H.265 / High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC)

HEVC – Software and Hardware Solutions

Compressed video data is growing faster than ever: Ultra-High-Definition (UHD) TVs are using the fourfold Full HD resolution, also known as 4K (3,840 x 2,160 pixels). By now, video data make up by far the highest proportion both in Internet and mobile traffic. However, the trend towards high quality and high resolution images and videos is associated with a steadily growing amount of data. In order to transmit these as efficiently as possible, an ever-better compression is required. The H.265 / High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard provides this highly efficient compression. Compared to the established video coding standard H.264 / MPEG-AVC, the next-generation HEVC standard achieves a 50 percent reduction in bit rate while maintaining the same image quality.

The HEVC standard was developed by Fraunhofer HHI together with well-known manufacturers in the fields of mobile communications and consumer electronics. The expertise of Fraunhofer researchers in video coding also enables the development of encoding software and hardware solutions that fully exploit the compression potential of HEVC and process UHD video in real time. In addition, the advanced architecture of the HEVC encoders and decoders is resource efficient and adaptable to a variety of fields of application. The current generation of the HEVC real-time software en- and decoders, developed by Fraunhofer HHI, is thus a worldwide leading product series.

The HEVC real-time encoder, developed primarily for HD and 4K/UHD resolutions, is used in a variety of live television productions. For example, the encoder was used by the Swiss telecommunications company Swisscom for the live broadcast of the FIFA World Cup in 2018 in UHD and is still being used as part of the conversion to DVB-T2 HD at ZDF