H.265 Gets Approved – Focuses on High-Quality at Low Bandwidth

Posted on January 28, 2013 8:30 AM by Rob Williams

Comfortable with H.264? You shouldn’t be: H.265 is right around the corner. Alright… by “right around the corner”, I mean that it might show up in 2014 in the most minor of ways. However, the fact that it’s a thing at all is something to take note of, given the unbelievable popularity of the base codec.


The major focus of H.265 (also known as High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC)) is delivering the best possible content quality for as modest a bit-rate as possible. You’d assume that this would be the goal with most codecs, but this time things are being taken a step further. Because so many people suffer with weak broadband connections or extreme bandwidth limits, H.265’s goal is to deliver 1080p content at half the current bit-rate required for the same quality with H.264. That’s quite a claim.

With 4K seemingly the resolution of the future, it’s also being said that H.265 would allow for near-native quality at about 20~30Mbit/s – high for streaming at the current time, but it could be a real possibility down the road if ISPs ever decide to step things up (and with Google’s Fiber, they might be forced to before long).

If H.265 truly does deliver content at equal H.264 quality but at half the bit-rate, all I have to say is, “bring it on”.

  • http://twitter.com/TheFocusElf The Focus Elf

    I was all excited when I heard the words “Google Fibre” and then realized it was only STILL in Kansas and Missouri. H.265 does appear great, sure as I’ve been converting content to H.264 it did seem a little bloated. What is the “minor” way you are expecting to see the H.265 codec appear?

  • http://techgage.com/ Jamie Fletcher

    I wouldn’t mind if the processing demand was higher if we could get lower bit-rates for comparable quality. Broadband speeds are barely budging, and bandwidth caps run rife; however, processing power is increasing exponentially. If a codec is too demanding now, it doesn’t mean it won’t be later. Maybe this is the approach taken with h.265.

    One comment I do need to make though… royalties. Will it be the same system as h.264, a bait and switch later, or an up-front cost? Guess we’ll find out later.

    • RainMotorsports

      Well of course H.265 is aimed at mobile so processor demand is not necessarily a luxury when you consider you want to record on the device to it. But I am with you. I would love to sacrifice time encoding for better bitrates at visually identical quality. Even with hardware encoders and time I don’t think I would target such a trade off to H.265, need a second standard just to have options. But I can’t wait for this to saturate the market.

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