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H.265: Here's the Good News, the Bad News, and What to Expect

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H.265 is still a work in progress, but VideoRx CTO Robert Reinhardt says there's plenty to get excited about. Speaking at the recent Streaming Media West conference in sunny Huntington Beach, California, Reinhardt offered good news about file sizes from his own testing.

"Let's just start with the good news: H.265 does live up to the hype," Reinhardt enthused. "You can get the same quality at a lower bitrate to H.264…You'll hear it talked about a lot that you get 2:1. I have yet to see 2:1 all the way across the board. It will vary based on the content and how you're encoding it—if you're going for constant bitrate, variable bitrate…The other good news is you can start learning about H.265 via x.265 today."

Smaller video file sizes are great, but they come with a cost.

"If there's good news, there's bad news," Reinhard said, explaining that H.265 results in longer encoding times. Using the latest x265 build, however, he found that encoding times were improving compared previous builds.

"There's also some demands on the CPU just for playback. I didn't really do rigorous playback testing. I was just curious," Reinhardt added. "There was definitely higher utilization of the CPU for x265- versus x264-encoded footage. That was all using VLC…It would average about 15 percent of the load at a 1080p source." That CPU use is sure to effect battery performance: "The hotter your CPU is running, the more you're going to drain that battery over time."

For more on H.265, watch the video below and download Reinhardt's presentation.


HOW TO: H.265 vs. H.264: Choosing the Best Options

The case for H.265, like most new video technologies, is compelling: better compression and faster/cheaper delivery over lower bitrates. For any content distributor seeking to distribute content to mobile devices over congested 3G/4G/LTE networks, these traits are highly desirable. However, the reality of real-world choices can quickly deflate any optimistic plans. In this session, learn if and how H.264 compression and deployment options can be utilized in typical online streaming workflows, and more importantly, if your target audiences can benefit. Examples of x264 and x265 output are compared for bitrate, compression time, and file size.

Robert Reinhardt, CTO - videoRx

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