Today's H.264 video codec might be all well and good for the most part, but there's a new codec in town that looks to take over in order improve video quality and bitrates even more. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) announced today that they've agreed upon the successor to the current H.264 standard, and it's called H.265, or High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC).
The new video format brings one huge benefit, which is the ability to stream high-quality video at half the bitrate that's normally required with H.264. While H.264 has become extremely popular during the past recent years, the ICU says that H.265 will be relevant for at least the next decade, and it could made 4K streaming less of a burden on bandwidth.
The hope is that H.265 will enable services to stream full 1080p HD video using half as many bits as required normally, which should make streaming HD video much easier, especially on data connections using smartphones and tablets. As far as 4K goes, it's said that 4K streaming could be easily possible with a 20 Mbps internet connection using H.265. Those kinds of speeds aren't readily available for everyone yet, but in a few years it may very well be possible.
The new codec will definitely take a bit of time to reach the popularity that H.264 is at now, though, but once it hits, it's expected to be the de facto format for quite some time. The ITU says that companies like Mitsubishi and Qualcomm have already demonstrated implementations of the new format, so it shouldn't be too long before we see it in action out in the wild.