meeting was in May 1988 in Ottawa, Canada.[9][10][11]

As of late 2005, MPEG had grown to include approximately 350 members per meeting from various industries, universities, and research institutions.[needs update]

On June 6, 2020, the MPEG part of Chiariglione's personal website was updated to inform readers that he had retired as Convenor, and he said that the MPEG group (then SC 29/WG 11) "was closed".[12] Chiariglione, in his blog, explained his reasons for deciding to step down.[13] His decision followed a restructuring process within SC 29, in which "some of the subgroups of WG 11 (MPEG) [became] distinct MPEG working groups (WGs) and advisory groups (AGs)" in July 2020.[3] Prof. Jörn Ostermann was appointed as Acting Convenor of SC 29/WG 11 during the restructuring period and was then appointed Convenor of SC 29's Advisory Group 2, which coordinates MPEG overall technical activities.

The MPEG structure that replaced the former Working Group 11 includes three Advisory Groups (AGs) and seven Working Groups (WGs)[2]

  • SC 29/AG 2: MPEG Technical Coordination
  • SC 29/AG 3: MPEG Liaison and Communication
  • SC 29/AG 5: MPEG Visual Quality Assessment
  • SC 29/WG 2: MPEG Technical requirements
  • SC 29/WG 3: MPEG Systems
  • SC 29/WG 4: MPEG Video Coding
  • SC 29/WG 5: MPEG Joint Video Coding Team(s) with ITU-T SG 16
  • SC 29/WG 6: MPEG Audio coding
  • SC 29/WG 7: MPEG 3D Graphics coding
  • SC 29/WG 8: MPEG Genomic coding

The first meeting under the current structure was held in October 2020. It was held virtually by teleconference due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[14]

Cooperation with other groups

Joint Video Team

Joint Video Team (JVT) was joint project between ITU-T SG16/Q.6 (Study Group 16 / Question 6) - VCEG (Video Coding Experts Group) and ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29/WG 11 - MPEG for the development of a video coding ITU-T Recommendation and ISO/IEC International Standard.[4][15] It was formed in 2001 and its main result was H.264/MPEG-4 AVC (MPEG-4 Part 10).[16] The JVT was chaired by Gary Sullivan, with vice-chairs Thomas Wiegand and Ajay Luthra.

Joint Collaborative Team on Video Coding

Joint Collaborative Team on Video Coding (JCT-VC) was a group of video coding experts from ITU-T Study Group 16 (VCEG) and ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29/WG 11 (MPEG). It was created in 2010 to develop High Efficiency Video Coding, a new generation video coding standard that further reduces (by 50%) the data rate required for high quality video coding, as compared to the then-current ITU-T H.264 / ISO/IEC 14496-10 standard.[17][18] JCT-VC was co-chaired by Prof. Jens-Rainer Ohm and Gary Sullivan.

Joint Video Exploration Team

Joint Video Exploration Team (JVET) is a joint group of video coding experts from ITU-T Study Group 16 (VCEG) and ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29/WG 11 (MPEG) created in 2017 after an exploration phase in 2015. It developed the Versatile Video Coding (VVC) standard, completed in July 2020. Like JCT-VC, JVET is co-chaired by Jens-Rainer Ohm and Gary Sullivan. The JCT-VC was merged into JVET in July 2020.


The MPEG standards consist of different Parts. Each part covers a certain aspect of the whole specification.[19] The standards also specify Profiles and Levels. Profiles are intended to define a set of tools that are available, and Levels define the range of appropriate values for the properties associated with them.[20] Some of the approved MPEG standards were revised by later amendments and/or new editions.

