Here Comes H.265

The International Telecommunications Union, ITU announced January 25th the new High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC) to be known also as H.265. The new codec is expected to use about 50% of the data bandwidth of its predecessor H.264, which itself uses about 50% of the bandwidth of its predecessor MPEG-2.

The savings in bandwidth comes at the cost of processing power. It’s said to take 4 to 5 times the CPU power to compress and decompress, so it could take years for wide adoption, during which time another technology could leapfrog the standard.

But potential economic benefits are profound. If H.265 is adopted by transmission media like cable, satellite, and broadcasters, as many as twice the number of channels could fit into available bandwidth.