Multiview video has gained a wide interest recently. The huge amount of data needed to be processed by multiview applications is a heavy burden for both transmission and decoding. The joint video team has recently devoted part of its effort to extend the widely deployed H.264/AVC standard to handle multiview video coding (MVC). The MVC extension of H.264/AVC includes a number of new techniques for improved coding efficiency, reduced decoding complexity, and new functionalities for multiview operations. MVC takes advantage of some of the interfaces and transport mechanisms introduced for the scalable video coding (SVC) extension of H.264/AVC, but the system level integration of MVC is conceptually more challenging as the decoder output may contain more than one view and can consist of any combination of the views with any temporal level. The generation of all the output views also requires careful consideration and control of the available decoder resources. In this paper, multiview applications and solutions to support generic multiview as well as 3D services are introduced. The proposed solutions, which have been adopted to the draft MVC specification, cover a wide range of requirements for 3D video related to interface, transport of the MVC bitstreams, and MVC decoder resource management. The features that have been introduced in MVC to support these solutions include marking of reference pictures, supporting for efficient view switching, structuring of the bitstream, signalling of view scalability supplemental enhancement information (SEI) and parallel decoding SEI.
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