MPEG has standardized the following compression formats and ancillary standards. All of the MPEG formats listed below use discrete cosine transform (DCT) based lossy video compression algorithms.[21]

  • MPEG-1 (1993): Coding of moving pictures and associated audio for digital storage media at up to about 1.5 Mbit/s (ISO/IEC 11172). This initial version is known as a lossy fileformat and is the first MPEG compression standard for audio and video. It is commonly limited to about 1.5 Mbit/s although the specification is capable of much higher bit rates. It was basically designed to allow moving pictures and sound to be encoded into the bitrate of a Compact Disc. It is used on Video CD and can be used for low-quality video on DVD Video. It was used in digital satellite/cable TV services before MPEG-2 became widespread. To meet the low bit requirement, MPEG-1 downsamples the images, as well as uses picture rates of only 24-30 Hz, resulting in a moderate quality.[22] It includes the popular MPEG-1 Audio Layer III (MP3) audio compression format.
  • MPEG-2 (1995): Generic coding of moving pictures and associated audio information (ISO/IEC 13818). Transport, video and audio standards for broadcast-quality television. MPEG-2 standard was considerably broader in scope and of wider appeal - supporting interlacing and high definition. MPEG-2 is considered important because it has been chosen as the compression scheme for over-the-air digital television ATSC, DVB and ISDB, digital satellite TV services like Dish Network, digital cable television signals, SVCD and DVD Video.[22] It is also used on Blu-ray Discs, but these normally use MPEG-4 Part 10 or SMPTE VC-1 for high-definition content.
  • MPEG-3: MPEG-3 dealt with standardizing scalable and multi-resolution compression[22] and was intended for HDTV compression but was found to be redundant and was merged with MPEG-2; as a result there is no MPEG-3 standard.[22][23] MPEG-3 is not to be confused with MP3, which is MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III.
  • MPEG-4 (1998): Coding of audio-visual objects. (ISO/IEC 14496) MPEG-4 provides a framework for more advanced compression algorithms potentially resulting in higher compression ratios compared to MPEG-2 at the cost of higher computational requirements. MPEG-4 supports Intellectual Property Management and Protection (IPMP), which provides the facility to use proprietary technologies to manage and protect content like digital rights management.[24] It also supports MPEG-J, a fully programmatic solution for creation of custom interactive multimedia applications (Java application environment with a Java API) and many other features.[25][26][27] Several new higher-efficiency video standards (newer than MPEG-2 Video) are included, notably:

MPEG-4 has been chosen as the compression scheme for over-the-air in Brazil (ISDB-TB), based on original digital television from Japan (ISDB-T).[28]

In addition, the following standards, while not sequential advances to the video encoding standard as with MPEG-1 through MPEG-4, are referred to by similar notation:

  • MPEG-7 (2002): Multimedia content description interface. (ISO/IEC 15938)
  • MPEG-21 (2001): Multimedia framework (MPEG-21). (ISO/IEC 21000) MPEG describes this standard as a multimedia framework and provides for intellectual property management and protection.

Moreover, more recently than other standards above, MPEG has started following international standards; each of the standards holds multiple MPEG technologies for a way of application.[29][30][31][32][33] (For example, MPEG-A includes a number of technologies on multimedia application format.)

