September 25th, 2012
The recently announced H.265 standard for video coding, which is more commonly referred to as HEVC, offers the ability to cut data requirements for video content in half. According to a recent Streaming Media report, this technology represents a critical evolution of the video coding industry that is indicative of broad consumer and enterprise video trends.
General codec trends
The news source explained that the video coding industry has seen considerable changes over the past few years, beginning with a period in which multiple standards were simultaneously popular. At that time, the MPEG-2 system was used primarily for DVDs and broadcasts, while Sorenson Video 3 was used for high-quality video downloads and Sorenson Spark was prominent for video that needed to be delivered quickly on the limited bandwidth available when these codecs were popular. More recently, however, the H.264 has emerged as the dominant solution because it offers the ability to handle high-quality content within the requirements of contemporary video delivery methods.
Importance of HEVC
HEVC represents a major step forward from the H.264 codec because it not only reduces data bandwidth requirements, but also establishes the foundation needed for much better content delivery. The report said this is proving especially important in the video industry as a whole.
In the consumer sector, organizations developing disk-based video solutions are pushing toward 4K and 8K resolution standards to try to differentiate themselves from 1080p streaming capabilities. As high-definition video is delivered to more consumers, many businesses are beginning to get behind the trend, the news source explained.
This not only leads to more bandwidth requirements in the network, but also creates more demand for mobile and wireless bandwidth, as workers using smartphones and tablets also consume video. Because of this, the new codec standard could provide a huge boost for businesses because it allows them to either use the same amount of bandwidth, but move to 1080p content delivery, or maintain 480p or 720p resolutions, but cut data consumption in half, according to the report.
What it means for businesses
As companies continue to invest more in enterprise video technologies, the need for supporting solutions that alleviate stress on the network and other elements of the IT infrastructure is becoming apparent. Many experts agree that broad network optimization tools are generally unfit to handle the unique requirements created by video. Instead, specialized solutions are often needed to meet video-related delivery needs.