The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) announced today a draft of the new video compression standard called H.265 and also known as High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) and MPEG-H Part 2. As the name suggests, it delivers the same video quality in half the bandwidth of the current (nearly a decade old) H.264 standard, which is adopted across Apple’s iOS and OS X platforms…

According to Per Fröjdh, head of Visual Technology at Ericsson Research (he is also chairman of the Swedish MPEG delegation):

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.

Sounds like the coded Apple would want to use to feed live TV via iTunes to its mythical networked TV set. The upcoming bandwidth-efficient video compression technology should also lend itself nicely to mobile phones.

The availability of a new compression format to reduce bandwidth, particularly in mobile networks where spectrum is expensive [and] paves the way for service providers to launch more video services with the currently available spectrum.

First chips, devices and applications based on H.265 are expected to hit the market in early-2013.

The video compression draft (via ITWire) uses just half the bandwidth of H.264.

A successor to H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, H.265 is also said improve video quality and support resolutions up to 7680-by-4320 (Retina iTV?), enough for the new HD and Ultra HD (4K and 8K) resolutions.

By 2015, video is predicted to account for 90 percent of all network traffic, necessitating a H.264 replacement.

There’s also a growing trend towards screen resolutions beyond full HD (1920-by-1080 pixels), stereoscopic 3D imaging and jumbo-sized TV sets, all requiring an efficient codec to render crisp, ultra high-resolution video.

Apple, of course, has always been big on H.264, having supported the video compression technology via its QuickTime platform on both Macs and iOS devices.

In fact, in iPhones, iPads and iPods, H.264 is the system-wide media codec, though its support in iOS doesn’t go as deep as with OS X.

Are you looking forward to H.265?

  • Just make it in a way where the old devices which can play h264 can also play h265…i recently bought a bluray player nd a led tv….
    This news btw is real good news..!!..:)

    • I was thinking that too! Sounds great but not if all my devices that handle H.264 won’t handle H.265!

  • seyss

    Same quality on half the size? Right…

  • maverickjatt


  • Gerard Hampton

    Bit off topic but how could apple possibly release any type of TV now? theyre suing Samsung for copying design… Samsung make TV’s!

    • M.

      Samsung makes shitty tvs! If apple ever decides to make a tv and if it happens to be Samsung I’ll never buy it.

    • Xew

      So? Samsung makes the NAND flash for the iPhones etc., that didn’t stop them from suing each other.

      Personally not a big believer of the apple TV display rumors.

  • I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • “which will have an enormous impact on the industry” then I say “Absolutely” Great…

  • Appletiser

    so the imminent new iPhone with it’s H.264 chip is already out of date before it’s even launched?

    • Pretty much, as will any other piece of tech ever made prior to the first chips being put out. Yay technology!

  • Alan R.

    H264 codec is still developing and have room for improvement, than iagine how much time we will wait to see actually fully working h265 encoder. And for decoding we will need insane cpu speed.

    • David Villamizar

      What part of half the bit-rate you didn’t get? This is supposed to improve performance when playing high resolution video, without better hardware.

  • Apparently for NVidia users, all NVidia has to do is release an update that supports H.265 and therefore have hardware acceleration. As for AMD, they say that the way their GPU’s are designed, they won’t be able to fix that with an update. You would have to go out buy a new computer, or graphics card for desktop users.