Thomas Wiegand

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Thomas Wiegand
Prof. Dr. Thomas Wiegand.jpg
Thomas Wiegand

(1970-05-06) May 6, 1970 (age 51)
Citizenship German
Alma mater Technical University of Hamburg,
University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
Known for H.264/MPEG-4 AVC video coding standard
Awards Primetime Emmy Engineering Award (2008),
Karl Heinz Beckurts Award (2011),
IEEE Masaru Ibuka Consumer Electronics Award (2012)
Scientific career
Fields Electrical engineering
Institutions Berlin Institute of Technology,
Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute

Thomas Wiegand (born 6 May 1970 in Wismar) is a German electrical engineer who substantially contributed to the creation of the H.264/AVC, H.265/HEVC, and H.266/VVC video coding standards. For H.264/AVC, Wiegand was one of the chairmen of the Joint Video Team (JVT) standardization committee that created the standard and was the chief editor of the standard itself. He was also an active technical contributor to both standards. Wiegand also holds a chairmanship position in the ITU-T VCEG of ITU-T Study Group 16 and previously in ISO/IEC MPEG standardization organizations. In July 2006, the video coding work of the ITU-T jointly led by Gary J. Sullivan and Wiegand for the preceding six years was voted as the most influential area of the standardization work of the CCITT and ITU-T in their 50-year history. [1]


Current work

Wiegand is Professor at the Technical University of Berlin and executive director of the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute, [2] Berlin, Germany. He heads research teams working on

Since 2020 he is a Principal Scientist at the Berlin Institute for the Foundations of Learning and Data (BIFOLD). [3]

Early background

Thomas Wiegand was born in and spent his early life in East Germany, where he decided to make an apprenticeship as an electrician instead of studying, because everyone who wanted to go to the university had to serve for three years in the National People's Army which he chose to avoid. After the " Wende " he started to study electrical engineering at the Technical University of Hamburg, where he earned his Diplom in 1995. In the same year Wiegand stayed for some time as a guest scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 2000 he earned his Ph.D. at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg.



Other positions held

Related Research Articles

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MPEG-4 is a method of defining compression of audio and visual (AV) digital data. It was introduced in late 1998 and designated a standard for a group of audio and video coding formats and related technology agreed upon by the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) under the formal standard ISO/IEC 14496 – Coding of audio-visual objects. Uses of MPEG-4 include compression of AV data for Internet video and CD distribution, voice and broadcast television applications. The MPEG-4 standard was developed by a group led by Touradj Ebrahimi and Fernando Pereira.

Advanced Video Coding Most widely used standard for video compression

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H.261 is an ITU-T video compression standard, first ratified in November 1988. It is the first member of the H.26x family of video coding standards in the domain of the ITU-T Study Group 16 Video Coding Experts Group, and was developed with a number of companies, including Hitachi, PictureTel, NTT, BT and Toshiba. It was the first video coding standard that was useful in practical terms.

The Video Coding Experts Group or Visual Coding Experts Group is a working group of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) concerned with video coding standards. It is responsible for standardization of the "H.26x" line of video coding standards, the "T.8xx" line of image coding standards, and related technologies.

The macroblock is a processing unit in image and video compression formats based on linear block transforms, typically the discrete cosine transform (DCT). A macroblock typically consists of 16×16 samples, and is further subdivided into transform blocks, and may be further subdivided into prediction blocks. Formats which are based on macroblocks include JPEG, where they are called MCU blocks, H.261, MPEG-1 Part 2, H.262/MPEG-2 Part 2, H.263, MPEG-4 Part 2, and H.264/MPEG-4 AVC. In H.265/HEVC, the macroblock as a basic processing unit has been replaced by the coding tree unit.

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Michael J. Horowitz is an American electrical engineer who actively participated in the creation of the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC and H.265/HEVC video coding standards. He is co-inventor of flexible macroblock ordering (FMO) and tiles, essential features in H.264/MPEG-4 AVC and H.265/HEVC, respectively. He is Managing Partner of Applied Video Compression and has served on the Technical Advisory Boards of Vivox, Inc., Vidyo, Inc., and RipCode, Inc.

A video coding format is a content representation format for storage or transmission of digital video content. It typically uses a standardized video compression algorithm, most commonly based on discrete cosine transform (DCT) coding and motion compensation. Examples of video coding formats include H.262, MPEG-4 Part 2, H.264, HEVC (H.265), Theora, RealVideo RV40, VP9, and AV1. A specific software or hardware implementation capable of compression or decompression to/from a specific video coding format is called a video codec; an example of a video codec is Xvid, which is one of several different codecs which implements encoding and decoding videos in the MPEG-4 Part 2 video coding format in software.

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ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29, entitled Coding of audio, picture, multimedia and hypermedia information, is a standardization subcommittee of the Joint Technical Committee ISO/IEC JTC 1 of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). It develops and facilitates international standards, technical reports, and technical specifications within the field of audio, picture, multimedia, and hypermedia information coding. The standards developed by SC 29 have been recognized by seven Emmy Awards.

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Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications

The Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institute, HHI, also known as Fraunhofer HHI or Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute, is an organization of the Fraunhofer Society based in Berlin. The institute engages in applied research and development in the fields of physics, electrical engineering and computer sciences.

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Versatile Video Coding (VVC), also known as H.266, ISO/IEC 23090-3, MPEG-I Part 3 and Future Video Coding (FVC), is a video compression standard finalized on 6 July 2020, by the Joint Video Experts Team (JVET), a joint video expert team of the VCEG working group of ITU-T Study Group 16 and the MPEG working group of ISO/IEC JTC 1. It is the successor to High Efficiency Video Coding. The aim is to make 4K broadcast and streaming commercially viable.

The ITU-T Study Group 16 (SG16) is a statutory group of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) concerned with multimedia coding, systems and applications, such as video coding standards. It is responsible for standardization of the "H.26x" line of video coding standards, the "T.8xx" line of image coding standards, and related technologies, as well as various collaborations with the World Health Organization, including on safe listing (H.870), it is also the parent body of VCEG and various Focus Groups, such as the ITU-WHO Focus Group on Artificial Intelligence for Health.


  1. "Video Coding Work Voted Most Influential". ITU-T Newslog. International Telecommunication Union. October 2, 2006. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
  2. Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute official web site.
  3. "People: Thomas Wiegand". BIFOLD. Retrieved 2021-04-10.
  4. ITU/WHO Focus Group on Artificial Intelligence for Health (FG-AI4H)
  5. Technology Award of Eduard Rhein Foundation 2010 Archived 2008-11-20 at the Wayback Machine
  6. CSVT Transactions – Best Paper Award Archived 2013-06-23 at the Wayback Machine , IEEE Circuits and Systems Society web site.
  7. ITU150 Award [ permanent dead link ]