Video Signal Compression HEVC

What are HEVC, H265 and Mpeg4?

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You will have noticed the tags H265, MpegH part 2 and HEVC appearing recently on IPTV and satellite set top boxes, what are they? The developers coined different phrases but all are general terms and used interchangeably.

Currently video from satellite broadcasts is compressed using H264 . It has been widely used since 2004.

What is compression?

Video consists of frames, frames consist of pixels, the higher the resolution, the higher the number of pixels and so the more processing power it takes to transmit the picture. On slow networks or on limited bandwidth media ( satellite ) the full bandwidth broadcast starts to pixelate.

By applying complex algorithms, at the transmitting end, the pixel patterns in frames can be replaced with simpler ones, which are more economical in terms of bandwidth used. Static parts of frames that don't change frame to frame can be left out, only transmitted when changes occur. Movement in the frames can be projected or predicted, so the next frame is ready even before it is fully assembled! In all these techniques more redundancy is eliminated and the overall bandwidth reduced.

The latest standard is H265 and allows excellent results despite reducing the bandwidth requirement over H264 by over half. The processing at the receiver end is much less complex so only a small increase in processing power has led to H265 compatible boxes being available just with the inevitable increases which every new chipset brings.

A good example is the Amiko mini 265 receiver, there has been no price increase over the previous models HDse, HDre and HD combo which are all H264 standard

Below is the box for the Amiko Viper Combo receiver with its '265' badge

HEVC H.265


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