High Efficiency Video Coding

What Does High Efficiency Video Coding Mean?

High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) is a video compression standard which offers double the data compression ratio at the same or higher level of video quality and the same bit rate as the AVC technique. High Efficiency Video Coding supports resolutions up to 8192×4320, which includes 8K ultra-high definition.


High Efficiency Video Coding is also known as H.265.

Techopedia Explains High Efficiency Video Coding

High Efficiency Video Coding was developed by a collaboration of ITU-T VCEG & ISO/IEC MPEG known as the JCT-VC organization. In many ways, HEVC can be considered an extension or improvement on the concepts in MPEG-4 AVC. They are similar in function, as they remove redundant areas in different parts of the video frame. The main focus of High Efficiency Video Coding is to enhance compression performance relative to existing standards, coding efficiency, data loss resilience, ease of transport system integration and implementation with the help of parallel processing architectures. Compared to AVC, which defines blocks up to 16×16 pixels, HEVC describes a large range of block sizes, up to 64×64 pixels. It can encode motion vectors with better precision, thus providing the blocks with lesser residual errors. High Efficiency Video Coding also makes use of an improved deblocking filter and sample adaptive offset, which helps in reducing artifacts at block edges. In HEVC, there is improvement in variable block-size segmentation, improvement in motion vector prediction and motion region merging, and improvement in motion compensation filtering. High Efficiency Video Coding is protected by patents, and commercial use of it requires royalty payments. Compared to AVC, the licensing fees are much higher.

There are many benefits associated with High Efficiency Video Coding. Firstly, it helps pay TV operators in distributing very high quality, high definition video picture at half the bandwidth of MPEG video. This gives them room for additional revenue-generating services. HVEC also helps 4G cellular broadband operators in distributing video to service territories which were previously unreachable or marginal using MPEG-4. High Efficiency Video Coding also improves support for higher-motion programming and improvement in colors. Another benefit associated with HEVC is that it helps in practical distribution of ultra high definition television.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.