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Internet Video Codec

Document Charter Internet Video Codec WG (netvc)
Title Internet Video Codec
Last updated 2015-05-18
State Approved
WG State Concluded
IESG Responsible AD Adam Roach
Charter edit AD Alissa Cooper
Send notices to (None)


This WG is chartered to produce a high-quality video codec that meets the
following conditions:

1. Is competitive (in the sense of having comparable or better performance)
with current video codecs in widespread use.

2. Is optimized for use in interactive web applications.

3. Is viewed as having IPR licensing terms that allow it to be widely
implemented and deployed.

To elaborate, this video codec will need to be commercially interesting to
implement by being competitive with the video codecs in widespread use at the
time it is finalized.

This video codec will need to be optimized for the real-world conditions of the
public, best-effort Internet. It should include, but may not be limited to, the
ability to support fast and flexible congestion control and rate adaptation,
the ability to quickly join broadcast streams and the ability to be optimized
for captures of content typically shared in interactive communications.

The objective is to produce a video codec that can be implemented, distributed,
and deployed by open source and closed source software as well as implemented
in specialized hardware.

The working group shall heed the preference stated in BCP 79: "In general,
IETF working groups prefer technologies with no known IPR claims or, for
technologies with claims against them, an offer of royalty-free
licensing." In keeping with this BCP, the WG will prefer algorithms or
tools where there are verifiable reasons to believe they are available on an
royalty-free (RF) basis. In developing the codec specification, the WG may
consider information concerning old prior art or the results of research
indicating royalty-free availability of particular techniques. Note that the
preference stated in BCP 79 cannot guarantee that the working group will
produce an IPR unencumbered codec.


The core technical considerations for such a codec include, but are not
necessarily limited to, the following:

1. High compression efficiency that is competitive with existing popular video

2. Reasonable computational complexity that permits real-time operation on
existing, popular hardware, including mobile devices, and efficient
implementation in new hardware designs.

3. Use in interactive real-time applications, such as point-to-point video
calls, multi-party video conferencing, telepresence, teleoperation, and in-game
video chat.

4. Resilient in the real-world transport conditions of the Internet, such as
the flexibility to rapidly respond to changing bandwidth availability and loss
rates, etc.

5. Integratable with common Internet applications and Web APIs (e.g., the HTML5
<video> tag and WebRTC API, live streaming, adaptive streaming, and
common media-related APIs) without depending on any particular API.

The working group will consider the impacts its decisions have on the
efficiency of transcoding to and from other existing video codecs.


It is explicitly not a goal of the working group to produce a codec that will
be mandated for implementation across the entire IETF or Internet community.

Based on the working group's analysis of the design space, the working
group might determine that it needs to produce a codec with multiple modes of
operation. The WG may produce a codec that is highly configurable, operating in
many different modes with the ability to smoothly be extended with new modes in
the future.


In completing its work, the working group will seek cross-WG review with other
relevant IETF working groups, including PAYLOAD, RMCAT, RTCWEB, MMUSIC, and
other IETF WGs that make use of or handle negotiation of codecs. The WG will
liaise with groups in other SDOs, such as the W3C HTML, Device APIs and WebRTC
working groups; ITU-T (Study group 16); ISO/IEC (JTC1/SC29 WG11); 3GPP (SA4);
and JCT-VC.

It is expected that an open source reference version of the codec will be
developed in parallel with the working group's work.


1. A set of technical requirements and evaluation criteria. The WG may choose
to pursue publication of these in an RFC if it deems that to be beneficial.

2. Proposed Standard specification of an encoded bit stream and decoder
operation where the normative formats and algorithms are described in English
text and not as code.

3. Source code for a reference implementation (documented in an informational
document) that includes both an encoder and a decoder.

4. Specification of a storage format for file transfer of the encoded video as
an elementary stream compatible with existing, popular container formats to
support non-interactive (HTTP) streaming, including live encoding and both
progressive and large-chunk downloads. The WG will not develop a new container

5. A collection of test results, either from tests conducted by the working
group or made publicly available elsewhere, characterizing the performance of
the codec.