You may have heard of the High-Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC) codec, which makes it possible to reduce the size of video files and offer better quality than the video codecs that are used in many devices today.
Many smartphones offer the possibility of recording video in this format, especially now that recording 4K video is quite common but requires a large amount of storage.
However, Huawei, Qualcomm, and Samsung have just announced an alternative to HEVC, called MPEG-5 EVC (Essential Video Coding). The new codec will be used for 4K, 8K, VR, AR, and more video content.
Apparently, the new video codec standard is capable of delivering the same quality as the HEVC and, at the same time, offers a 26% lower bitrate on average. This means that less bandwidth is used if it is transmitted over the Internet and it takes less space if you store it on the device.
In addition, the new codec comes to solve one of the HEVC problems, which has to do with its complex licensing.
For previous generations of MPEG video encoding standards, a single license instance was available that cover a large majority of the technology in the standard. The situation became different with HEVC, where there are three different patent pools and many patent holders who do not offer their patents through any of the patent pools.
The team behind the MPEG-5 EVC says the base profile is available without copyright, and that the individual technology components tied to the profile can be disabled. In this way, a licensee would not be inadvertently using a license that requires paying a copyright fee.
In a joint statement by Huawei, Qualcomm, and Samsung, it is noted that “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory conditions will be offered for their respective essential patent claims covering this standard.”
Greater simplicity in licensing means that MPEG-5 EVC could have a higher adoption rate than HEVC. However, it will not be HEVC’s only rival, as the free AV1 codec is another major competitor.