SPONSORED CONTENT APRIL/MAY 2018 STREAMING MEDIA SPOTLIGHT SERIES WP39
For years, AVC or H.264 was the primary compression
technology, or codec, used to deliver online video, but in recent
years, HEVC or H.265 has gained favor, because it promises the
same video quality at half the data rate. You can see the quality
and efficiency advances in various compression formats in
Many of the actual encoding techniques involved with
HEVC are the same as AVC, but have been dramatically
expanded. For example, when searching for interframe
redundancies, AVC presents a choice of 9 directional vectors,
whereas HEVC offers a choice of 33 vectors. HEVC also
supports much larger tile sizes, allowing greater compression
efficiency with larger video resolutions, as shown in Figure 2.
Advancements like these are what make HEVC so powerful
for delivering higher-quality content like 4K and high dynamic
range (HDR) video.
How does this theory play out in practice? In general,
HEVC should deliver the same quality video as H.264 at
roughly half the data rate, though this will vary by type of
content. For a 1080p stream, for example, a publisher might
be able to cut the data rate from 8Mbps to 4Mbps with no
loss in quality.
This reduction in bitrate can have a significant impact on
edge cache costs because the file size is now smaller when
video is delivered to end consumers. And in some scenarios,
like delivery to a high-resolution tablet via 4G, this may
allow the viewer to watch a 1080p stream, rather than a 720p
stream, improving the overall quality of experience.
Figure 2. The benefits of HEVC over AVC.
Figure 1. Advances in compression efficiency across video formats.