Qualcomm, Samsung, and Huawei back the MPEG-5 EVC video codec for 4K and 8K UHD videos
The HEVC (High Efficiency Video Codec) has been around for quite a while and it offers reduced video file sizes and better quality than other codecs. In the world of smartphones, this becomes especially important. Qualcomm, Samsung, and Huawei are now backing MPEG-5 EVC, an alternative to HEVC.
MPEG-5 EVC will be used for 4K and 8K video as well as VR, AR, and HDR content. It’s supposedly able to offer the same quality as HEVC while having a 26% lower bitrate on average. What this means in the real world is you’ll use less bandwidth to stream something that offers MPEG-5 EVC and have smaller file sizes when recording videos.
One of the things that has held back HEVC from being more widely adopted is its licensing situation. The situation was so complex that it lead to only 12% of internet streaming services using HEVC, which ultimately blocks any of the benefits to consumers. The press release from Qualcomm, Samsung, and Huawei says they will offer “fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory terms for their respective essential patent claims covering this standard.”
A simplified licensing situation means we should see MPEG-5 EVC more widely adopted than HEVC. Google’s own royalty-free AV1 codec is another alternative out there and we’ve seen it utilized by the likes of YouTube, Netflix, Vimeo, and Facebook.