HEVC High Efficiency Video Coding H.265 Working Playing



As we all knows technology is upgrading day by day. Firstly there were SD Channels then HD Channels came and then 4K Channels came. As long as quality of channels is increasing the bandwidth of channels is also increasing which means more complexity in sending these channels to subscriber end. Which results up-gradation of encoding algorithms which makes algorithms more complex and then needs high computational power in encoding as well decoding process.

To understand it more briefly we will discuss in this article about What is HEVC  , Its Working and HEVC players and adoption.

What Is HEVC

HEVC stands for High Efficiency Video Coding.  It is known as H.265. It is Video Compression Standard. It was introduced in January 2013. It is upgraded version of AVC (Advance Video Coding) or H.264. HEVC algorithm was developed to deliver 4K / UHD content to subscribers more efficiently.

High Efficiency Video Coding algorithm compresses the AVC encoded video near about 50% more efficiently. In other words a AVC encoded video can be transmitted with half bitrate with same quality by using HEVC algorithm. Which enable us to deliver 4K / UHD content with lower bitrate in good quality.

H.263 H.264 H.265 Comparison

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Working Of HEVC

avc lady      hevc lady

AVC algorithm uses inter-frame and intra-frame compression with up to 16*16 MacroBlock. While HEVC uses upto 64*64 MacroBlocks. HEVC uses larger MacroBlocks too.

AS shown above in the figure there is a lady. In H.264 photo the MacroBlock size is different. It is upto 16*16 MacroBlock. While in the H.265 photo you can see there is big blocks on her face side area. Because in HEVC algorithm it uses MacroBlock size upto 64*64. Bigger block makes algorithm more efficient.

So in H.265 photo number of bigger blocks ( up to 64*64) are high while these are not available in the AVC algorithm. Now question arises that why these bigger MacroBlocks are efficient?

These bigger MacroBlocks are efficient because HEVC algorithm needs not to remember large number of small MacroBlcoks which are available in AVC photo. So MacroBlock count is less in HEVC due to use of bigger MacroBlocks which makes HEVC algorithm more efficient. This is the major difference between Advanced Video Coding and High Efficiency Video Coding algorithm.

The AVC uses 9 intra predication direction. It means that AVC algorithm gives potential reference to pixel blocks in 9 directions. While HEVC uses more than 35 intra predication direction means HEVC Algorithm gives potential reference to pixel blocks in more than 35 directions. Which is very helpful for HEVC compression algorithm to compress a frame more efficiently.

HEVC Content Playing

Encoding of HEVC uses 8 to 10 times more computational power while Decoding of HEVC uses 2 to 3 times more computational power. It is due to high complexity of HEVC algorithm.

As we have discussed High Efficiency Video Coding algorithm’s complexity is high, needs more computational power , to play H.265 content. So a player or subscriber end devices should support hardware acceleration decoding.

It means if you are playing H.265 content in computer then it should be high configuration CPU like 6th generation SKYLAKE or newer one. Because to solve this H.265 complex mathematical algorithm the normal CPU is not enough. You need to use internal or dedicated GPUs (Graphic Card) for that to use hardware decoding. For better performance a AMD Radeon R9 Fury or its newer version is good.

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The meaning of hardware decoding is to use dedicated Graphic Card of computer. While the meaning of software decoding is to use the computational power of CPU. For better performance hardware decoding is preferred. If you use normal CPU to play 4K or UHD content then you will get slow speed of playing.

The player also should support hardware decoding for playing 4K content. KODI 17 and VLC Media Player 3.0 etc supports hardware decoding.


High Efficiency Video Coding or H.265 is a compression standard uses HEVC algorithm to compress 4K / UHD content more efficiently without compromising in quality with low bitrate. So it is very useful to deliver the 4K content to subscriber end devices. It is the improved version of H.264. It uses a complex algorithm which needs more computational power to encode and decode the content. So a extra hardware is needed to play this content. H.265 provides same quality as H.264 with near about 50 percent lower bitrate.

Know More About  H.263 H.264 H.265 Difference

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