H.265 HD HEVC Video Format Is Ratified

We aren't moving in a direction where the world at large streams less: we're moving towards a world where streaming is the norm. While data caps and pricing tiers have flourished just as data use has started to skyrocket, streaming video remains a dodgy issue. It's obviously vital content, but it also requires massive amounts of data to transmit. The solution? According to the ITU, a new video coding standard. The entity has just issued a release that details H.265, which builds upon the successful H.264 codec used so much already. The ITU proclaims: "The new codec will considerably ease the burden on global networks where, by some estimates, video accounts for more than half of bandwidth use. ITU-T H.265 / ISO/IEC 23008-2 HEVC will provide a flexible, reliable and robust solution, future-proofed to support the next decade of video. The new standard is designed to take account of advancing screen resolutions and is expected to be phased in as high-end products and services outgrow the limits of current network and display technology. "

The new standard, known informally as ‘High Efficiency Video Coding’ (HEVC) will need only half the bit rate of its predecessor, ITU-T H.264 / MPEG-4 Part 10 ‘Advanced Video Coding’ (AVC), which currently accounts for over 80 per cent of all web video. HEVC will unleash a new phase of innovation in video production spanning the whole ICT spectrum, from mobile devices through to Ultra-High Definition TV. Companies including ATEME, Broadcom, Cyberlink, Ericsson, Fraunhofer HHI, Mitsubishi and NHK have already showcased implementations of HEVC. The new standard  includes a ‘Main’ profile that supports 8-bit 4:2:0 video, a ‘Main 10’ profile with 10-bit support, and a ‘Main Still Picture’ profile for still image coding that employs the same coding tools as a video ‘intra’ picture.

When will we see the new codec taking shape on the web? That's harder to say, but it's great that companies are already thinking about this. Even a 5%-15% savings in data rate transmission could save gobs of bandwidth globally given just how many billions of hours are invested on sites like YouTube, Vimeo, Hulu, Netflix, etc.