What's the difference between H264 and H265
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What’s the difference between H264 and H265?

What’s the difference between h264 and h265?
Hello everyone, Joe here with another article- and today we’re answering the question: “What’s the difference between h264 and h265?” we have a youtube channel where we create video content to answer these kinds of CCTV related questions, as well as offer tutorials on how to use some of the features in our products! We encourage you to subscribe and toss us a like if you enjoy the video. Alongside this article, we’ve included the related video also titled: “What’s the difference between h264 and h265?” The video will give some great visual examples alongside the narration. For the best possible understanding, we recommend you check out the video as you follow along with the article!

What’s the difference between H264 and H265 I – Video Compression

So to start off with, in order to understand the difference between H264 and H265, it helps to know what those terms are individually. H264 and H265 are video compression codecs. A codec is a piece of software that can utilize hardware, to “code” video files during their creation, and also to “decode” that same type of video for playback. In fact, the word “codec” is just a combination of the words ‘Code’, and ‘Decode’. The main reason for the development of codecs is for video compression. Raw video data, uncompressed can be very space consuming. This is particularly true for high-resolution content, or Ultra high-resolution content such as 1080p and 4k respectively. 

Video compression is essentially a series of programmed processes that allow a computer system that is doing video encoding to squeeze the video data into smaller file sizes without a substantial- if any- loss in quality, by using a codec. This is done using a combination of prediction and smart coding. There are many codecs out there, and the technologies surrounding them have been getting better and better. Some codecs you may have heard of before including MPEG Layer 2, DIVX, and XVID- an open-source version of DIVX. There are codecs for audio-only as well, including FLAC, Mpeg Layer 3 (mp3), and WAV. Video compression is necessary because the file sizes of uncompressed video are so large that they would be either inconveniently slow or nearly impossible to transfer over the web- or store locally with reasonable space expectations.

What’s the difference between H264 and H265 II – H264

For a while, and even currently still, H264 has been a fantastic compression method and is still widely the most popular codec in use. This is because H264 offers very good compression, with minimal loss in quality, and doesn’t tax an encoding system too hard. The vast majority of computer hardware can with very limited effort, encode video data using both software, and hardware-assisted versions of H264. In fact, most cameras up until recently, and therefore the vast majority of CCTV systems that are operating but previously installed years ago, utilize the H264 codec. For compression up to 2 Megapixels, this was and still is considered, fine by most standards.

What’s the difference between H264 and H265 III – H265

However, as the internet becomes more intertwined in our society this means that more and more devices are constantly streaming data over the web.  Additionally, the average quality of our video content is becoming higher and higher in resolution. As we discussed in our article on Resolution, The pixel count in an image has a huge impact on its file size. As more and more devices, stream bigger and bigger files, solutions beyond the compression power of even h264 are needed to maintain or achieve even file sizes low enough to compensate for this increase in traffic, and load.

That’s where the newer H265  compression codec comes into play. H265 is the newer iteration of video compression in the same lineage of the H264 codec. It is able to achieve a file size reductions approximately 64% smaller at 4k, and 57% smaller at 1080p than its H264 counterpart. However, this comes at the cost of more processing power. Most modern PCs would need an advanced graphics card, or dedicated capture card to properly encode video in H265. Its also important to recognize that while many of the popular media players available are capable of h264 file playback natively and smoothly – many do not support h265 by default. 

Fortunately, h265 is becoming more and more common, leading to more support- often by downloading and installing an H265 codec that can be used by a media player to decode and playback h265 compressed files. There are also media players, such as our Elite Smart Player, that support 265 and DAV file playback natively.

What’s the difference between H264 and H265 IV – CCTV Benefits of H265

So how does this relate to CCTV? Well, all of our newest recorders feature the processing power to encode in H265. This gives you a huge return on your Hard drive space investment for how much footage you can save at a time compared to the previous H264 only recorders. This is also true for our newest IP cameras as well, which also have h265 support. This also means that you now have the power to push your image quality to new standards, like 4k, without breaking the bank on hard disk space. 

Thanks for joining us today as we talked about the differences between H264 and H265 compression codecs, and how this benefits your CCTV recorder. If you enjoyed the video or found it helpful, don’t forget to toss us a like and subscribe to our channel for more content! For more info on our recorders, cameras, or other security products, don’t hesitate to give our sales pros a call at 561-288-5258. Until Next time, Stay Safe!

Related: IP PTZ Security Cameras – All There is to Know
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