What are HEVC videos and how does it work?
What is HEVC and how does it work?
HEVC format characteristics?
HEVC limitations on mobile?
HEVC limitations on PC?
Since the year 2021, users have been regularly exposed to a new video format called HEVC. In this article, we'll tell you what HEVC is, how it's better than old video encoding formats, how to watch HEVC files, and how to go back to old formats if you have an iPhone.
HEVC videos and how they work?
The abbreviation HEVC stands for High Efficiency Video Coding, which can be translated into Russian as High Efficiency Video Coding. It is a format designed to compress video up to a resolution of 8K (UHDTV, 8192×4320 pixels). Another format name is H.265, so HEVC and H.265 are the same thing.
The HEVC format will be installed as a replacement for the old H.264/MPEG-4 AVC format. Work on the new standard began in 2004, when the VCEG (Video Coding Experts Group) began looking for new technologies that could form the basis of the new standard. Then this project received the temporary names H.265 and H.NGVC (Next Generation Video Coding). The main requirements for the developed standard were: reduce the video bitrate, maintain current image quality, and maintain current computing power requirements.
When using the HEVC video setting, a warning message will appear on the camera screen indicating that you will be using a HEVC-enabled phone or computer to play and edit the video. The warning also appears in the GoPro and Quik app for PC.
Development has been ongoing since 2012, when this format was officially shown. But, after the launch of the format it did not receive much popularity, it was used in IP cameras, TV broadcasts and other specialized areas. HEVC format became known to ordinary users in late 2017 when iOS 11 was released.
What is the H.265 (HEVC) format?High Efficiency Video Coding is by far the most modern and advanced video codec. If H.264 (AVC), based on MPEG codec, focused on playing FullHD video, then your changer can compress the video stream to UHDTV or 8K resolution.
Interestingly, the development of a more advanced standard started in 2004, that is, only one year after the start of the AVC implementation. Initially, the project was called H.NGVC, which stands for Next Generation Video Coding, and then the current evolutionary name was given to the standard. The VCEG think tank had a tough task: increase the video resolution, achieve a decrease in bitrate, without increasing the computer's processing power. The requirements, frankly, are contradictory, so they won't be able to be fully implemented.
And yet, the developers managed to achieve the main thing - an increase in the maximum block size - the main unit of the codec - by 16 times compared to H.264, which has 16x16 pixels. At the same time, dynamically sized block technology will be brought out, when the codec itself chooses the optimal number of pixels in the block during video compression. This allowed the new format to easily support 8K resolution, although 4K isn't rolling out as fast as we'd like today. Add parallel encoding technology and you get a codec capable of compressing video to 25-50% smaller size than its predecessor, with the same quality.
HEVC encoding basics?
For the new H.265 standard, such a block can be 16 times larger! And if we also take into account the variable block technology, when the block size is taken directly by the algorithm itself during the compression process, it is easy to realize that the new codec is, so to speak, the most "tolerant" to high resolutions and today it even supports 8k (8192 x 4320 pixels). You can add parallel encoding function here as well. Therefore, the HEVC codec with high image quality allows you to reduce the bit rate and, consequently, the file size. Space saving compared to H.264 can reach 25-50%!
As for the effectiveness of the use of such a codec, at the dawn of its appearance it did not gain much popularity. This is due to the fact that only the most powerful and modern GeForce 970 or 980 graphics chips could support the new standard.
In reality, the encoding process itself on other less powerful devices took 10-12 hours. Thus, from a practical point of view, the application of the new standard was disadvantageous.
Over time, the situation has changed and now technologies based on H.265 start to be used everywhere. In terms of space savings compared to H.264, a pretty eloquent example can be given. At 720p resolution, the savings is around 25%, and at 4k quality, over 50%. By the way, if you rip a Blu-ray disc, the size of the original video can be reduced almost 10 times (it will be a little over 3GB)!
The DVD format, widespread in the “zero”, based on the MPEG2 codec, as high-resolution televisions and monitors appeared, could no longer meet the increasing requirements for video quality. Therefore, the introduction of the H.264 encoding format in 2003 was generally well received. But over time, this standard also stopped satisfying modern ones: a codec was required that would provide a smaller file size at the same bitrate (or a higher bitrate at the same video file size). Thus, the improved format H.265, also called HEVC, appeared, which allowed to reduce the size of files by 30-50% with comparable quality. It supports a resolution of 8K (8192×4320 pixels). How successful is this standard?
