H.264 vs H.265: The Battle of Video Compression Standards
As video content becomes more ubiquitous and accessible, it is important to have efficient ways to store, transmit and stream video data. Video compression is the process of reducing the size of digital video files while maintaining high video quality, and it plays a vital role in making video content accessible on various platforms and devices. H.264 and H.265 are two popular video compression standards used in digital video encoding. In this article, we will explore the differences between these two standards.
H.264, also known as Advanced Video Coding (AVC), was introduced in 2003 and has been widely used in video streaming, Blu-ray discs, and digital broadcasting. It is a highly efficient compression standard that can reduce the size of video files without significantly affecting the quality of the video. H.264 can encode videos with resolutions up to 4K (4096x2304) and support frame rates up to 60 frames per second. H.264 has become the de facto standard for video compression due to its widespread support and compatibility with a wide range of devices.
H.265, also known as High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), is a newer video compression standard that was introduced in 2013. It was designed to replace H.264 and improve its efficiency by using more advanced compression techniques. H.265 can achieve higher compression ratios than H.264, which means that it can encode video files with the same quality at a smaller file size, or it can encode higher-quality video at the same file size. H.265 can encode videos with resolutions up to 8K (8192x4320) and support frame rates of up to 120 frames per second.
However, H.265 has some limitations. One of the main challenges with H.265 is its hardware compatibility. H.264 is widely supported by many hardware devices and software platforms, while H.265 is still less commonly supported. This means that H.265-encoded videos may not play on all devices and platforms, particularly older ones. H.265 also requires more computational power to process the video data, which may result in slower encoding and decoding times.
Overall, H.265 offers superior compression efficiency and bitrate reduction compared to H.264, but it may not be widely supported by all devices and software platforms. H.264 remains the dominant video compression standard, particularly in the streaming industry, due to its widespread support and compatibility with a wide range of devices.
In conclusion, H.264 and H.265 are two important video compression standards that have had a significant impact on the video industry. While H.265 offers superior compression efficiency and bitrate reduction, it is still facing challenges with hardware compatibility and licensing.
- H.264 is a widely adopted video compression standard that is supported by many hardware devices and software platforms. Taken from an article written by Wiegand, published in 2003.
- H.264 is known for its high compression efficiency, which enables it to reduce video file sizes while maintaining high-quality video. Taken from an article written by Wiegand, published in 2003.
- The licensing structure for H.264 is more straightforward compared to H.265.
- H.265 is less commonly supported by hardware devices and software platforms compared to H.264, which may result in compatibility issues.
- The licensing structure for H.265 is more complex compared to H.264, which has slowed down its adoption in some applications.
- H.265 requires more computational power to process the video data, resulting in slower encoding and decoding times compared to H.264. Taken from an article written by Sullivan, published in 2012.
Why do we only support H.264 but not also H.265?
3dEYE, being a pure cloud-based platform, relies on the built-in technologies that all browsers have to provide video streaming. The platform currently supports H.264 video streams, which can be decoded natively on virtually any device that can run Chrome or an equivalent browser, making it highly optimized and compatible with a wide range of devices.
To view videos encoded in H.264 on 3dEYE, users do not need to install any additional software or plugins since H.264 is a widely supported video compression standard. This makes it a practical choice for storing and streaming video content since it is compatible with a wide range of devices and platforms.
Overall, 3dEYE supports H.264 streams due to its widespread support, backward compatibility, and low CPU requirements, making it ideal for cloud-based video surveillance applications.
Even though H.265 codec was introduced back in 2013 it still struggles to become the main codec and in most applications where there is a need to work with multiple simultaneous streams like in video surveillance H.264 is still the golden standard. One of the main reasons for this is the dramatic increase in the CPU requirements to process H.265 vs H.264 streams and very limited if any actual bandwidth savings in the real-world application with lots of motion and complex scenes.
To this day browsers do not support H.265 video streams natively. This means that to view videos that are encoded in H.265 user has to install a plugin or addon or other special software to "teach" their device to playback H.265.
Additionally, due to the increased processing power requirements of H.265, not all devices are even capable to decode H.265 unlike H.264 which is highly optimized and can be decoded natively virtually on any device which is capable to run Chrome or an equivalent browser thus significantly increasing the compatibility of the platform and lifting any hardware requirements which would have to be implemented in case of H.265.
- Higher CPU requirements for H.265
- Not much difference in bandwidth requirements in real-world applications
- H.264 is the most widespread standard and as such is supported by virtually all devices
How does our system work with H.264 streams?
For most of the cameras, the system will convert the stream automatically to H.264 but for some cameras, the User has to change the stream to H.264 from H.265 from the camera web UI. When the user selects the profile of the camera stream in the Quality Tab of the camera setting, the 3dEYE platform will attempt to automatically convert the stream to H.264 coming from the camera.
If the User is not able to see any video feed in the Video Portal or if the camera setting window shows the HTTP is connected in Green color just under the camera name and if the Video is Offline in Red Color then it might mean but not necessary that the system is not able to change the codec to H.264 and the user have to do this manually from the camera WebUI which can be accessed using the camera Troubleshooting Tab.
For more information on the Video offline visit this page