The International Telecommunications Union's Study Group 16 has announced its long-awaited first stage approval of H.265, also known as the High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC) standard. The standard improves video compression to the point of allowing twice as much video content to be encoded at roughly half the bit rate of the existing standard.
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. Meanwhile, demand has continued to increase for high-definition and greater resolution content to be delivered to a multitude of different devices including TVs, tablet PCs and smartphones.
MPEG-4 may still seem relatively new to companies in some parts of the world, but the technology has been available for more than 10 years, and numerous vendors of encoding systems and related products have been lining up in recent months and readying their support for H.265/HEVC. Ericsson, Fraunhofer and several other firms have either made announcements or showcased public demonstrations of their support for the new standard.
The first-stage approval of the standard endorses the progress of these companies and allows them to continue to move forward in supporting the standard. At the same time, the ITU is already at work on extensions to the new standard that will support 3-D video and other developments.
- see this press release
H.265 is a solid fit with mobile streaming bandwidth demands
H.265/HEVC is just one piece of the mobile video quality puzzle