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Difference between the H.264 and H.265

Sep 19, 2017

H.264 and H.265(HEVC) are video compression standards.

H.264/Advanced Video Coding (AVC) is an industry standard for video compression. The H.264 standard is also called MPEG-4 Part 10 and is a successor to earlier standards such as MPEG-2 and MPEG-4. An ITU standard for compressing video based on MPEG-4 that is popular, especially for high-definition video. it can be twice as efficient as MPEG-4 Part 2.

H.265, also also known as HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding), is the new video compression standard after H. 264. Compared with the existing popular video coding standard H. 264, H.265 combines the original technologies with advanced techniques to significantly improve the bit-stream, build a better connection between time delay and algorithm complexity and enhance the coding quality, which leads to best optimizations considerably.

So what is the difference between the H.264 and H.265?

1.H.265 vs H.264 Compression Ratio & Bandwidth Utilization

Compared with H. 264, H. 265 has a higher H.265 compression ratio which is primarily used to further reduce the design flow rate.At the same quality of coding, H.265 can reduce the size of the video file, so that it can take up less storage space, reduce the network bandwidth consumption in transmission and increase streaming speed.

At the same quality of coding, H.265 provides more powerful tools like CTU to save around 50% of the bit rate, and the coding efficiency can be doubled than H. 264.

2.H.265 vs H.264 Quality


In H. 264, each macroblock is fixed to the size of 16 x16 pixels, but the coding unit of H.265 can be widely chosen from a minimum of 8 x 8 to the maximum of 64 x 64.

0n the left hand side as the illustration shows is using traditional H.264 standard, and each macro block is fixed.

It is H. 265 standard on the right, the size of code unit is determined by the regional information. From the image contrast, we can see the video quality enhancement and the more delicate character’s skin H. 265 presents, which is much better than H. 264.

3.H.264 vs H.265 File Size

The size of a video is defined as duration and bit rate. As H.265 encodes the same information with lower bitrates but the same video quality when compared with H264, it’s advisable to convert the video from H.264 to H.265 for saving more space.

H.265 can help you to store your large amount of videos with smaller size, to stream your favorite movies with less network consumption. You can also benefit more from H.265 that provides a better visual quality.

Some of the key differences between H.265 (HEVC) and H.264 (MPEG 4 AVC) are listed below

NamesMPEG 4 Part 10 AVC (Introduced in 2004)MPEG-H, HEVC, Part 2 (Approved in Jan 2013 )
Key Improvement

- 40-50% bit rate reduction compared to MPEG-2 - Led the growth of HD content delivery for Broadcast and   Online

- 40-50% the bit rate reduction at the same visual   quality compared to H.264- Potential to realize UHD, 2K, 4K for   Broadcast and Online (OTT)
Industry adoptionDominant and accepted video codec for Terrestrial, Cable,   Satellite and IPTV broadcast. (ATSC/DVB/ISDB) Widely used across Blu-Ray, security   systems, videoconferencing , mobile video, media players, video chat   etc.mplementation demonstration across NAB, IBC and other   events starting 2012 from companies e.g. ATEME, Broadcom, Thomson ,   Harmonic (Cisco), Ericsson, Qualcomm etc.. Increased R&D across   Encoder/Decoder /CE vendors for software and hardware based solutions

upport Up to 4K (4,096×2,304)

Supports up to 59.94 fps 21 profiles ; 17 levels

Up to 8K UHDTV (8192×4320)

Supports up to 300 fps3 approved profiles, draft for additional 5; 13 levels

ProgressionSuccessor to MPEG-2 Part Successor to MPEG 4 AVC, H.264
Drawbacks Unrealistic for UHD content delivery due to high bit rate   requirements. Frame rate support restricted to 59.94Computationally expensive  (~ 300 % + ) due to   larger prediction units and expensive Motion Estimation (Intra prediction   with more nodes, asymmetric partitions in Inter Prediction).

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