  • MPEG-A (2007): Multimedia application format (MPEG-A). (ISO/IEC 23000) (e.g., Purpose for multimedia application formats,[34] MPEG music player application format, MPEG photo player application format and others)
  • MPEG-B (2006): MPEG systems technologies. (ISO/IEC 23001) (e.g., Binary MPEG format for XML,[35] Fragment Request Units, Bitstream Syntax Description Language (BSDL) and others)
  • MPEG-C (2006): MPEG video technologies. (ISO/IEC 23002) (e.g., Accuracy requirements for implementation of integer-output 8x8 inverse discrete cosine transform[36] and others)
  • MPEG-D (2007): MPEG audio technologies. (ISO/IEC 23003) (e.g., MPEG Surround,[37] SAOC-Spatial Audio Object Coding and USAC-Unified Speech and Audio Coding)
  • MPEG-E (2007): Multimedia Middleware. (ISO/IEC 23004) (a.k.a. M3W) (e.g., Architecture,[38] Multimedia application programming interface (API), Component model and others)
  • MPEG-G (2019): Genomic Information Representation. (ISO/IEC 23092) Part 1 - Transport and Storage of Genomic Information; Part 2 - Coding of Genomic Information; Part 3 - APIs; Part 4 - Reference Software; Part 5 - Conformance; Part 6 - Genomic Annotations
  • Supplemental media technologies (2008). (ISO/IEC 29116) Part 1: Media streaming application format protocols will be revised in MPEG-M; Part 4 - MPEG extensible middleware (MXM) protocols.[39]
  • MPEG-V (2011): Media context and control. (ISO/IEC 23005) (a.k.a. Information exchange with Virtual Worlds)[40][41] (e.g., Avatar characteristics, Sensor information, Architecture[42][43] and others)
  • MPEG-M (2010): MPEG eXtensible Middleware (MXM). (ISO/IEC 23006)[44][45][46] (e.g., MXM architecture and technologies,[47] API, MPEG extensible middleware (MXM) protocols[48])
  • MPEG-U (2010): Rich media user interfaces. (ISO/IEC 23007)[49][50] (e.g., Widgets)
  • MPEG-H (2013): High Efficiency Coding and Media Delivery in Heterogeneous Environments. (ISO/IEC 23008) Part 1 - MPEG media transport; Part 2 - High Efficiency Video Coding; Part 3 - 3D Audio.
  • MPEG-DASH (2012): Information technology - Dynamic adaptive streaming over HTTP (DASH). (ISO/IEC 23009) Part 1 - Media presentation description and segment formats
  • MPEG-I (2020): Coded Representation of Immersive Media.[51] (ISO/IEC 23090) Part 3 - Versatile Video Coding, Part 2 OMAF (Omnidirectional Media Format).
MPEG groups of standards[30][31][32][52][53]
Acronym for a group of standards Title ISO/IEC standards First public release date (First edition) Description
MPEG-1 Coding of moving pictures and associated audio for digital storage media. Commonly limited to about 1.5 Mbit/s although specification is capable of much higher bit rates ISO/IEC 11172 1993
MPEG-2 Generic coding of moving pictures and associated audio information ISO/IEC 13818 1995
MPEG-3 Abandoned, incorporated into MPEG-2
MPEG-4 Coding of audio-visual objects ISO/IEC 14496 1999
MPEG-7 Multimedia content description interface ISO/IEC 15938 2002
MPEG-21 Multimedia framework (MPEG-21) ISO/IEC 21000 2001
MPEG-A Multimedia application format (MPEG-A) ISO/IEC 23000 2007
MPEG-B MPEG systems technologies ISO/IEC 23001 2006
MPEG-C MPEG video technologies ISO/IEC 23002 2006
MPEG-D MPEG audio technologies ISO/IEC 23003 2007
MPEG-E Multimedia Middleware ISO/IEC 23004 2007
MPEG-G Genomic Information Representation ISO/IEC 23092 2019
(none) Supplemental media technologies ISO/IEC 29116 2008 Withdrawn and replaced by MPEG-M Part 4 - MPEG extensible middleware (MXM) protocols
MPEG-V Media context and control ISO/IEC 23005[42] 2011
MPEG-M MPEG extensible middleware (MXM) ISO/IEC 23006[47] 2010
MPEG-U Rich media user interfaces ISO/IEC 23007[49] 2010
MPEG-H High Efficiency Coding and Media Delivery in Heterogeneous Environments ISO/IEC 23008[54] 2013
MPEG-DASH Information technology - DASH ISO/IEC 23009 2012
MPEG-I Coded Representation of Immersive Media ISO/IEC 23090 2020

Standardization process

A standard published by ISO/IEC is the last stage of an approval process that starts with the proposal of new work within a committee. Stages of the standard development process include:[9][55][56][57][58][59]

  • NP or NWIP - New Proposal / New Work Item Proposal
  • AWI - Approved new Work Item
  • WD - Working Draft
  • CD - Committee Draft
  • DIS - Draft International Standard
  • FDIS - Final Draft International Standard
  • IS - International Standard
  • CDAM - Committee Draft Amendment
  • DAM - Draft Amendment
  • FDAM - Final Draft Amendment
  • AMD - Amendment

Other abbreviations:

