back to article ITU signs off on H.265 video standard

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has signed off on High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), a video compression standard expected to succeed the wildly popular H.264. ITU-T H.265 / ISO/IEC 23008-2 HEVC, to give the new standard its full name, is seen by the ITU as “designed to take account of advancing screen …

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Anonymous Coward

Free to air TV will suffer the same fate as print media,

albeit for different reasons. Not enough bandwidth for things like 4K or 3D, when they would rather pack in more low definition channels showing even lower quality entertainment. Eventually their audience will consist mostly of people who have no taste and/or crappy internet. Advertising will be mostly for fast food and Walmart (or your local equivalent).

Except for the BBC, of course. That will become a glorious anachronism, like many of the great British institutions.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Free to air TV will suffer the same fate as print media,

Except that most people are happy with what we've got already, and don't even get the best out of it, what with the bizarre obsession for unnaturally boosted dynamic range with "inky blacks" and over-saturated colour. I've even noticed an increasing trend towards programme makers boosting the black levels so everything looks too lightened on a real TV, to compensate for the masses with their badly adjusted sets.

So, even if the show-offs have massive screens and pay through the nose for content, most people will happily carry on with sensible sized screens that don't dominate their rooms, and content that's just THERE, no matter what, with no techy issues, always on, and all for the price of just a licence fee.

How can the mass-market fail? And although books are increasingly selling in digital format, I don't see newspapers going away any time soon, either :)

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Stop

Re: Free to air TV will suffer the same fate as print media,

"Except that most people are happy with what we've got already"

I was happy with VHS until I watched The Fifth Element on DVD. Vowed never to go back.

I was happy with DVD until I watched Revenge of the Sith on Bluray. Vowed never to go back.

Ditto mono/stereo. Ditto stereo/surround.

3D, however, sucks.

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WTF?

Re: Free to air TV will suffer the same fate as print media,

I was happy with DVD until I watched Revenge of the Sith on Bluray.

Seriously? Couldn't you find a good film to watch?

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Happy

Re: Free to air TV will suffer the same fate as print media,

Heh. Fair point, though still the best of the prequels.

It was the first Bluray I saw that really made me go "wow". Whatever you think of the plot and dialogue (and OMFG it can be bad), the visuals are first-rate.

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Anonymous Coward

Damn!

Just when I thought that my Pis were going to be a great solution for transcoding my video to a long-term archive format (ie, H.264). Still, I suppose I can't complain if H.265 needs only half the bitrate for the same quality. I wonder how long it will be until hardware-accelerated codecs for this are commonplace?

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Re: Damn!

"I wonder how long it will be until hardware-accelerated codecs for this are commonplace?"

FYI

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Efficiency_Video_Coding

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Re: Damn!

A pi can transcode, but the quality of the transcode - how good it looks at a given bitrate - depends largely on how much processing power you can throw at it. A pi has only a little. If you do the 'up to eleven' quality settings, not even a quad-core i7 processing 480p will do it in real time. Your pi could take months go work through one DVD.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Damn!

But the Pi has hardware H.264 encoding. 1080p 30FPS in realtime, but I don;t know what the quality is like.

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Re: Damn!

@Suricou.

Quality is independent of CPU power, as long as you are not worried about how low it takes to encode. And your comment on months on a Raspi is absolute rubbish.

The Raspberry Pi can encode 1080p30 at >30mbps at high quality setting. That's actually quite a lot of processing power (Total GPU performance on a Pi is around 24GFlops). Transcoding is slower as it needs to decode first, so you won't get real time at 1080p, but its still at worst double real time.

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Re: Damn!

It isn't just "when will they be available," the problem is that you still need the old stuff if you want to support old hardware accelerated kit. How many existing tablets and TVs support this format? I suspect that this will be a long migration.

Ironically, I suspect the first volume users will be the those transcoding BR and sharing them with their close and not-so-close friends.

Now, if we could just get Oz TV off mpeg2...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Damn!

