H.265 (HEVC) - The Next Generation of Data Compression

The UK has seen an ever increasing amount of data being used, transferred and stored over the last decade. One of the main contributors to this increase was the advent of Ultra HD screen resolutions such as 4K and the upcoming 8K. It is currently estimated that around 70% of internet traffic consumed is video content. As the new wave of Ultra HD resolutions have a dependence on large amounts of data to work efficiently, it was thought by experts in compression technology that a solution that improves the current standard of data compression was required.

What is H.265 Compression

H.265 also known as High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) is a new single standard of video compression technology. It has been mutually developed by the Joint Collaborative Team on Video Coding (JCT-VC), a team who work with video experts globally to create a single universally approved compression standard.

With a clear intention from the JCT-VC, H.265 (HEVC) was developed with the sole goal of providing twice the compression efficiency of the very popular H.264. The first version of H.265 was approved in January 2013. A success, that meant a typical DVR with H.265 capability can now compress video twice as efficiently. Meaning you get (almost) twice the space on your DVR's storage device. With storage efficiency results varying depending on the content being compressed and the encoder settings used.

There are two main benefits of H.265:

  1. You get the same level of visual quality on a file half the size.
  2. When compared to an advanced video coding file the same size or bit rate H.265 produces a much better visual quality and in some cases a better playback  function due to H.265 using less bandwidth.

The H.265 Future

As H.265 grows in popularity along with 4K resolutions, we will gradually find home users start to use the new codec to reduce file sizes and decrease upload times. Not a problem  for modern day processors but those with older PC's and laptops may find encoding a file to H.265 a tad more difficult and time consuming.

As for decoding your video, if you're using 4K technology then the change to H.265 is deemed essential by aficionados. Any PC can utilise H.265 technology in theory, but efficiency relies on effective processing. A good rule of thumb, is if your system can encode to H.265 then it should be able decode to H.265 in varying degrees of proficiency but to get the best quality of video playback then the latest processors will be required.

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