Great news! A new codec for compressing videos is soon going to be introduced. The current standard is H.264, which presented a serious improvement over Xvid, and the like, a few years back (with Xvid, the quality improved significantly, whilst file-sizes were essentially cut in half for the same quality output).
The graph below indicates the leaps and bounds made in the size and speed of video over the years.
And now, it looks like we’re in for another vast improvement. MPEG (the Moving Picture Experts Group) recently convened and has just issued a draft highlighting details of a ‘new video-compression format that is twice as efficient as current standards’. This new standard is going to be called HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding), or H.265, and, simply put, will mean videos of the same quality at half the size. Currently, a 1080p, h.264 encoded 2 hour movie, for instance, would amount to around 7-8GB in size. In the future, it will be in the region of 3-4GB.
So What Does This Mean?
For short-form video, this will have even more of an impact and I believe it will make a huge difference for us here in South Africa. Browsing video will increase tremendously once this new standard has been understood and widely adopted. Additionally, there will be no excuse not to stream in good quality, buffering times on sites like Vimeo and YouTube will be much faster, wider access via mobile devices will be made possible...and much more.
In the digital landscape, all of this will enable us to be more creative, do more meaningful work for our clients, and also provide a lot more opportunity for education in all aspects.
What’s your take? How do you see this new standard affecting our current online video landscape?