The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) has unveiled a draft standard of a new video-compression format which it says is twice as efficient as current standards.

It is claimed that the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard will enable compression levels of approximately twice that offered by the H.264/AVC standard.

“There’s a lot of industry interest in this because it means you can halve the bit rate and still achieve the same visual quality, or double the number of television channels with the same bandwidth, which will have an enormous impact,” said chairman of the Swedish MPEG delegation and manager for Visual Technology at Ericsson Research Per Fröjdh.

Fröjdh said he believes that the HEVC format, which was discussed by MPEG at a recent meeting in Stockholm, could be used commercially by 2013.

“It will take time before it’s launched for a TV service, but adoption is much quicker in the mobile area, and we’ll probably see the first services for mobile use cases next year,” he said.

In a statement, Ericsson said the availability of a new compression format to reduce bandwidth, particularly in mobile networks where spectrum is expensive, would pave the way for service providers to launch more video services with currently available spectrum.