HEVC or High efficiency video encoding (x265/HEVC) is a new standard video codec. In the past it was in test but now the codec is in full roll out. Mobile and desktop processors support HEVC hardware decoding. Previously software like VLC used to work with software decoding. We have tested the power of this new codec and is absolutely amazing. This new codec supports video resolution upto 8K. In simple words, it gives great quality at smallest size.
Currently x264 codec dominates the world. x264 is a great codec and it helped us a lot. Now its time for the new format. Our video resolution and displays are getting better. So in order to save storage and provide best quality, we need new format. These days even mobile support recording in HEVC. They give best result in smallest file size.
x265 HEVC encode development was initiated in 2013. The pubic stable version was made available on October 2014. So this is a hot technology that we have seen. We are always afraid about our Hard disk space. Many of us store music videos, movies and games. Most space is taken by movies and music video. This new technology is mean to rescue us from this issue as well.
HEVC Power and Differences
One of the main advantage of this new codec is development in high resolution video. This encoding helps us save space while using 4K and 8k formats. We are also seeing 4K HDR movie encodes in x265. The video sizes are almost half and double the quality. The videos can be encoded or compressed with best quality in smaller size and lower bit rates.
We have seen some videos and the results are terrific. For example, a sample video of same show was 130 Mb for 480p but the 720p file was just 160Mb. The main thing we are getting is best quality at smallest size. This saves both resources and bandwidth.
This encode is specially good for Ultra HD contents like 4K and 8K that is 8192X4320. Old x264 can’t provide 4K and 8K videos in small sizes like new x265. The encoding efficiency is also very good. With increase in resolution, the bit rate decreases in comparison with x264. For 480p it is 52%, for 720p it is 56%, for 1080p it is 62% and for 4k it is 64%. These data shows that resulting file sizes are very small. This is a revolutionary change for video encoding, video streaming and storage. Streaming is also faster due to smaller sizes.
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The data compression was designed to be 1000:1 which is immense. Till now only latest updates of VLC player and some other decoders have supported H.265 playback. Processor manufacturers are also embedding the support though. Slowly mobiles and TV are picking this feature. It is a very good sign and we will see better improvement in video encoding in future.