The quality is excellent. I wasn't able to find fault with it when I was transcoding MPEG2 files that I'd recorded with my satellite PVR into H.264 using the software I mentioned in my link above. The problem is that that program is basically the state of the art in Pi transcoding software and it's still a little rough around the edges. In particular, not many programs will accept the files it produces. As a proof of concept, though, it's been coming on nicely over the past couple of months. It could really do with some attention by someone who knows OpenMAX and how to use libav and has the time to make this work...

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Paris Hilton

Is Google already plotting it's response with WebM?

Paris. Because, really? 8k? Really?

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Silly resolution.

Human perception just isn't that good under normal viewing conditions. Are these technologies marketed to eagles?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Silly resolution.

More like : I can finally (if I can afford it) buy a TV as big as the show-offs currently buy and actually enjoy the picture without seeing all the blocky effects and compression artifacts :)

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Re: Silly resolution.

Human perception *is* that good because humans have this thing called a neck. You can sit close enough that the over-sized screen fills your field of view and then turn and look at whichever part of the image you like. If several of you are watching then you can all be looking at different things, just like a real audience/crowd at a live event.

Whether you want that level of immersion in your home is another matter, but it makes perfect sense for venues and there is demonstrably a market for "watching the match at the pub" and "going to the cinema".

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Re: Silly resolution.

Human perception while nominally of quite a low resolution works much more cleverly than a simple "pixels across by pixels down" basis.

When looking at something you eye has a much higher resolution of detail in the centre of your vision, specifically edges, but colour as well and this resolution of detail reduces from the centre of your vision outwards. The edges of your eyesight have much better motion sensing but pretty crap colour (technically none) and little edge detection and our brains combine all the details together with remembered details to come up with what we "see".

To improve our visual definition further our eyes move slightly even when looking at a fixed point. This slight shifting allows the collection of additional image detail far beyond the obvious quality if you merely counted the number of rods and cones in our eyes.

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Re: Silly resolution.

Cinemas already use 8K resolution and digital cameras likewise. People look at parts of an image, not the whole thing at any given moment. The brain then stitches the results back together into a completed whole. One of the tricks of video encoders is that we're less sensitive to detail in moving objects, so they can skimp a bit there, while staionary objects are refreshed less frequently but in more detail.

Big screens are getting cheaper all of the time, and big screens will need 4K certainly, 8K possibly.

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Anonymous Coward

Patents

So, presumably everyone with any patents is now scanning them to see if they can make money from this. Then when profitable businesses have been built around this technology - and not before they've made a significant profit, they'll pounce.

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Re: Patents

Yep, that's the big questions, is it half the bandwidth with double the patent encumbering?

Will I need to hire my own lawyer before I'm allowed to switch on the tele?

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Ah yes

This is the format which was demoed with the guy holding his breath.

Not convinced the bandwidth savings are that great when used with normal video although they might be better with video conferencing. Not enough to displace all the H.264 stuff out there already.

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How about a production standard for content.

If you could prevent producers making self referential programs* you could save 90% of bandwidth at a stroke!

*the ones that start by telling you what they're going to show you in the program, followed by a review of what you haven't seen in the program yet and then another announcement about what's coming up next followed by a longer review of what's not been seen and yet another announcement of what's to come .... with, if your lucky, some content from a program you saw earlier.

And don't get me started about discovery which seems to think a new commentator on old shit constitutes new content!

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Re: How about a production standard for content.

Absolutely agree. I can only think they need to assume that a 3 minute advert break means the average punter completely forgets about the previous 20 minutes. Surely they are not that dumb? (The punter that is)

On the other hand, well impressed by Prof. Brian Cox's latest show - not dumbed down at all. That should be what all science shows are like.

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WTF?

4K and 8K?

When did we change to measuring resolution horizontally instead of vertically?

2K and 4K UHDTV, surely.

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Re: 4K and 8K?

Basically when raster scanning became a pixel matrix. And because using the H value leads to bigger numbers. Bigger = better, right?\

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Thumb Up

Re: 4K and 8K?

Yeah! The difference in my telly is fucking amazing since it became a 1920 telly instead of an old fashioned 1080p telly!!!111!!!11111!1

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