Cracking the code ’“ H.265 on the horizon

Chris Fitzsimmons reports on H.265, an emerging video compression format, which promises twice the bandwidth efficiency of H.264. What are the key applications in pro AV where it will be important, and when can we expect it to make an impact?

In the summer of 2012, the Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG) issued a draft international standard of a new compression format. Four-hundred-and-fifty representatives from 26 countries, drawn from the telecoms, computer, TV and consumer electronics industries met to approve a draft standard for High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC).
This new format will enable compression levels roughly twice as high as the current H.264/AVC standard. The new format, also known as H.265, comes against a background of massive increases in video consumption. By 2015 it is estimated that 90% of all internet traffic will be accounted for by video. One of the primary applications driving the demand for more efficient use of bandwidth is video content for mobile devices, but what about areas of greater relevance for professional audiovisual applications?
Professor Iain Richardson, a founder of Vcodex, a consulting firm specialising in video coding technologies, says: "H.265 / HEVC promises to deliver around twice the compression efficiency of H.264/AVC. This means that you should be able to send higher quality video over the same bandwidth, or send the same quality video over roughly 50% of the bandwidth, compared with H.264. Of course the actual performance will depend on factors such as the video source [or] how good the encoder is."

To find out more about what Prof. Richardson thinks along with several key industry players, read the entire piece in our October edition of InAVate’s ActiveMagazine.

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