The Video Coding Experts Group or VCEG is the informal name of Question 6 (Video coding) of Working Party 3 (Media coding) of Study Group 16 (Multimedia terminals, systems and applications) of the ITU-T. It is responsible for standardization of the "H.26x" line of video coding standards and related technologies.
As of late 2006, VCEG has also become responsible for the ITU-T work on still image coding standards including JPEG (ITU-T T.81, T.83, T.84, and T.86), JBIG-1 (ITU-T T.82), JBIG-2 (ITU-T T.88), JPEG-LS (ITU-T T.87 and T.870), JPEG 2000 (ITU-T T.801 through T.812), and the JPEG-like ITU-T T.851.
Study Group 16 is responsible for studies relating to multimedia service capabilities, and application capabilities (including those supported for NGN). This encompasses multimedia terminals, systems (e.g., network signal processing equipment, multipoint conference units, gateways, gatekeepers, modems, and facsimile), protocols and signal processing (media coding).
The goal of Question 6 is to produce Recommendations (international standards) for video coding methods appropriate for conversational (e.g. videoconferencing and video telephony) and non-conversational (e.g., streaming, broadcast, file download, media storage/playback, or digital cinema) audio/visual services. This Question will focus on the maintenance and extension of existing video coding Recommendations, and laying the ground for new Recommendations using advanced techniques to significantly improve the trade-offs between bit rate, quality, delay, and algorithm complexity. Video coding standards will be developed with sufficient flexibility to accommodate a diverse number of transport types (Internet, LAN, Mobile, ISDN, GSTN, H.222.0, NGN, etc.).
VCEG was preceded in the ITU-T (which was called the CCITT at the time) by the "Specialists Group on Coding for Visual Telephony" chaired by Sakae Okubo (NTT) which developed H.261. The first meeting of this group was held Dec. 11-14, 1984 in Tokyo, Japan. In 1994, Richard Shaphorst (Delta Information Systems) took over new video codec development in ITU-T with the launch of the project for developing H.324. Schaphorst appointed Karel Rijkse (KPN Research) to chair the development of the H.263 codec standard as part of that project. In 1996, Schaphorst then appointed Gary Sullivan (PictureTel, since 1999 Microsoft) to launch the subsequent "H.263+" enhancement project, which was completed in 1998. In 1998, Sullivan was made rapporteur (chairman) of the question (group) for video coding in the ITU-T that is now called VCEG. After the H.263+ project, the group then completed an "H.263++" effort, produced H.263 Appendix III and H.263 Annex X, and then launched the "H.26L" project in early 2000. In 2000, Thomas Wiegand (Fraunhofer HHI) was appointed as an associated rapporteur (vice-chairman) of VCEG. Sullivan and Wiegand led the H.26L project as it progressed to eventually become the H.264 standard after formation of a Joint Video Team (JVT) with MPEG for the completion of the work in 2003. (In MPEG, the H.264 standard is known as MPEG-4 part 10.) Since 2003, VCEG and the JVT have developed extensions of H.264, produced H.271, and conducted exploration work toward the potential creation of a future new "H.265".
The organization now known as VCEG has standardized (and is responsible for the maintenance of) the following video compression formats and ancillary standards: