HEVC: The Future of Video Encoding

HEVC is the most interesting and cutting-edge topic in the world of digital video compression right now. Around 20 years ago video compression was something of a novelty; today it is ubiquitous. From TVs to cell phones and camcorders to PCs, most consumer electronic devices rely on video compression. Advances in compression technology allow us to view hundreds of broadcast video channels over cable and satellite networks, and millions of hours of video over the Internet. While most users assume that these improvements are a result of general-purpose advances in consumer technology, they’re actually all driven by video compression. HEVC, also known as H.265, is at the cutting edge of compression today.

In this paper we will examine the HEVC standard and review its status among industry organizations. We will take a look at how past and current compression standards are extended by HEVC, and we will see which applications in particular may benefit from the new standard.