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When it comes to streaming video over the internet, having the right codec is essential for delivering the highest quality experience to viewers. Two of the most commonly used codecs for streaming video are H.264 and H.265, both of which are part of the MPEG-4 video compression standards. In this article, we will provide an analytical breakdown of H.264 Vs. H.265, helping you decide which one is best suited for your streaming needs.

To begin, let’s take a look at a brief history of both codecs. H.264 was developed by the MPEG Video Technical Working Group in 2003 and has since become the industry standard for streaming video, with over 90% of video content on the web being encoded using this codec. On the other hand, H.265 is the latest version of the MPEG-4 codec and was released in 2013. It has been slowly gaining traction as a more efficient alternative to H.264 for streaming high-quality video.

When it comes to performance, H.264 is preferred for streaming standard-definition and high-definition videos. The codec is especially ideal for streaming videos with low bit rates. H.265, on the other hand, is well-suited for streaming ultra-high definition and 8K resolution videos over the internet. It offers more efficient compression than H.264, meaning that it can deliver better quality video at the same bit rate.

H.264 also has great support across multiple platforms, including most web browsers, making it easy to use for streaming. H.265, while still supported on many platforms, is not nearly as widely adopted as H.264. Additionally, H.265 requires more powerful hardware to decode videos than H.264, meaning that it may be more challenging for some users to access content that is encoded with this codec.

Finally, when it comes to streaming costs, H.264 is generally the better choice. This codec requires less bandwidth for streaming, resulting in lower streaming costs. H.265 does offer better compression, but the additional cost of streaming could be prohibitive for some users.

In conclusion, both H.264 Vs. H.265 are great codecs for streaming video over the internet. While H.264 is more widely adopted, H.265 offers better compression and higher quality video at the same bit rate. Ultimately, the choice between the two codecs will depend on the type of video that you plan to stream and the available hardware for decoding.

H.264 Video Codec Overview and Benefits


Also known as AVC or Advanced Video Coding, part of the MPEG4-Part 10 spec, H.264 was developed by the ISO/IEC MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group) and ITU-T VCEG (Video Coding Experts Group), and first made available in 2014. It is ubiquitous; standardized near-universally after the release of the Apple iPad, and found everywhere from Blu-Rays to Twitch and Netflix, to the medical and surveillance industries.

H.265 Video Codec Overview and Benefits


Informally known as HEVC or High-Efficiency Video Coding, part of the MPEG-H specification, is the successor to H.264. Made by the same creators, the HEVC standard was first made available in 2013. Far more efficient, enabling even higher-resolution streaming and boasting even better compression that allows for the same visual fidelity at just half of H.264’s bit rate.

H.264 vs. H.265: What’s the Difference?

Now that we’ve covered the basics of each of these codecs, it’s time to compare them. A side-by-side comparison of H.264 and H.265 is presented below.

H.264 (AVC)H.265 (HEVC)
Types of videos that are supported.Mkv, MP4, qt ff, asf, avi, mxf, PS, ts, m2ts, evo, 3gp, f4vmkv, MP4, qt ff, asf, avi, mxf, PS, ts, 3gp
The bandwidth required for video encoding is important.480p — 1.5 Mbps
720p — 3 Mpbs
1080p — 6 Mbps
4K — 32 Mbps
480p — 0.75 Mbps
720p — 1.5 Mpbs
1080p — 4 Mbps
4K — 15 Mbps
The required bandwidth for 4K video streaming.32 Mbps15 Mbps
Intraframe prediction is based on9 modes35 modes
Technology for adjusting motion.Vector predictionAdvanced vector prediction
The color depth is a crucial aspect of the design process.8 bit10 bits

From the table above, it is likely that H.265 is generally superior to H.264. The bandwidth utilized by this technology is half that of H.264, yet it maintains the same level of visual quality for both encoding and transmitting purposes.

Furthermore, it employs more advanced prediction methods and includes 35 motion prediction modes within each frame, three times the number of AVC’s nine. This makes video compression much better.

But this doesn’t mean you should stop using H.264 and never return. The H.265 codec is very sophisticated, but it still has many problems.

Firstly, the requisite hardware is comparatively costly due to the computing power required for HEVC to function. Due to this factor, the H.265 codec remains uncommon. The skewed compatibility of H.264 with devices and web browsers only serves to widen this gap. Some people think that H.265 isn’t supported by as many devices as H.264 and with fewer video file types.

Finally, remember that most websites that allow videos only accept H.264 if you want to use a website that allows you to manage and share your videos.

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