Tech Trends: Make Way for H.265

Just as we were starting to get comfortable with H.264, here comes the next compression standard

The market impact is going to be at least three-fold. The first is in the aforementioned UHDTV displays. While 4K resolution requires 25 Mbps bandwidth, this should not limit its use in control centers. The second will occur at the other end of the spectrum, with higher quality images streamed to mobile devices, e.g. 720p, 30 fps @ 500 kbps. The third area is the middle ground, where future IP cameras will offer higher resolutions at lower data rates, continuing the trend of reduced bandwidth and storage requirements for a given video frame rate and resolution requirement.

None of this will happen overnight and, if H.264 history is any predictor, we are likely looking at five years before any significant market impact is seen. This is because the consumer markets need time to drive component costs down to a reasonable level. Additonally, the decoding technology must be implemented in those devices that render and manage video. This requires increasing amounts of processing power in parallel with software development.

The time frame may accelerate, however, since 4K is being currently used in the motion picture industry, where cinema-capable cameras now cost as little as $8000. Broadcom has announced its ARM-based BCM7445 UltraHD video decoder solution is available for sampling and production quantities will be available in mid-2014.

It appears that the pace of H.265 implementation is ahead of its forerunner.


Ray Coulombe is Founder and Managing Director of, enabling interaction with specifiers in the physical security and ITS markets; and Principal Consultant for Gilwell Technology Services. Ray can be reached at, through LinkedIn at or followed on Twitter @RayCoulombe.