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OPLIN 4Cast #319: High Efficiency Video Coding

Posted in 4cast

H.265If you’ve been waiting with bated breath for the successor to the H.264 video codec, wait no more! On the other hand, if you think you couldn’t care less, let us phrase that a bit differently: a new video standard known as High Efficiency Video Coding (H.265) should provide high-quality streaming video, even on low-bandwidth networks. This new video format was approved last week by the International Telecommunication Union, the United Nations agency for information and communication technology issues. And if you’re like many public libraries, your network is probably getting slammed right now by streaming video, so this actually is pertinent news after all.

  • UN Telecommunications agency backs H.265 (TechEye/Nick Farrell)  “Official endorsement by the International Telecoms Union (ITU) is seen as important to getting worldwide adoption for the standard. The ITU said that the codec would pave the way for ‘the next wave of innovation,’ such as faster movie downloads and higher-quality video streaming. ‘HEVC will lead to a brand new era of innovation with video broadcasting, one that spans the entire communication technology spectrum, including Ultra HD (4K) TV and mobile devices,’ said the ITU in a statement.”
  • New H.265 video format approved: high-quality video at lower bitrates (SlashGear/Craig Lloyd)  “The hope is that H.265 will enable services to stream full 1080p HD video using half as many bits as required normally, which should make streaming HD video much easier, especially on data connections using smartphones and tablets. As far as 4K goes, it’s said that 4K streaming could be easily possible with a 20 Mbps internet connection using H.265.”
  • ITU gives first-stage approval of new MPEG successor, HEVC (FierceTelecom/Dan O’Shea)  “The high efficiency coding standard has been in the works for some time, and resulted from collaboration between the Motion Picture Experts Group and the ITU’s Video Experts Group. It will succeed H.264/MPEG-4, and the ITU’s progress comes at a key time for the market. That’s because mobile video has been exploding in recent years, increasing bandwidth availability concerns even as the industry adopts 4G.”
  • Paving the way for high-quality video on low-bandwidth networks (TechCrunch/Ryan Lawler)  “While there will likely be software-based encoders available by the end of the year, the codec won’t see mass adoption until it gets embedded into chips and hardware. It could be 12 to 18 months, maybe longer, before the first devices with H.265 hardware acceleration make it to market. Once those initial devices do make it to market, however, we can probably expect a quick ramp up in the amount of content that begins to take advantage of H.265.”

H.264 fact:
H.264/MPEG-4 was used for less than 10% of video transmissions before Apple chose to use it for the iPad. Now 84% of streaming video is published in H.264 format.