The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has announced its formal approval of a new video coding standard. H.265, also referred to as High Efficiency Video Coding or HVEC, is reported to be twice as efficient at compressing video. That means that it will only require half the bandwidth to transmit video at the same quality as its predecessor H.264 / MPEG-4.
H.265 will gradually replace H.264, which accounts for over 80% of web video, as companies begin to adopt the new standard. The new standard comes at a time when bandwidth availability has been stretched to keep up with the rapid expansion of mobile video. Demand for high-definition video on devices from TVs to tablets and smartphones represents a considerable strain on wireless networks.
Though carriers have been busy buying up spectrum to help keep traffic flowing, there’s a limit to the spectrum available. New codecs such as H.265 are necessary in order to use existing spectrum more effectively. With this first-stage approval, companies can begin moving forward to adopt the new standard, while the ITU will continue to review extensions, such as support for stereoscopic and 3D video coding.