  • DTR - Draft Technical Report (for information)
  • TR - Technical Report
  • DCOR - Draft Technical Corrigendum (for corrections)
  • COR - Technical Corrigendum

A proposal of work (New Proposal) is approved at Subcommittee and then at the Technical Committee level (SC29 and JTC1 respectively - in the case of MPEG). When the scope of new work is sufficiently clarified, MPEG usually makes open requests for proposals - known as "Call for proposals". The first document that is produced for audio and video coding standards is called a Verification Model (VM). In the case of MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 this was called Simulation and Test Model, respectively. When a sufficient confidence in the stability of the standard under development is reached, a Working Draft (WD) is produced. This is in the form of a standard but is kept internal to MPEG for revision. When a WD is sufficiently solid, becomes Committee Draft (CD) (usually at the planned time). It is then sent to National Bodies (NB) for ballot. The CD becomes a Draft International Standard (DIS) if the number of positive votes is above the quorum. After a review and comments issued by NBs, the DIS is again submitted to NBs for the second ballot. If the DIS is approved, it becomes a Final Draft International Standard (FDIS). ISO then holds a ballot with National Bodies, where no technical changes are allowed (a yes/no ballot). If approved, the document becomes an International Standard (IS).[9]

See also


  1. ^ John Watkinson, The MPEG Handbook, p.1
  2. ^ a b "ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29: Coding of audio, picture, multimedia and hypermedia information". ISO/IEC JTC 1. Retrieved 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Future of SC 29 with JPEG and MPEG". ISO/IEC JTC 1. 2020-06-24. Retrieved .
  4. ^ a b ISO, IEC (2009-11-05). "ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29, SC 29/WG 11 Structure (ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29/WG 11 - Coding of Moving Pictures and Audio)". Archived from the original on 2001-01-28. Retrieved .
  5. ^ MPEG Committee. "MPEG - Moving Picture Experts Group". Archived from the original on 2008-01-10. Retrieved .
  6. ^ ISO. "MPEG Standards - Coded representation of video and audio". Archived from the original on 2011-05-14. Retrieved .
  7. ^ ISO. "JTC 1/SC 29 - Coding of audio, picture, multimedia and hypermedia information". Retrieved .
  8. ^ Hans Geog Musmann, Genesis of the MP3 Audio Coding Standard (PDF), archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-01-17, retrieved
  9. ^ a b c "About MPEG". Retrieved .
  10. ^ "MPEG Meetings". Archived from the original on 2011-07-25. Retrieved .
  11. ^ (2009-09-06). "Riding the Media Bits, The Faultline". Archived from the original on 2011-07-25. Retrieved .
  12. ^ "MPEG | The Moving Picture Experts Group website". Retrieved .
  13. ^ "A future without MPEG - Leonardo Chiariglione | Blog". Retrieved .
  14. ^ "MPEG 132: Press Release". October 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  15. ^ "ITU-T and ISO/IEC to produce next generation video coding standard". 2002-02-08. Retrieved .
  16. ^ ITU-T. "Joint Video Team". Retrieved .
  17. ^ ITU-T (January 2010). "Final joint call for proposals for next-generation video coding standardization". Retrieved .
  18. ^ ITU-T. "Joint Collaborative Team on Video Coding - JCT-VC". Retrieved .
  19. ^ Understanding MPEG-4, p.78
  20. ^ Cliff Wootton. A Practical Guide to Video and Audio Compression. p. 665.
  21. ^ Ghanbari, Mohammed (2003). Standard Codecs: Image Compression to Advanced Video Coding. Institution of Engineering and Technology. pp. 1-2. ISBN 9780852967102.
  22. ^ a b c d The MPEG Handbook, p.4
  23. ^ Salomon, David (2007). "Video Compression". Data compression: the complete reference (4 ed.). Springer. p. 676. ISBN 978-1-84628-602-5.
  24. ^ Understanding MPEG-4, p.83