Does my mobile support HEVC?Mobiles with Android operating system.- HEVC is compatible with Android 5.0+ devices with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 (or equivalent) or newer processor. Below is a list of Android phones that support HEVC:
|Samsung||Galaxy S7 / S7 Plus and later
Galaxy Note 8 and later
|Pixel/Pixel XL and later|
|Huawei||Huawei P9 and later|
|Xiaomi||Xiaomi Mi 5 and later|
|LG||LG G5 and newer|
|Htc||HTC U10 and more|
|Sony||Sony Xperia® X and later|
|Motorola||Moto Z® and later|
|one more||OnePlus® 3 and later|
Mobiles with IOS operating system.- HEVC is compatible with devices with iOS 11 and Apple A10 processor or later:
|iPhone||iPhone 6 (some bitrate options only)
iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
iPhone X, Xs, Xs Max
|iPad||iPad Pro de 10,5" iPad Pro
Does my computer support HEVC?HEVC is supported on computers running Windows 10 with an Intel Kaby Lake (or equivalent) or newer processor.
Does my MAC support HEVC?HEVC is supported on macOS High Sierra computers with an A10 or newer processor
|MacOS High Sierra compatible with HEVC|
MacBook Pro - 2016
iMac Pro - 2017
iMac 5K de 27" (2015-2017)
HEVC video format characteristics?What you need to know about the features of the new codec HEVC is currently the most advanced codec. It would not be an exaggeration to say that this is even a video revolution.
Behind the abbreviation HEVC, you should see the following: High Efficiency Video Coding. Translated into Russian, this means "high-performance video encoding." This format was specially developed to compress video with resolution up to 8K (UHDTV, 8192x4320 pixels).
Otherwise, the same format is called H.265. So there is no difference between HEVC and H.265. This is the same.
The HEVC format was intended to replace the old H.264/MPEG-4 AVC format. Development of a new standard began in 2004.
The project was then given the temporary names H.265 and H.NGVC (Next Generation Video Coding). The standard being developed had the following requirements: it should reduce the video bitrate, preserve current image quality, as well as current computing power requirements.
To understand why the old H.264 codec is not suitable for lovers of high-quality video, you must first understand the basics of signal coding. The fact is that in this case one of the protagonists belongs to the maximum block. Much depends on its use. For H.264, this is 16x16, ie a total of 256 pixels.
1.- Support for main profiles of 8 and 10 bits (in the future, 12 bits).
2.- The presence of separable, inseparable and directional ASF two-dimensional interpolation filters.
3.- Motion compensation with a precision of 1/8 pixel.
4.- Use adaptive error prediction and matrix selection in the encoding process.
5.- Availability of a comparative motion vector encoding scheme.
6.- Mode dependent intraframe coding.
Of course, the list could go on and on. However, even these numbers can reveal a lot to any professional dealing with video encoding.
Advantages of the HEVC format?
Using larger blocks also reduced the time spent encoding and, not least, decoding, preventing crashes when watching videos.
Part of the improvement in the characteristics of the new format was modified by using the new technologies, which we have already mentioned. But you have to pay for everything. In this case, we are talking about an increased load on the hardware, from which it follows that more powerful equipment is required to ensure video decoding in HEVC format. The second negative point is related to the fact that the corresponding codecs, at least at the initial stage of distribution of the format, are integrated into popular players. in limited quantities. Things are even worse with hardware - only advanced models of TVs, media players, TV sets and IP cameras can "digest" this format. But this, of course, is fixable in the medium term. In any case, the number of hardware and software decoders available is already growing rapidly.
As for the PC, at first H.265 was only supported by GeForce 970/980 video cards, and it took about 10 hours to encode an average video of this format on a weaker computer. Today, the situation in this regard is much more favorable and the dividends from the use of HEVC are very tangible. The main thing is that the benefit will be greater the higher the quality of the video: for a resolution of 720p, which until recently was the "gold standard", the file size will be about 25% smaller than in H. 264. But for 4K, the gain will already be 50%, and if we are talking about ripping from Blue-ray, then the saving is ten times higher, that is, video of this quality can be packed into about 3-4 GB.
Is HEVC better than older formats?With the release of the macOS High Sierra and iOS 11 operating systems, Apple began to introduce new formats for videos and photos. Thus, for photos, the HEIF format is now used, which we have already told you about, and for videos, the HEVC format.
The transition to HEVC format occurred for two reasons. First of all, this format provides a higher quality image. And secondly, such video takes up less memory space and requires less network bandwidth when streaming over the Internet. Simply put, HEVC video provides a significant improvement in image quality while maintaining the same file size and bitrate. According to Apple, using the HEVC format can save up to 40 percent memory.
To achieve this improvement in the level of video compression, several new approaches have been applied. One such approach is to increase the size of the block into which the encrypted file is split. When encoding video in H.264 format, the block size is 16 by 16 pixels (total 256), while when using HEVC the block size can be 64 by 64 pixels (total 4096). Such block enlargement shows particularly good results on videos with a higher resolution, which is very useful, because of the format.
