In a video posted by Diginfo.TV, we can clearly see that the recently ratified standard HEVC or H.265 is already being tested and used for some impressive high-quality video streaming configurations. In the past, the speculation was that it would take 45-50Mbps in order to be able to stream 4K video. This was primarily because of the fact that many video codecs were streaming 1080P at 20-25Mbps at high quality settings. As such, many suspected that 4K would be even more taxing, however, it has proven not to be.
The standard itself was approved by the ITU and ISO on January 25th and since then has been touted by various organizations involved as the future of HD video playback. HEVC members claim that H.265 halves the data used by H.264 at the same or better level of quality. Docomo states that they plan to license their codec in March for Full-HD video playback on smartphones, which should enable much faster playback and video quality improvements.
What this really enables, though, is for an actual path for 4K video to be delivered to people’s TVs and tablets. So, now that we know it can be done for about 10Mbps, delivering 4K to someone’s TV in their home shouldn’t be that difficult. It can be done over IPTV or even over traditional cable, if the cable provider is capable. The real truth is that 10Mbps 4K video playback is a huge deal and paves the way for content providers to begin preparing their content for H.265 delivery and streaming to people’s homes so that 4K TVs actually have content to play back. Not to mention, a Blu-Ray disc can actually fit a 4K movie on it no problem, which means that physical media isn’t quite dead yet. However, 10Mbps 4K does mean that you can fit 4K movies in to a relatively small file size than what a RAW 4K video file would deliver into the terabytes.
While many have focused on the implications for mobile HD playback, the implications for 4K are even greater. HEVC enables incredible quality at low bitrates, which has been one of the biggest problems for the adoption of 4K other than the actual price of the TVs.