Video Essentials

HEVC Is the Future of Online Video; Here’s What You Need to Know


Have you been hearing a lot about HEVC, also known as H.265? And have you only been pretending to understand what it’s all about? If so, we’ve got the answers for you.

Why is HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) so important? At the recent Streaming Media East conference in New York City an expert panel explained why HEVC matters and how their companies will support it. The moderator, Jan Ozer, introduced the next-generation codec:

HEVC-Cousins“If I was to summarize the benefit, it would be ‘same quality at 50 percent of the data rate.’ That’s going to enable people to save bandwidth costs, it’s going to get video in places you couldn’t get HD video in before, and everything sounds grand,” Ozer said. “The hard part is always making it work and getting it implemented.”

First up in the discussion was Mark Cousins, senior product manager for Elemental Technologies, who talked about benefits the codec offers in bandwidth, 4K video, over-the-top distribution, and video-on-demand. All the attention, however, is in bandwidth.

“The interest is really in bandwidth reduction, as opposed to improving quality,” Cousins explained. “HEVC offers between 40 and 50 percent reduction in bandwidth for the same quality, and that seems to be the focus that customers are on. The degradation as bits become unavailable is also much more pleasant to the eye.”

Actual day-to-day HEVC usage is a long ways off, so Cousins was surprised to learn that people want to begin working with it right now.

“We went out and asked customers a few months ago ‘When do you plan to test or evaluate HEVC?’ The answers were quite surprising; ‘As soon as possible’ was at over 40 percent,” Cousins said. “So people have a strong interest in this. They really believe that it can solve a lot of problems for them, and it can reduce costs by reducing bandwidth.”

For more on the importance of HEVC/H.265, watch the video below.





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