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”.