History of H.265


In 2004, ITU-T Video Coding Expert Group (VCEG) started the development of the successor to the codec H.264 and in 2007 ISO/IEC Moving Picture Expert Group (MPEG) started their journey to the same direction. In 2010, the MPEG and VCEG teams collaborated on a joint Call for Proposals and established the Joint Collaborative Team on Video Coding (JCT-VC) to develop the HEVC standard. On January 25, 2013 the technical content of HEVC was finalized and on April 13, 2013 it was formally declared as a standard.



Why need H.265?


There are number of professional HD camera out there in the market and the data coming out from those are immense. The size of the video file created with those cameras is large. There must be some convenient way to transport those videos to your home with the same bandwidth that you use for your Internet connection. This can be achieved in many ways. One way, possibly the easiest way, is to compress the data heavily which will eventually reduce the quality of the image. Other way is to find a better compressing technology that will reduce the size without compromising the quality of the image. H.265 is such kind of compression technology that was created keeping in mind the second way. It compresses the UHD video keeping the same quality of the video.



H.265 Container


Till now, the containers that support H.265 or HEVC are as follows:

1. MPEG transport stream – used by ATSC, DVB and Blu-ray Disc. File name extension of this container is .ts, .tsv, .tsa.
2. MPEG media transport – an under development digital container standard.
3. ISO based media file format –used as the basis for other media file format. File name extensions are .mp4, .3gp, .3g2, .mj2, .dvb, .dcf, .m21
4. Matroska – an open standard free container format. File name extensions like .mkv, .mk3d, .mka, .mks



What content will use HEVC


In near future, HEVC will be used by almost every content. It is a matter of decision for service whether to send data using HEVC/H.265 instead of MPEG-4/H.264. Many companies have already begun to use HEVC for streaming 4K content. Netflix, Amazon, M-Go are few of them. Netflix has begun to use HEVC to stream 4K content to few 4K TVs equipped to decode HEVC. Leading television manufacturer like LG, Samsung, Sony, Vizio, Panasonic and Toshiba will manufacture TVs with HEVC support and those TVs will be able to stream 4K content.


Amazon has amalgamated with few other studios like Warner Bros, Lionsgate, 20th Century Fox and Discovery for streaming 4K content using HEVC. Streaming service M-go has also announced the same via an app for Samsung TVs.


Though cable companies are not broadcasting 4K yet, they will decide it in upcoming years. DirectTV and Comcast's Xfinity will use an app to stream 4K content over the Internet to Samsung TV.


Some new smartphone like Sony Xperia Z2 has included HEVC support to shoot 4K video.



How to Play H.265 file


Here is a list of the top 4 players that can play HEVC files:

VLC Media Player
DivX Player
Wondershare Player
5KPlayer



How to Convert H.265 Files from/to other formats


To convert H.265 files to other format or encode other formats to H.265 files you will need a powerful and reliable H.265 converter. If you are seeking for the best video output quality, fastest video conversion speed, and the most formats supported, EaseFab Video Converter (available for Windows and Mac OS X) will be your best choice. It is integrated of HEVC H.265 encoding and decoding. No matter you are looking for decoding H.265 video to H.264 and more other formats or converting video to HEVC/H.265(HD/1080P/4K), the professional H.265 conver ter will fulfill your task fast and easily. Below is a detailed guide to show you how to use the program to to convert H.265 files to other format or convert other formats to H.265.


How to Convert Videos from and to H.265 Files Quickly and Easily



H.265 VS H.264


Type H.264 H.265
Name MPEG- 4 AVC (Advanced Video Coding) HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding)
Successor Successor to MPEG-2 Part Successor to MPEG-4 AVC/ H.264
Improvement Bit rate reduction compared to MPEG-2 is 40-50% Bit rate reduction at the same level of visual quality compared to H.264 is 40-50%
Resolution Supports up to 4K (4,096x2,304) Supports up to 8K (8,192x4,320)
Frame rate Supports up to 59.94 fps Supports up to 300 fps
Profiles 21 approved profiles 3 approved profiles, draft for additional 5
Entropy Coding Entropy coding is CABAC and CAVLC Entropy coding is only CABAC
Compression Model Hybrid spatial-temporal prediction model Enhanced Hybrid spatial-temporal prediction model
Industry Adoption Dominant and accepted video codec for cable, terrestrial, satellite and IPTV broadcast. Widely used across Blu-Ray, security systems, video conference, mobile video, media players, video chat etc. Implementation demonstration across NAB, IBC, and other events starting 2012 companies e.g. ATEME, Broadcom, Thomson, Harmonic, Ericsson, Qualcomm etc. Increased RD across encoder/decoder vendors for software and hardware based solutions.
Year of Approval Approved in 2004 Approved in 2013
Drawbacks Transmission of UHD content is unrealistic as the bit rate requirement is very high. Approx. 300% more computational expensive due to larger prediction units and expensive Motion Estimation.



H.265 VS VP9


VP9 or Video Processing 9, the successor to VP8, is an open and loyalty free video compression standard developed by Google. It is the Google's latest open source project whose target is to improve the delivery of content over the Internet. It is expected to reduce the size of the video files to half, comparing the current encoding technology called H.264 or MPEG-4. It will be used to compress video files and stream at 4K resolution.


Google has already announced that VP9 will be used for 4K content on YouTube. Google Play is also likely to use VP9 for streaming video service. When each individual service will have decided to send content using VP9, there must be some compatible hardware to run that content – which will be the big challenge for VP9. Google has already partnered with some companies like Intel, ARM, Broadcom, Marvell, Nvidia, Qualcom, RealTek, MediaTek, and Sigma for manufacturing VP9 compatible chips and components.


So it's reasonable that we should compare H.265 and VP6. The comparison between the two video encoding standards are listed below:


Type VP9 H.265
Name Video Processing 9 HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding)
Successor Successor to VP8 Successor to MPEG-4 AVC/ H.264
Developer Developed by Google as an open and free video compression standard Jointly developed by Video Coding Expert Group (VCEG) and Moving Picture Expert Group (MPEG).
Improvement Bit rate reduction compared to VP8 is 40-50% Bit rate reduction at the same level of visual quality compared to H.264 is 40-50%
Resolution Supports up to 8K (8,192x4,320) Supports up to 8K (8,192x4,320)
Performance Comparison VP9 takes seven times less time to encode H.265 achieved 43.3% lower bit rate then VP9
Profiles two approved profiles three approved profiles, draft for additional five
Industry Adoption Google has already announced that VP9 will be used for 4K content on YouTube and Google Play Video service. Google has already partnered with some companies like Intel, ARM, Broadcom, Marvell, Nvidia, Qualcom, RealTek, MediaTek, and Sigma for manufacturing VP9 compatible chips and components. Implementation demonstration across NAB, IBC, and other events starting 2012 companies e.g. ATEME, Broadcom, Thomson, Harmonic, Ericsson, Qualcom etc. Increased RD across encoder/decoder vendors for software and hardware based solutions.
Year of Origin Initial release December 13, 2012 Approved in April, 2013
Drawbacks Transmission of UHD content might be a big challenge as the bit rate requirement is very high comparing to H.265 Approx. 300% more computational expensive due to larger prediction units and expensive Motion Estimation.

Rayburn from Frost & Sullivan sated that HEVC can't be deployed until the full encode, decode and transport infrastructure is designed. The good news is that some major companies have already begun to adopt H.265. There were a lot of grumblings during the evolution of H.264 and the same will be true for H.265. H.265 will also have to face challenges from its competitor VP9. Above all, a lower data rate with the same quality is good for everything.

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