H.264, HEVC H.265 codecs explained


In the era of digital video, increasing the resolution of video, there is a question of how to transmit high quality video to the TV, for example. If you transmit uncompressed video, such as a standard movie, it is hundreds of gigabytes of information. The bandwidth of both cable TV and the Internet is insufficient for fast uncompressed video transmission. To be able to view digital video and broadcast it, for example on cable TV, special programs were developed, these programs compress the size of the video file using special algorithms. File in compressed form is transferred to a TV or other device, the TV has a built-in program to decrypt the compressed video.

H.264 codec brief history of capability

H.264 codec was developed in 2003 to compress video without a significant loss of quality (with little loss), to store the compressed file on a carrier or transmit it for viewing to the viewer on the Internet. The H.264 codec allows you to compress Full HD video. At the time, Full HD was the highest possible video resolution. The H.264 codec was specifically designed to compress Full HD video.

The HEVC (H.265) History of Capabilities

The HEVC codec developed in 2013, it was designed to reduce the file size for UHD 4K, Ultra High Definition video formats. This necessity arose due to the fact that without compressing the original file with the codec, it is impossible to transfer the file to view the sunline on the Internet, a 100Mbit connection is not enough for that. Thanks to the new encoding algorithms HEVC codec compresses video two times more than previous H.264 codec. The codec is designated as H.265, but more popular is HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding)

Example of 2K H.264 60P designation

During the existence of codecs, new versions came out and codecs were improved, in order to understand the capabilities of the codec markers were added to the codec markers, these markers allow you to quickly understand the capabilities of the codec.

2K TV codec supported 2K video encoding (2048 × 1556) H.264 codec, a modification under the 2K
60P frame rate, 2K video encoding and 60 frames per second is supported. There can be various variations of 4K and 30 frames per second.
The designation in the HEVC codec can also be deciphered in the same way.

In slightly clearer words, for a television with HD screen, Full HD and above codec H.264 is standard, many manufacturers do not write about its presence, it is a matter of course. Without the HEVC codec, you cannot watch 4K video on your UHD TV.

H.264 vs. HEVC H.265

It is incorrect to compare these codecs, the HEVC codec is a logical extension of the evolution of digital video. H.264 is designed to encode Full HD video, H.265 (HEVC) is designed to encode 4K and 8K video formats.

An example of using the HEVC codec in a media player: streaming video at 160mbps standard 4K goes to the decoder, which decodes the 4K 60 fps video signal with the HEVC algorithm and 10-bit color depth to the media player’s output. Then the video goes to the encoding unit, where the content is encrypted using HDCP 2.2 protocol to prevent unauthorized video recording and the encrypted signal goes to the HDMI 2.0 output. If the original video file does not require encoding, it bypasses the encryption block and goes to the HDMI output.

Later on, manufacturers of Full HDTVs installed HEVC codecs in their televisions. This made it possible to watch 4K video on a lower resolution screen.


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