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  26. ^ "MPEG-J GFX white paper". July 2005. Retrieved .
  27. ^ ISO. "ISO/IEC 14496-21:2006 - Information technology - Coding of audio-visual objects - Part 21: MPEG-J Graphics Framework eXtensions (GFX)". ISO. Retrieved .
  28. ^ Fórum SBTVD. "O que é o ISDB-TB". Retrieved .
  29. ^ "MPEG - The Moving Picture Experts Group website".
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  33. ^ MPEG. "MPEG technologies". Archived from the original on 2010-02-21. Retrieved .
  34. ^ ISO. "ISO/IEC TR 23000-1:2007 - Information technology - Multimedia application format (MPEG-A) - Part 1: Purpose for multimedia application formats". Retrieved .
  35. ^ ISO. "ISO/IEC 23001-1:2006 - Information technology - MPEG systems technologies - Part 1: Binary MPEG format for XML". Retrieved .
  36. ^ ISO. "ISO/IEC 23002-1:2006 - Information technology - MPEG video technologies - Part 1: Accuracy requirements for implementation of integer-output 8x8 inverse discrete cosine transform". Retrieved .
  37. ^ ISO. "ISO/IEC 23003-1:2007 - Information technology - MPEG audio technologies - Part 1: MPEG Surround". Retrieved .
  38. ^ ISO. "ISO/IEC 23004-1:2007 - Information technology - Multimedia Middleware - Part 1: Architecture". Retrieved .
  39. ^ ISO. "ISO/IEC 29116-1:2008 - Information technology - Supplemental media technologies - Part 1: Media streaming application format protocols". Retrieved .
  40. ^ ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29 (2009-10-30). "MPEG-V (Media context and control)". Archived from the original on 2013-12-31. Retrieved .
  41. ^ MPEG. "Working documents - MPEG-V (Information Exchange with Virtual Worlds)". Archived from the original on 2010-02-21. Retrieved .
  42. ^ a b ISO. "ISO/IEC FDIS 23005-1 - Information technology - Media context and control - Part 1: Architecture". Retrieved .
  43. ^ Christian Timmerer; Jean Gelissen; Markus Waltl & Hermann Hellwagner, Interfacing with Virtual Worlds (PDF), retrieved
  44. ^ ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29 (2009-10-30). "MPEG-M (MPEG extensible middleware (MXM))". Archived from the original on 2013-12-31. Retrieved .
  45. ^ MPEG. "MPEG Extensible Middleware (MXM)". Archived from the original on 2009-09-25. Retrieved .
  46. ^ ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29/WG 11 (October 2008). "MPEG eXtensible Middleware Vision". ISO. Retrieved .
  47. ^ a b ISO. "ISO/IEC FCD 23006-1 - Information technology - MPEG extensible middleware (MXM) - Part 1: MXM architecture and technologies". Retrieved .
  48. ^ ISO. "ISO/IEC 23006-4 - Information technology - MPEG extensible middleware (MXM) - Part 4: MPEG extensible middleware (MXM) protocols". Retrieved .
  49. ^ a b ISO. "ISO/IEC 23007-1 - Information technology - Rich media user interfaces - Part 1: Widgets". Retrieved .
  50. ^ ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29 (2009-10-30). "MPEG-U (Rich media user interfaces)". Archived from the original on 2013-12-31. Retrieved .
  51. ^
  52. ^ ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29 (2009-11-05). "Programme of Work (Allocated to SC 29/WG 11)". Archived from the original on 2013-12-31. Retrieved .
  53. ^ ISO. "JTC 1/SC 29 - Coding of audio, picture, multimedia and hypermedia information". Retrieved .
  54. ^ "ISO/IEC 23008-2:2013". International Organization for Standardization. 2013-11-25. Retrieved .
  55. ^ ISO. "International harmonized stage codes". Retrieved .
  56. ^ ISO. "Stages of the development of International Standards". Retrieved .
  57. ^ "The ISO27k FAQ - ISO/IEC acronyms and committees". IsecT Ltd. Retrieved .
  58. ^ ISO (2007). "ISO/IEC Directives Supplement - Procedures specific to ISO" (PDF). Retrieved .
  59. ^ ISO (2007). "List of abbreviations used throughout ISO Online". Retrieved .

External links

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