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MPEG to halve video bandwidth with H.265 codec draft

updated 05:37 pm EDT, Wed August 15, 2012

Proposal could double video content on existing bandwidth

The Motion Pictures Expert Group (MPEG) has released a draft for a new video codec, H.265. The proposed High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) hopes to slice space consumption by up to half of the current MPEG-4 H.264 standard, with the aim of reducing the amount of bandwidth used for online video apps, and making room for more.

A group of 450 people met in Stockholm during July to approve the codec, which if adopted will allow for double the number of TV channels to be broadcast in the same amount of spectrum. According to Per Fr÷jdh, chairman of the Swedish MPEG delegation and manager for Visual Technology at Ericsson Research, it will "have an enormous impact on the industry;" he notes it's currently predicted that video could account for "90 percent of all network traffic" by 2015. He believes that the HEVC format could be launched in commercial products as soon as 2013.

It's likely that Apple will support the new specification, as it was an early adopter of H.264; expanded H.264 profiles appear in the third generations of the iPad and the Apple TV. Alongside Nokia and Microsoft, Apple recommended H.264 as an alternative to using plugins for video in the HTML5 specification. Apple moreover backed the MP3 audio format in 2001 with the iPod, while Microsoft and Sony worked on their own codecs.

H.264 has been a part of patent-related legal battles in recent times, the most high-profile of which was a possible Xbox 360 ban due to violating Motorola's standards-essential playback patent. In the end, the ITC decided in Microsoft's favor. [via Apple Insider]

by MacNN Staff



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