What Is The Difference Between H.264 and H.265 Video Formats

Familiarizing yourself with the latest industry standard video formats will save you time and headaches. Video standards are always improving, changing, and increasing and decreasing based upon the latest technology. Let’s face it, the days of extracting video from Mini DV tapes and exporting as WMV files for tv are long gone (not that anyone ever did that).

As the resolution for video keeps increasing, especially with the latest 4K tvs coming out here, it is imperative that in order for companies like Hulu and Netflix to be able to stream 4K quality video, the file algorithms have to change in order to accommodate the file size and pipeline bandwidth. That brings a real problem, because technology changes faster than the infrastructure to uphold it.

When comparing H.64 and H.265 video formats, realize that the industry standard will always change and that it is necessary for us stay on top of those changes. Currently, we produce all of our videos with the industry standard H.264 MP4 video codec, which is compatible on all web browsers and all standard computer platforms. In the very near future, there will be a new dominating video codec called the H.265 format. H.265 was originally developed as the ‘HEVC’ (High Efficiency Video Coding) format jointly by the Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG).

This format is twice as efficient as the H.264 format meaning that it streams higher quality video in smaller files. This will be imperative as 4K video starts streaming. The quality of the video compression is exactly the same, but 1/10 of the file size. So, being twice as efficient and 1/10 the size, this new standard also supports 8K video, and will probably adapt to handle 16K video, a few years down the road.

Here is a great summory of how H.265 video works in comparison with H.264 by Trustedreviews.com.

By doing the opposite of what you might expect. While 4K video increases picture quality by making individual pixels smaller, effectively what H.265 does is make them bigger to reduce the bitrate (and therefore file size). It then performs a vast array of processing tricks on the video as it is played to get the detail back. 

The main problem facing the H.265 format is that it’s not integrated into any of the computer platforms yet, especially web browsers.  Google has started working on this by creating its own video standard, VP9 , so it will need to be tested before it becomes mainstream.  It won’t be long before this new video format does become standard and is built into video converters, used by tv networks for streaming 4K video feeds, and is as common as the MPG -2 was several years ago.  We are looking forward to the potential of this new stream with higher quality, smaller video files, and better resolution.  In our opinion, there is no comparison.

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