The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) recently approved a new video format that could potentially make true HD streaming possible, even on constrained-bandwidth mobile networks. H.265, or HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding), may become the standardized video format in the future.
As technology advances, it becomes more and more difficult for mobile carriers to keep up. Companies like AT&T terminated unlimited data plans in an effort to slow down the rate at which subscribers eat up bandwidth. Now that 4k-resolution video has found its way into our lives, it is even harder to match video quality with streaming capability.
TechCrunch reported on the ITU’s approval and points out that H.265 will enable publishers to stream 1080p video with half as many bits as is currently required. The new technology could allow for 4K streaming with as little as 20-30 Mbps of bandwidth.
What does this mean for iPad owners? It means we would be able to stream HD videos without having to be connected to local Wi-Fi. It means we could watch movies on the road without worrying so much about going over our data limits. Not only does H.265 mean our fancy new television sets can actually stream 3840 x 2160 pixels of ultra high resolution, but it also means that we can watch those 4K YouTube videos on our Retina display resolution iPads and truly see Retina display quality clips.
There is no way of knowing for sure whether this approval will guarantee smaller files or low bit-rate streaming. However, with the overwhelming popularity of tablets, smart phones, and other mobile devices, it is likely that the industry will focus on making H.265 the new standard for video formatting.