Scalable Video Coding: (SVC) is the name for the Annex G extension of the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC video compression standard. SVC standardizes the encoding of a high-quality video bitstream that also contains one or more subset bitstreams. A subset video bitstream is derived by dropping packets from the larger video to reduce the bandwidth required for the subset bitstream. The subset bitstream can represent a lower spatial resolution (smaller screen), lower temporal resolution (lower frame rate), or lower quality video signal. H.264/MPEG-4 AVC was developed jointly by ITU-T and ISO/IEC JTC 1. These two groups created the Joint Video Team (JVT) to develop the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC standard.
The objective of the SVC standardization has been to enable the encoding of a high-quality video bitstream that contains one or more subset bitstreams that can themselves be decoded with a complexity and reconstruction quality similar to that achieved using the existing H.264/MPEG-4 AVC design with the same quantity of data as in the subset bitstream. The subset bitstream is derived by dropping packets from the larger bitstream.
A subset bitstream can represent a lower spatial resolution (smaller screen), or a lower temporal resolution (lower frame rate), or a lower quality video signal (each separately or in combination) compared to the bitstream it is derived from. The following modalities are possible:
SVC enables forward compatibility for older hardware: the same bitstream can be consumed by basic hardware which can only decode a low-resolution subset (i.e. 720p or 1080i), while more advanced hardware will be able to decode high-quality video stream (1080p).