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What is the HEVC (H 265) Codec?

HEVC (H 265) vs AVC (H264)

Last updated on January 23rd, 2024 at 02:33 am

HEVC stands for High-Efficiency Video Coding.

It’s also popularly referred to as H265. It’s actually H264’s successor. And for your information, H264 was MPEG-4’s successor.

HEVC saw development under the guidance of the ISO/IEC MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group) and the ITU-T VCEG (Video Coding Experts Group and was first introduced in 2013.

HEVC’s Standout Benefit

HEVC’s standout benefit is it doubles video compression compared to H264 but delivers higher quality video. Normally such a video compression rate would offer lower quality video if undertaken through other codecs.

HEVC Resolution

HEVC supports video resolution of up to 8192 x 4320. And this includes support for 8K UHD.

H265 can be considered as a replacement for the Blu-ray disc. With H265, you can watch streaming videos in 4K. Video streaming giants like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu are already incorporating H265 into their offerings.

H265 vs H264

When it comes to 4K streaming there are two main codecs that come to the fore – H264 and H265.

H265 is the latest codec, much talked about in the digital video world.

H264 also known as AVC or Advanced Video Coding didn’t do well when it came to 4K video.

The H265 compression was far better with video data taking up less space and bandwidth compared to H264, without compromising quality.

HEVC (H265) : Boon for Streaming Video

To stream 4K video encoded with H264 would require an Internet connection speed of about 32Mbps for smooth playback.

If the same 4K video is streamed with H265 codec, a minimum connection speed of only 15Mbps is required.

According to the Akamai State of the Internet Report, the average Internet speed in the USA is 18Mbps.

HEVC Computer Playback

If you want to play HEVC on your computer and wondering what player you could use, try the latest version of the ever-reliable VLC Media Player.

However, if you’re using Windows 10, you can download the HEVC codec for free via the Microsoft Store.

Installing the H265 codec will allow you to play an HVEC file via the Windows Media Player.

If you’ve an older version of Windows 10, you can download the K-Lite codec pack.


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