JPEG XS: Perfect fit for broadcast studios – pilot project in japan

Transmitting 4K and 8K resolutions in production quality via Ethernet can’t be done? Think again! The new JPEG XS video codec was “custom designed“ for the migration of broadcast studios and productions to Internet Protocol (IP). Building on JPEG XS, we developed a software-based en-/decoding solution that has come through its baptism of fire as a market-ready solution for production under real conditions. Together with the Japanese broadcaster NHK, we have successfully completed a pilot test for 8K transmission.


The live test – JPEG XS in production

In collaboration with the Japanese broadcaster NHK, we demonstrated the performance capabilities of JPEG XS in a pilot project under live conditions in the fall of 2020. JPEG XS is a video-over-IP codec that has been standardized specifically for production requirements. As Japan is one of the first countries in the world to possess 8K-capable recording and transmission technologies and wants to migrate its broadcasting centers to IP-based systems and work processes, this partner provided the opportunity for a first real test of the use of JPEG XS in professional workflows.

The challenge consisted not only in transmitting 8K in real time, but even more so in dem-onstrating the synchronicity of JPEG XS under real-time conditions with various compression factors in a real-life broadcast production.



JPEG XS can also be used throughout the production/studio process. This eliminates the need to use various transmission formats such as the SDI (serial digital interface) standard for video transmission, which saves time, materials and money. When building or converting modern broadcast centers and studios, JPEG XS is suitable for a wide variety of applications and guarantees high compatibility with other work processes that have already made the switch to IP transmission.

Development from a distance and under pandemic conditions

Many of the consultations, advance development work and meetings were carried out on a purely virtual basis – not just for reasons of geographical distance, but above all because of the first looming signs of the current pandemic, which in January and February were still very uncertain. For our employees, this was not necessarily anything new, but all the same it was no easy undertaking to schedule meetings over various locations and time zones and make sure that the work discussions were productive and clear and led to good results. Despite the challenges, however, cooperation with the Japanese partners was characterized by timely and constructive contributions. Before the worldwide lockdown, as acceptance of the JPEG XS implementation and a few adjustments were due to be carried out, one of our chief developers worked on-site with the Japanese team. Under strict hygiene rules that applied to this visit, including during the work itself, the chief developer was comprehensively supported by the Japanese team and made to feel welcome, such that he was able to smoothly and quickly implement the required alterations.




Prof. Dr. Siegfried Fößel


JPEG XS – a codec “custom made“ for production

JPEG XS is characterized by its universal applicability and is standardized (ISO/ IEC 21122). This is one of the outstanding features that makes JPEG XS such a promising development for many different kinds of production applications. It allows high image resolutions of 4K and 8K to be transmitted via conventional Ethernet connections with a frequency of 60 to 120 Hz. As a low-complexity codec, the big advantage of JPEG XS is the low latency for things like hardware implementations: 32 lines end to end. This opens up application opportunities for camera and monitor integrations with high image quality, for integration into studio and production sets and for virtual reality applications and gaming. JPEG XS makes it possible to transmit visually lossless images at compression rates of up to 10:1. To this end, we have developed software for CPU-optimized en-/decoding of high-resolution images. This software is also available as a software development kit.

Does this represent the end of the road for its potential?

Ongoing standardization work points toward an expansion of the applicability of JPEG XS into fields such as high-resolution professional cameras. We are currently collaborating with further standardization partners on a method for compressing raw Bayer image data that will allow the original camera data to be retained for further image processing steps in post-production.

This will make it possible to use JPEG XS from the sensor to the playout of the image data, both in cameras and on the transmission path.