Why Use HEVC For 4K Video?

Why Use HEVC For 4K Video?

We all have, at varying times, relied on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other such on-
demand streaming services to kill boredom. Catching up with shows or movies in
specific formats that offer a pleasant viewing experience, like DVD or Blu-ray, is
what’s considered ideal.
However, very few know that you have benefited from a video codec, and perhaps
not even known about it, up until now. The video codec is basically a technological
unit that compresses video files. In an era where storage is growing out to be an
issue, compressing files is, quite certainly, a boon we did not ask for, but deserved.

The Next Level of Video Codec:
As technology keeps advancing, video compressing technology has also taken a leap
ahead, for good. Up until now, if you recorded a video with your mobile phone then
you would have noticed that it was encoded in the standard Advanced Video Coding
(AVD) format.

This format essentially birthed in 2003, and may slightly be considered outdated by
now. To keep up with the actual advanced viewing requirements of today, there is
High Efficiency Video Coding or HEVC, or even H.265.

Knowing HEVC:
HEVC is considered to be the latest video compression standard used to compress
video files to half their original size. This is done using the most proficient encoding
format – MPEG-4, also referred to as H.264.

The compression that HEVC brings about is quite literally almost one-fourth of the
compression that MPEG 2 brings about. In modern day usage, HEVC is used to
compress high quality videos with 4K resolution or Ultra HD media and is said to
hold potential to even compress the much anticipated 8K resolution.

But, What Really Is a Codec?
To basically understand codec, we need to get to the roots of it. A codec is actually an
abbreviation of the term Coder-Decoder. It is software which uses specific
algorithms to compress raw videos into smaller, more easily transferrable units.
Therefore, this technology is used in broadcasting, live streaming, transmitting video
files over the internet, or even storing them on a Blu-ray disc.

When the transmission happens, the codec attached at the receiving end
uncompresses the data, in order to display the video intended. If you have seen
blurry and pixelated videos, it would be because the codec attached at the receiving
end did not uncompress the data properly. A codec of good quality will compress
the video effectively so that there are no choppy and blocky videos, thereby leading
to no hindrances in UHD media files.

Why Is HEVC Ideal For 4K Video Viewing?
Getting to the pith of the matter here, most on-demand movie services like Netflix
and Amazon Prime (which are known for their Ultra HD media experience), use the
current MPEG-4 codec.
Every frame in ultra high definition is possible because these effective codecs
compress files with such accuracy and detailing that you at the receiving end get an
immersive viewing experience, even if it is Two-dimensional.
You get high definition images at least of 720p resolution or 1080p resolution.
Netflix however manages to forego these parameters and is now streaming 4K
televisions which have 8 million pixels (3840 x 2160 resolutions).
When such a huge leap in video transmission is attempted, one has to be equipped
with only the most efficient form of transmission, which is HEVC.
HEVC, over the years have proved to be more efficient than other codecs, and is
reputed among video transmission services worldwide. It provides a minimal loss in
quality, which is said to be close to negligible. There is however a basic broadband
requirement, which is 15Mbps or higher, for being able to receive ultra HD media
files.
Getting at par with the current technology is a sure-fire way to deliver efficiency.
The future is HEVC and structuring devices around this is what multinational
companies are doing at the moment.

Amazon (Source:https://www.tomsguide.com/us/amazon-filming-shows-4k,news-
17991.html) has been filming some of its latest “originals” keeping in mind the ultra
HD media requirement. The company is also said to have partnered with various
studios like Warner Bros., Lionsgate, Discovery and 20 th Century Fox for streaming
4K resolution using HEVC.
That being said about the video transmission service, Samsung on the other hand is
going to partner with Amazon so that the audience gets to view Amazon Prime
originals in K resolution.
Though it would take a while for HEVC to reach mobile phones and other such hand-
held devices, it may take a while for it to be present across all devices, under all
brands.
What we can surely discern for now is that with 4K resolution, the future of on-
screen entertainment does look brighter and clearer than ever before.

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