H.265 is the next best thing after H.264 when it comes to video compression standards, or at least this is where it aims. It is a temporary name (and probably will end up as the final one) that will be given to multiple initiatives sometimes known as HECV or HVC.
Christian Timmerer has guest posted about HVC on our Video Over Enterprise blog some time ago, and the history and technology brief there is quite interesting so I suggest you head over there for a quick read before you continue here.
What’s the idea behind H.265?
H.265 builds on decades of research and development invested in past standards such as H.261, H.263 and H.264. In a way, it brings with it nothing new or drastic – just a logical expansion of the existing techniques.
H.26x series of video codecs: complexity versus compression rates
H.265 relies on the fact that processing power is increasing on our devices, and uses brute force (=more processing power) to achieve better compression.
The interesting thing about H.265, is that it doesn’t include any SVC capabilities. These will probably be added some time in the future. It will be interesting to see on what companies will place their bets –H.265 or SVC.
What can we expect from H.265? The current guestimates talk about a reduction of 50% in bitrate requirements for a given video quality and an increase of 3 times in the coding complexity compared to H.264.
What is the timeline?
In February 2012 a complete draft of the standard should be available. From this moment on the bickering changes – from trying to push technologies and patents into the standard into fleshing out the wording to gain a shared understanding of the meaning of it.
Completion of this process is expected by January 2013, where a final draft should be ready for ratification – an editorial and bureaucratic process before publication.
After that – tweaks, touches and additions. Same as in any other standard.
Where will this lead us to?
What would H.265 mean to the industry?
Will it replace H.264/AVC and kill the concept of H.265/SVC altogether?
What will it do to Google’s WebM video codec and its adoption?
What industries will adopt it if any?
These are all questions that I’ll try to deal with in some of my next posts. As I don’t have all the answers here, if you have an opinion – feel free to contact me about a guest post regarding these or other questions related to H.265.