New Codec will benefit low bandwidth users

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)



As if right on cue, and as expected, the ITU has approved H.265 High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC) as their new compression standard spec because it offers greater resolution and smaller file sizes, making it the ideal standard for the emerging mobile streaming video market. And also 4K video.


“There’s a lot of industry interest in this because it means you can halve the bit rate and still achieve the same visual quality, or double the number of television channels with the same bandwidth, which will have an enormous impact on the industry,” says Per Fröjdh, Manager for Visual Technology at Ericsson Research, Group Function Technology.


Created by the Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG), H.265 gives content providers the ability to stream 1080p video with half the bandwidth currently being used today with the H.264 streaming standard, and that’s not only good news for an increasingly mobile world that prefers their streaming content on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, and will give them more wiggle room when dealing with wireless providers who are notoriously stingy with draconian data caps on mobile phones and tablets.  And the new codec will also enable content networks like YouTube to provide higher resolution 1080p video streams, rather than just 720p high quality streams.

But it could also be the answer the quandary being dealt with as 4K streaming video providers like Sony and RED begin to put out streaming video boxes and content networks.  According to the MPEG, H.265 can handle 4K UHD streams with only about 20-30mbps of bandwidth.  This would buy networks time to adopt a faster streaming network that 4K will surely need to achieve the market saturation required to bring down the costs of 4K TVs and players out of the realm of the early adopter or professional video display company.


Still, while adopting H.265 is a good first step, it will be at least 18 months before it has an impact on the hardware market by being adopted into cameras and players themselves.  But once that is achieved, market saturation should happen in short order.  According to TechCrunch, once the iPad came to market with it’s H.264 capability, it only took three years for H.264 to saturate over 84% of the marketplace.  And that will put 4K right on schedule to have a measurable consumer impact around 2015-2016.

But experts expect that adoption of H.265 will be faster in the mobile realm because smartphones and tablets do get upgraded faster and LTE networks can actually handle the increased data flow. And with tablet manufacturers already previewing 4K tablets, it’s likely we’ll see ultra high definition streaming onto smartphones by year’s end.  That’ll also help move H.265 along.    And since phones and tablets have moved to 4G/LTE support, it’s likely they will bring along the H.265 codec to handle the increased data flow faster. “Video accounts for the vast majority of all data sent over networks, and that proportion is increasing: by 2015, it is predicted to account for 90 percent of all network traffic,” Fröjdh says.  “It will take time before it’s launched for a TV service, but adoption is much quicker in the mobile area, and we’ll probably see the first services for mobile use in 2013.”



About montyedits

San Francisco based film and video editor.
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