MPEG releases H.265 draft – includes twice the video quality and delivery by 2013

by planetMitch5 Comments

Now this is interesting and potentially important to everyone shooting with HDSLRs – mpeg has released a new H.265 draft specification which will include new higher quality video with lower bit rates.

I won't pretend to be a compression expert, but it is curious that this specification is lowering bit rate while we keep asking for higher bit rate from the camera manufacturers. What will happen in the future with companies like Canon and Nikon with their video output?

And of course everyone will want to know will this be available as a firmware upgrade or will it require a new camera? I suspect new cameras will be required due to the processor chips having H.264 stuff built in (at least that is what I think – heck, I'm not a chip expert either – ha!)


“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…” says Per Fröjdh, Manager for Visual Technology at Ericsson Research, Group Function Technology, who organized the event as Chairman of the Swedish MPEG delegation.

MPEG releases H.265 draft

from the article on AppleInsider where I first saw this…

The Motion Pictures Expert Group has issued a new video standards draft that promises to deliver twice the video quality at the same size, or alternatively, identical video quality at half the data rate as today's MPEG-4 H.264 standard.

The new H.265 draft specifically addresses mobile devices and networks overloaded with video. Products using the new H.265 video compression standard could begin to launch as early as next year.

What do you think?

What is this going to mean to us in the future? Will it really be ready by 2013?

Will HDSLR manufacturers incorporate a new version quickly?

And the biggest question will be will there be any additional fees?

(cover photo credit: snap from the mpeg group)


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  1. H.265 Compression is going to be either twice the video quality at the same bit rate, or the same video quality we get now and halve the bit rate…. With ALL Due, Respect, as a cinematographer I want the highest amount of COLOR SPACE possible, and the SMOOTHS edges to color correct on, h264 doesn’t make that easy… So what about higher bit rates for people who want MORE information? ? ?

  2. Ok, I take it that the same people who are worried about the issue of bit rate in h.264 haven’t read the material about what 264 is intended for and what not to do with it?

    MPEG was all about transmission of moving images, not recording it. The various standards were all proposed for storage and transmission, not recording as such. All the formats should be transcoded to an intermediate format if you want to get anything resembling decent post production workflows. I’m sure that the reason Sony jumped on MPEG2 as a source format was because it had a share in the Intellectual property behind the standard and as such, when the initial moratorium wore off (a no charge for use period, that is) they were able to charge companies that weren’t part of the development team a license fee to use it. 264 is still in the period where no one has been able to define who owns what pieces of it, so there are no charges leveled at end users, so no costs for manufacturers to use the standard in devices for recording. Frankly, JPEG2000 is much better as a record codec, and you are using it (well, it’s the basis of ProRes and DNxHD) but it’s much heftier on space than 264. h.265 is just the next itteration of the same record format – but in the final analysis, it’s a record, not a post production format. Don’t bother with the idocy of certain software manufacturers who loudly proclaim the ability to natively edit 264. It’s irrelevant to the process. The time saved in transcoding will create headaches further down the chain. The footage it generates must be transcoded for consistency of Post Production output, end of story.

    The reality is, recording via HDMI output to a larger drive system with JPEG2000 support is the best way to maximise the quality of images, while keeping the systems affordable by using open source codecs.

  3. Hopefully we’ll see camera makers use this extra bandwidth to upgrade to 4:2:2…

  4. Smaller yet higher quality is great for display or delivery, but the immense compression/decompression power needed by an NLE makes it a poor capture method. Avchd is bad enough, making something more compressed just taxes the system more = not ideal for recording. But it will open up more doors for dailies delivery, client deliverables, and other uses.

    1. As the codecs advance, so do the cpu’s used for editing. And while I agree that it’s still best not to edit with such a cpu intensive codec, it still makes for a good recording format where you can’t record to a physically large storage device (such as an SSD or hard drive). Just means you’ve got to transcode it into something more edit-friendly before editing.

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