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New video format ‘halves data use of 4K and 8K TVs’

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A new video-encoding technology that promises to cut data use by at least half has been announced, after three years of talks involving some of the tech industry’s largest players.

The standard should make it possible for people with slow connections to stream footage in higher quality than before, without pauses for buffering.

It could also pave the way for on-demand services to offer 8K content.

But one expert warned it would probably take years to catch on.

The codec – which is called both H.266 and Versatile Video Coding (VVC) – was announced by Germany’s Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute.

It said Apple, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Ericsson, Intel and Huawei were among those that had worked on its development.

It hopes that in time, smartphones and other cameras will be able to automatically record and play back footage in the format. However, new chips will need to be developed before they can do so.

In the interim, recordings will need to be re-encoded to take advantage of the extra compression made possible. Playback will probably require a fast processor because today’s hardware was not designed with the codec in mind.

Codec choices

H.266 is designed to require half the bitrate – the amount of data transmitted per second – as today’s standard H.265.

The H.265 codec itself halved the bitrate requirement of its predecessor H.264, which is still widely in use.

“H.265 requires about 10 gigabytes of data to transmit a 90-minute ultra-high definition [4K] video,” explains a press release.

“With this new technology, only 5GB are required to achieve the same quality.”

SourceBBC NEWS

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