JPEG XS, the new image compression standard

VR in the newsroom. Photo: Christian Laukemper, courtesy WAN-IFRA

Following speed issues with virtual reality and 360° videos, the Joint Photographic Experts Group or JPEG introduced a new image compression standard at WAN-IFRA 2019 in Berlin. The new image compression standard that is in the process of being approved as the ISO 21122 standard.

With the new format, the image-compression process uses less energy, and higher-quality images travel with low latency over broadband networks like 5G. JPEG XS has applications in areas such as virtual reality, augmented reality, space imagery, self-driving cars, and professional movie editing. JPEG compression, which has been widely popular over the past 25 years, typically reduces image file sizes by a factor of ten.

The JPEG XS standard compresses files by no more than a factor of six. With the new standard, computers, tablets, or smartphones may be used to project a high-definition movie or a video game onto a large-screen display almost instantaneously. No cables would be required, while the image quality remains high.

The multimedia industry is currently awaiting final approval by ISO’s TC 130 for the ISO 21122 standard. Once obtained, JPEG XS-based products and services can be launched.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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