International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies

News release – 2012 Number 05

MPEG: can you imagine a digital world
without it?


Geneva, Switzerland, 2012-05-01 – MPEG, the Moving Picture Experts Group, will be celebrating its 100th meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, on 2 May 2012.


Version française / Deutsche Übersetzung


Map of Moldova

You probably know MPEG as the name of a file extension, but did you know that it actually stands for “Moving Picture Experts Group”? The committee of the same name develops standards for the coded representation of digital audio, video and related data; to date it has released 331 publications. MPEG was founded by IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) and ISO (International Organization for Standardization) as part of ISO/IEC JTC1 (joint technical committee) Information technology, where it operates as SC 29 (subcommittee) Coding of audio, picture, multimedia and hypermedia information, WG 11 (working group) Coding of moving pictures and audio.To increase the reach and interoperability of its standards, MPEG also works closely with ITU (International Telecommunication Union), a collaboration that led to the Emmy award winning H.264 Advanced Video Coding (AVC) standard.


Whenever you listen to a podcast or the latest songs on your MP3 player; watch a film or play a game on a portable multimedia device at home or on the move; take or share photos or films with friends or family with your digital camera or mobile phone; watch satellite or cable TV; listen to international broadcast on a digital radio; MPEG allows you to do so faster and more efficiently.


Ever since MPEG published its first standard, billions of MPEG-encoded files have been used in countless professional and consumer digital multimedia systems, from portable MP3 players to home devices such as DVD players or most digital TV or radio receivers in service throughout the world.


Over the years MPEG standards have consistently delivered higher compression and data rates for improved audio and video quality. They enable the sharing, distribution and exchange of content and allow the many audio, video, broadcasting, multimedia and gaming devices to work easily together. It is therefore no wonder that no other single family of standards has won such universal acceptance all the way from the industry to the consumer.


As early as 1996 the contribution of MPEG to the multimedia industry was acknowledged by the US National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) with an engineering Emmy award for its work on "International Standardization of JPEG, MPEG-1 and MPEG-2". MPEG experts received more high-profile recognition for their contribution in enhancing the consumer viewing experience with two further Emmys in 2008 and 2009. The 2008 award covered MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 compression coding associated with video, CD and MP3, digital TV, set top boxes and DVD. The 2009 award covered the MPEG-4 AVC (Advanced Video Coding) standard. The related ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group also received an Emmy Award for its role in the work on this standard.


MPEG compression standards play a central role for the IEC. Several technical committees depend on them for their work on devices and protocols for multimedia and broadcasting systems. A multi-million dollar industry relies on IEC International Standards and would find it much more difficult to sell their products without the work of MPEG.


On average MPEG meetings are attended by more than 300 experts from some 20 countries representing more than 200 companies spanning all industry domains with a stake in digital audio, video and multimedia. Even more experts and companies are likely to attend this milestone 100th MPEG meeting and celebration. With it the Group marks a quarter century of intense cooperation of experts from dozens of countries and hundreds of companies with the common objective to build and advance the digital age.


On this occasion IEC General Secretary and CEO Ronnie Amit pays tribute to ISO/IEC JTC1 and the MPEG experts in particular: "JTC 1 is a very important Technical Committee within the IEC family," he said, adding: "I would like to thank in particular the MPEG experts for their outstanding contribution to the multimedia world, which touches people across the globe and which was rightly recognized internationally with several prestigious awards from the entertainment industry."

About the Emmy Awards

Launched in 1948, the Emmy Awards honour development and innovation in broadcast technology and recognize companies, organizations and individuals for breakthroughs in technology that have a significant effect on television engineering. Award winners are determined by a panel of distinguished professionals in the television, broadcast and new media arena.