Broadcom chip ushers in H.265 and UltraHD video

As product names go, BCM7445 is as boring as it gets. But if you want better video, the Broadcom chip might get you excited.

That’s because the processor, designed for Net-connected video devices and announced at the CES show today, is among the earliest to support a new video compression technology variously known as H.265, MPEG-5, and HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding). It’s the successor to the very widely used H.264, aka AVC and MPEG-4 Part 10.

H.265 brings two notable features. First, it can match the quality of H.264 with half the network bandwidth, in principle either improving streaming video at the same data rate or reducing network usage at the same quality. Second, it supports UltraHD video (also called 4K), which quadruples the number of pixels for larger displays.

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