HEVC video standard finished; high-end improvements coming

Key to efficient video compression is prediction future video frames on the basis of past ones. This diagram concerns “intra angular prediction.”

(Credit: ISO)

An array of companies has finished work on video compression technology called HEVC or H.265 that promises better video to start with and that paves the way for higher-end extensions next year.

The High Efficiency Video Codec supports 4K “UltraHD” video — and perhaps 8K as well if the video industry can convince buyers that so many pixels are worthwhile. Perhaps more important, given how many people watch video online these days, it doubles video quality for a given network data capacity.

HEVC has the potential to spread very widely indeed. It’s the successor to the Advanced Video Codec (AVC), aka H.264, used in videocameras, TV, Blu-ray discs, online video streaming, and more. Codecs are technology used to encode and decode video or audio for more efficient transmission and storage.

To begin with, HEVC comes in two flavors, the “main profile” for conventional video, which supports 8-bit color data, and the “main 10 profile” with 10-bit video for higher-end uses. On top of that, the standard suppo… [Read more]

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