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AVC (Advanced Video Coding), or H.264/MPEG-4 Part 10, is a video compression standard, and is the most used for video recording, compression and distribution.

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H.264/AVC standard was jointly developed by ITU-T and ISO / IEC, targeted at covering the entire video applications field, including: low bit rate wireless applications, standard definition and high definition TV broadcast applications, Internet on video streaming applications, the transmission of high-definition DVD video and to be used in digital cameras, high-quality video applications and more.

ITU-T named this standard H.264 (formerly H.26L), but ISO / IEC called MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding, AVC, and classified it to MPEG-4 Part 10. Since it is the extension of the current MPEG-4 AVC standard, it will benefit from the well-developed MPEG-4 structure (such as hierarchical and audio systems). Obviously, as the MPEG-4 Advanced Simple Framework (Advanced Simple Profile, ASP) of the MPEG-4 AVC will be better than the current MPEG-4 video compression standard, it is mainly used in high compression ratio and quality requirements of hierarchical orientation.

H.264 become famous because it is a codec standard for Blu-ray disc, all Blu-ray Disc players must be able to decode H.264. It is also widely used for network streaming media data such as Vimeo, YouTube, and the iTunes Store, web software such as Adobe Flash Player and Microsoft Silverlight, as well as a variety of high-definition television terrestrial broadcasting (ATSC, ISDB-T, DVB-T or DVB -T2), cable (DVB-C) and satellite (DVB-S and DVB-S2).

The first version of H.264/AVC standard was completed in May, 2003. In the first project, extending the original standard, JVT developed Fidelity Range Extensions (FRExt). The extension supports more accurate video encoding by supporting higher pixel accuracy (including 10-bit and 12-bit pixel precision) and higher chroma sampling rate (including YUV 4:2:2 and YUV 4:4:4). The extension added some new features (such as Adaptive 4x4 and 8x8 integer transform, user-defined quantization weighting matrices, efficient inter-frame lossless coding, support for new color space and color mixed transform). The design for this extension was completed in July ,2004; and the draft was completed in September 2004.

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