ISO/IEC 13818-1:2023 – Coding of Moving Pictures, Systems

Professional film camera producing MPEG video in accordance with ISO/IEC 13818-1:2023 systems.

Prepared and drafted by the International Telecommunications Union’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) and adopted by the Joint Technical Committee ISO/IEC JTC 1, ISO/IEC 13818-1:2023 – Information technology – Generic coding of moving pictures and associated audio information – Part 1: Systems has been revised.

What Is ISO/IEC 13818?

The ISO/IEC 13818 series is focused on the generic coding of moving pictures and associated audio information, and the coding standard its documents specify is known as MPEG-2 (MPEG deriving from The Moving Picture Experts Group). This format, while not as efficient as High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), for example, is still commonly used due to its backwards compatibility with existing hardware and software. MPEG-2 is used in DVDs, and it is the most widely used codec for cable television broadcast.

What Is ISO/IEC 13818-1:2023?

ISO/IEC 13818-1:2023 addresses the systems layer of this coding, through either a transport stream or program stream—both are constructed from packetized elementary stream (PES) packets and packets containing other necessary information. The recommendation addresses combining one or more elementary streams of audio and video into single or multiple streams suitable for storage or transmission. Systems coding follows the syntactical and semantic rules imposed by ISO/IEC 13818-1:2023.

The system layer of the coding supports six basic functions, according to ISO/IEC 13818-1:2023:

  1. the synchronization of multiple compressed streams on decoding
  2. the interleaving of multiple compressed streams into a single stream
  3. the initialization of buffering for decoding start up
  4. continuous buffer management
  5. time identification
  6. multiplexing and signaling of various components in a system stream

Changes to ISO/IEC 13818-1:2023

As the ninth edition of the international standard for MPEG systems, ISO/IEC 13818-1:2023 revised the eighth edition that was published in 2022. It underwent the following changes of note:

  • Updated references to ISO/IEC 14496-1, where clause numbering and field naming has changed
  • Clarified a reference to ISO/IEC 23008-3, where the field 3dAudioSceneInfoID is named differently
  • Removed semantic definitions for fields that do not exist in the respective syntax table (Table 2-123)
  • Improved the semantic definition for HDR_WCG_idc equal to “0”
  • Corrected a mismatch in field size between syntax table and semantic definition of SubstreamOffset[k][j][i];
  • Corrected a misleading semantic definition of the media_description_flag for the Media_service_kind descriptor

ISO/IEC 13818-1:2023 is just one standard in a series of international recommendations on the generic coding of moving pictures and associated audio information. Parts one through three are available as the ISO/IEC 13818 Information technology – Generic Coding of Moving Pictures and Audio Information Package.

ISO/IEC 13818-1:2023 – Information technology – Generic coding of moving pictures and associated audio information – Part 1: Systems is available on the ANSI Webstore.

Changes to ISO/IEC 13818-1:2022

As the eighth edition of the international standard for MPEG systems, ISO/IEC 13818-1:2022 revised the seventh edition that was published in 2019. It also incorporated the Amendment ISO/IEC 13818-1:2019/Amd 1:2020, “Carriage of JPEG XS in MPEG-2 TS,” and the Technical Corrigendum ISO/IEC 13818-1:2019/Cor 1:2020, which corrected a wrong stream_type value stated in paragraph U.2.

Watching an MPEG video on TV.

Changes to ISO/IEC 13818-1:2019

The previous edition of this standard was published in 2019 and revised the 2018 version. It also incorporated ISO/IEC 13818-1:2018/Amd.1:2018 – Ultra-Low Latency And 4k And Higher Resolution Support For Transport Of JPEG 2000 Video, which fixed interoperability issues with JPEG 2000 Part 1. You can learn more about the content of this amendment here: Amendment 1 to ISO/IEC 13818-1:2018 Fixes Issues in the Transport of JPEG 2000.

Changes to ISO/IEC 13818-1:2018

ISO/IEC 13818-1:2018 revised the 2015 edition of the international standard, and it differed substantially from the previous version of the document. Numerous corrigenda and amendments were released for the ISO/IEC 1318-1:2015 standard, each making updates to the original requirements. All eight of these revising documents were incorporated in the 2018 edition of the standard.

From previous corrigenda, ISO/IEC 13818-1:2018 featured alterations to the system target decoder buffer sizes for high efficiency video coding (HEVC), and it removes the semantic elements from the section on Semantic definition of fields in metadata descriptor.

By incorporating the six amendments to ISO/IEC 13818-1:2015, ISO/IEC 13818-1:2018 comprised changes to the following:

  • Delivery of timeline for external data (from Amendment 1)
  • Carriage of layered HEVC (from Amendment 2)
  • Carriage of green metadata in MPEG2 systems (from Amendment 3)
  • New profiles and levels for MPEG4 audio descriptor (from Amendment 4)
  • Carriage of MPEGH 3D audio over MPEG2 systems (from Amendment 5)
  • Carriage of Quality Metadata in MPEG-2 Systems (from Amendment 6)

You can learn more here: Corrigenda and Amendments to ISO/IEC 13818-1:2015

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One thought on “ISO/IEC 13818-1:2023 – Coding of Moving Pictures, Systems
  1. A heartfelt thank you to the blog writer for providing a comprehensive overview of ISO/IEC 13818 and its evolution, particularly focusing on ISO/IEC 13818-1:2023. Your clarity in explaining the standards, changes, and their impact on the world of audiovisual technology is greatly appreciated. This insightful content helps bridge the gap for readers seeking understanding in this complex domain.

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