What software to use to watch HEVC movies?
In principle, in the simplest version, you can use software players. One of the most interesting, according to many, is the specialized and narrow-focused Daum PotPlayer app. If this option is not suitable, you can use the popular VLC Media Player, you just need to install the latest version as it only has built-in support for HEVC. However, despite all the advantages, many problems can be observed.
For the most part, this only applies to the fact that there are not that many movies or videos encoded with the new algorithm that can now be found on the Internet. What's even more frustrating is the lack of support from vendors. If the software issues are still somehow resolved, then home theater or Smart TV manufacturers are in no hurry to master the production of products with H.265 support. And the codec itself, while considered revolutionary, has yet to receive much distribution. But I would like to hope that this is a temporary phenomenon.
When users have to deal with HEVC video files, the question of how such content can be viewed inevitably arises. Currently, all Apple devices running iOS 11 and Macs running High Sierra can play HEVC. They have no problem. For example, on an iPhone or iPad, these files play if you use the standard video app or the VLC Media Player app. with desktop computers running Windows. We assure you that, as always, everything is much simpler. Nothing will prevent you from using programs like Media Player Classic, Media Player Classic BE, KMPlayer, VLC or GOM Player.
HEVC limitations on mobile?
Preview recording with GoProEven if your mobile device supports HEVC, you will not be able to preview content in the GoPro app while recording. You can preview the scene, but once the recording starts, the live view will not be available.
Play content on camera with GoProEven if your device supports HEVC, you will not be able to play HEVC content from your SD card using the GoPro app. You must copy the materials to your mobile device to view them.
4K (4:3) video playbackNo version of Android or iOS supports 4K 4:3 playback. On Android devices, the GoPro app will copy 4K 4:3 videos to your mobile device, but these files will not play. On iOS devices, QuikStories converts lower resolution 4K 4:3 videos for playback. Otherwise, the GoPro app will prevent you from manually copying 4K 4:3 video to your mobile device.
Playback on unsupported operating systemsIf your device is not running Android 5.0 / iOS 11 or later, you will not be able to play HEVC files. When manually uploading with the GoPro or Quik Key app, the file transfer hangs and an error message is displayed.
Playback on supported operating systemsOlder HEVC devices is compatible with Android 5.0 and iOS 11, but in addition, the phone must be equipped with a newer processor to play these files smoothly. The GoPro app will continue to copy these files to mobile devices, but there may be issues playing them. In general, mobile devices released before 2016 may have problems with HEVC files. See the partial list of supported devices above.
QuikStories converts HEVC filesIn iOS 11, QuikStories will copy HEVC files from your camera and change them to lower bitrates before sending content to the Quik app.
What to see in HEVC format?Faced with HEVC format video files, users wonder how to view such content. As of now, all Apple devices running iOS 11 and Macs running High Sierra can handle HEVC playback without issue. For example, on an iPhone or iPad, these files can be played using the standard video app or the VLC Media Player app.
On mobile devices running Android OS, you can play HEVC files using MX Player and software decoding (if device performance is sufficient).
As for desktop computers running Windows, then, as always, everything is much simpler. You can use programs like Media Player Classic, Media Player Classic BE, KMPlayer, VLC or GOM Player.
HEVC limitations on PCs?
Player on unsupported operating systemsIf your computer is not running Windows 10 / MacOS High Sierra or later, you will not be able to play HEVC files. Quik for PC will still copy the HEVC files to your computer, but they will not appear in the content gallery of the Quik desktop app. Also, third-party applications will not be able to play HEVC files.
Play content on older operating systemsHEVC is supported by Windows 10/MacOS High, but in addition, the computer needs to be equipped with a newer processor in order to play these files smoothly. Quik for PC will still copy these files to your computer, but you may have trouble playing them. In general, computers made before 2016 may have problems with HEVC files.
What should I do with HEVC, but there is no compatible device?If you have recorded HEVC images but do not have a compatible device to play that video, there are several possible solutions:
1.- Convert HEVC videos to H.264 format: With the free and open source application HandBrake, you can convert HEVC videos to H.264 format (compatible with all devices) with minimal loss of image quality. For step-by-step instructions, see How to Convert GoPro HEVC Video to H.264.
2.-Video/File Hosting via Web Browser – Upload the video to YouTube or a similar video hosting service. Once the download is complete, you should be able to play the content on any device that supports the service, as it will be able to use compression.
NOT A. Since you used a web service to play the video, you may lose image quality due to content compression or connection speed.
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What are HEVC videos and how does it work? .-