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New compression standard could be in commercial products as early as next year

The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) met recently to issue a draft international standard of a new video compression format offering twice the performance of current standards. The new video compression format is called High Efficiency Video Coating or HEVC. The new H.265 compression codec is roughly twice as effective as the current H.264/AVC standard.
“There’s a lot of industry interest in this because it means you can halve the bit rate and still achieve the same visual quality, or double the number of television channels with the same bandwidth, which will have an enormous impact on the industry,” says Per Fröjdh, Manager for Visual Technology at Ericsson Research, Group Function Technology, who organized the event as Chairman of the Swedish MPEG delegation.
H.265 could usher in ultra high definition television with significantly more clarity than the 1080p we have today. The new compression format will also significantly reduce the bandwidth required for streaming video on mobile networks where wireless spectrum is at a premium. The format will pave the way for wireless carriers to offer more video services within the confines of their available spectrum.
“Video accounts for the vast majority of all data sent over networks, and that proportion is increasing: by 2015, it is predicted to account for 90 percent of all network traffic,” Fröjdh says.
He believes that the HEVC format discussed during the meeting in Stockholm could find its way into commercial products as early as 2013.
“It will take time before it’s launched for a TV service, but adoption is much quicker in the mobile area, and we’ll probably see the first services for mobile use cases next year,” Fröjdh added.

Source: Ericsson

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The main use will be streaming video at 1080p
By hubb1e on 8/16/2012 11:51:12 AM , Rating: 2
The main use for this format will not be 3d, or higher resolution. It will be to serve 1080p streaming video on the next generation of streaming devices. And I'm not even talking about the PS4 or the Xbox 720. Since those devices are in the pipeline already, they probably won't have the fixed function hardware to decode the format unless the CPUs in those boxes are able to handle software decoding like they had to do for h.264.

By TakinYourPoints on 8/16/2012 12:22:02 PM , Rating: 2
Another potential advantage will be increasing color accuracy and reducing dithering. The difference between Blu Ray and even a good 1080p stream is huge, but improved codecs can potentially close up this gap. I'm afraid that companies may only use better codecs to shrink file sizes down, thus negating any potential improved image quality, but we'll see.

RE: The main use will be streaming video at 1080p
By FITCamaro on 8/16/2012 1:49:30 PM , Rating: 2
No reason why Microsoft and Sony couldn't push out a decoder onto the console. Just as they did with H.264.

RE: The main use will be streaming video at 1080p
By hubb1e on 8/16/2012 2:12:55 PM , Rating: 2
Sure there is. There is no garruntee that those consoles will have the CPU power to decode the format. It's likely they will, but we don't know how fast your computer needs to be to decode h.265. h.264 decoding pushed the limits of CPU power when it was adopted. I expect h.265 to do the same. Video cards and current fixed function decoding chips won't be able to handle h.265. Bluray players won't have to use h.265 to meet requirements. I don't expect h.265 to catch on as fast as h.264 did since h.264 is meeting the current requirement fairly well.

By Guspaz on 8/16/2012 5:44:04 PM , Rating: 2
The original goal was 3x the computational complexity of h.264, although some proposals were ten times that. I expect they fell somewhere in between.

I don't think next-gen consoles would have any trouble with the decoding. Even a PS3 should be able to decode it, although it might be limited to only videos encoded with tile or wavefront support (h.265 was designed with multi-threaded decoding in mind), or it might have to resort to some decoding trickery (decode different chunks of video at sub-real-time into a buffer on each SPE).

That's only really possible because the PS3 had a ton of dumb brute-force processing power, like a bunch of fast glorified DSPs, which are perfect for this sort of work, but terrible at other things (like, the SPEs have no branch predictors, so they're terrible at logic).

I don't expect the PS4 or the 360 to have anything like the Cell (that was largely a failed experiment), but the processing hardware in a console is typically a bit better than the fastest consumer processor hardware available when they come out (they're bleeding edge so they're slightly ahead of the curve). I would be surprised if they couldn't handle h.265 in hardware, at 1080p at least.

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