Advantages and disadvantages of HEVC
The video technology standards are constantly evolving, and HEVC/ H.265 has been gaining popularity recently. However, according to rumours, the video ecosystem isn’t yet ready for the new compression standard. If that’s the case, are there any genuine benefits to switching now? What are the disadvantages of HEVC? Before we get to all those details, let us break down what HEVC or H.265 is for the newbies.
What is HEVC?
HEVC stands for ‘High-Efficiency Video Coding’. It is also known as H.265 and MPEG-H Part 2, the advanced video compression standard jointly created by MPEG and VCEG. HEVC is capable of compressing video with a double data compression ratio while only requiring half the bitrate to maintain the same video quality and halving storage compared to H.264.
The H.264/AVC standard, which preceded HEVC, was first published in 2003. Digital video has become increasingly common since then, and for many devices and applications, high definition is currently the bare minimum. Such widespread use of digital video at high resolutions causes a significant strain on network and storage.
So, are there any real advantages in switching to HEVC? Well, actually, yes! Plenty. But we have listed the advantages and disadvantages to help you understand and decide for yourself if you should switch to or not.
Advantages of HEVC
- When compared to an AVC based encoder, streaming live with an HEVC-enabled encoder uses half the bitrate. Assume you’re streaming a 1080p live stream over AVC at 8Mbps on YouTube. That 1080p feed will only stream at 4Mbps if you use an HEVC encoder. Less data, same quality.
- It is the best option suitable for data-strapped locations. Many businesses prefer cheaper internet plans but this results in slower upload speeds. When they could only transmit 480p at 1.5Mbps, they can now transmit 720p at 1.5Mbps, providing viewers with a superior visual experience.
- While playback support and global demand for H.265 are still developing, all analysis indicate that it will undoubtedly become the future of video compression. Having H.265 supported devices now help to future-proof encoding productions as TVs, laptops, OTT devices, and other consumer content devices adopt to the upcoming standard.
Disadvantages of HEVC
- It is not as compatible as H.264. For instance, GoPro 4K HEVC videos are not compatible with many editor apps.
- The HEVC codec is incompatible with most previous devices, platforms, and video players. For example, only iOS 11 iPhone iPads with at least an A9 chip can play HEVC video.
- HEVC video encoding is time-consuming. HEVC’s improved coding efficiency comes at the expense of considerably more complex compression techniques, which not only place additional demands on your computer hardware but also take much longer to encode videos than H264/VP9.
- High licensing and Royalty charges
- It demands a high-end hardware configuration to encode HEVC content