How to stream better quality video: Part 3 - Ultra High Definition, 4K and next generation video codecs
5 Sep 2014
4K or Ultra High Definition (UHD) video has four times the detail of 1080p full HD. How do you deliver such high resolution video to a TV or mobile device over a limited bandwidth connection? Next-generation video codecs may provide the answer. This article, part 3 of “How to stream better quality video”, gives an overview of two new video codecs: High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC or H.265) and VP9.
The High Efficiency Video Coding standard
H.264 is widely used amongst broadcasters and in the online video streaming industry, but this may change with the introduction of HEVC. If you want to get up to speed on the technical side of HEVC, the Vcodex website has material to get you started.
Up to twice as efficient as H.264 - which means that you can send the same picture quality using much smaller files.
Support for resolution up to 8K video (7680 × 4320) and frame rates up to 120 frames per second.
Improved picture quality in terms of noise levels, color spaces and dynamic range.
Hardware support for HEVC is increasing, with a number of demonstrations at this year's IBC show. A reference hardware implementation of VP9 is available for chip developers.
New codecs - a performance comparison
This implies that you should see the most benefit from HEVC and VP9 codecs at high quality / low compression settings.
We hope the three-part series of the blog "How to stream better quality video" has been useful.
Abharana Bhat specialises in video compression, media streaming and video quality assessment.
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