High-Efficiency Video Coding

HEVC is the acronym for High-Efficiency Video Coding.

Also known as H.265, is a video compression standard designed to provide improved video quality and compression efficiency compared to its predecessor, H.264/AVC (Advanced Video Coding). Developed by the Joint Collaborative Team on Video Coding (JCT-VC), a collaboration between the ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) and the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG), HEVC was finalized in 2013.

HEVC is particularly well-suited for high-resolution video, such as 4K and 8K, as it can provide similar video quality to H.264 at roughly half the bitrate. This means that HEVC-encoded video files can be significantly smaller than their H.264 counterparts while maintaining the same level of quality, which is beneficial for both streaming and storage purposes.

However, HEVC’s increased compression efficiency comes at the cost of higher computational complexity, which can result in increased encoding and decoding times and require more powerful hardware. As a result, HEVC adoption has been somewhat slower, especially on older or less powerful devices that may struggle with the increased processing demands. Nonetheless, many modern devices, platforms, and video streaming services now support HEVC due to its advantages in terms of video quality and bandwidth efficiency.

  • Abbreviation: HEVC

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