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The ratification of H.265, also called the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) format, is due by the end of January. The new video compression standard, a follow-on from H.264, will provide higher-quality video streams over the Internet while using less bandwidth.

H.265 compression will allow movie downloads in half the time, or use half the spectrum. H.265 will also allow for 4K-like streams at about the same file size as today’s 1080p videos.

Cisco demonstrates 720p video streaming (above) at 500 Kbps.

Broadcom announced their BCM7445, an Ultra HD decoding chip capable of decoding HEVC at up to 4096×2160p at 60 fps. Broadcom’s 28 nm chip uses ARM architecture, but won’t hit volume production until the middle of 2014.

Ericsson unveiled a HEVC/H.265 encoder for the delivery of live and linear video to mobile devices while Rovi’s new codec SDK will enable developers serving the broadcast, content creation, mobile and consumer industries to quickly integrate the HEVC standard. Vanguard Video also announced the release of a professional HEVC software encoder.

At first, videos will be decoded in software, but over time more devices will ship with hardware-based decoders, for better performance and battery life.

One of H.265’s notable challengers is Google’s VP8 and upcoming VP9, notes C/Net. VP9 will be a successor to the VP8 standard. With VP8, Google has offered a video encoding-decoding (codec) technology that’s doesn’t require patent royalty payments.

A WebM file is a royalty-free, open video compression standard for use with HTML5 video. It consists of VP8 video and Vorbis audio streams, in a container.

H.264 enjoys broader usage in the electronics market and is often found in Blu-ray discs and videocameras. The H.265 standard will likely be used inside Ultra HD, IPTV settops, tablets, and “wireless cable”.

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