HEVC Codec (H.265): What It Is & Why It Is Important

Jane Zhou updated on Feb 19, 2024 | Home > Glossary and Terms

In the world of digital media, video codecs play a vital role in enabling efficient compression and transmission of video content., and the most common of these is HEVC Codec (also called H.265). If you are new to it, you will have a detailed understanding of this video codec after you have read this blog. Here, we will delve into the world of HEVC codec, exploring its definition, technical aspects, benefits, usages, and more. Now, let's dive in!

What Is HEVC Codec

HEVC codec, also called H.265 and MPEG-H Part 2, is a widely used video codec, like H.264. It is a specialized video compression standard, aiming to optimize video quality and reduce file sizes so that the videos can be stored on mobile devices or transmitted over the internet.


Currently, the HEVC codec is the latest and greatest in video codec technology. Compared to H.264, H.265 is more efficient, about 40% more in terms of efficiency. And it indicates that you are going to see a startup at a decent quality 40% faster. Once the player adapts all the way up, you will see the video content that looks 40% better, as well. In other words, the H.265 codec will provide better video quality at the same bitrate.

By using the HEVC codec, users can create more high-quality videos, like 4K and 8K, in a more compatible format for flawless playback.

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How HEVC Works

After having a rough knowledge of the HEVC codec meaning, let's see how the H.265 codec works to deal with your video files. Actually, the HEVC just works by encoding and decoding. Here is the process:

For HEVC Encoding:

  • First, predict each unit and perform necessary computations. 
  • Next, quantize and transform the residual, which means the difference between the original picture unit and the prediction.
  • Finally, entropy encodes the transform output, prediction information, mode information, and headers.

how does hevc works

For HEVC Decoding:

  • Reverse the steps performed during entropy encoding and then extract the original elements from the coded sequence.
  • Invert the transformations and rescaling.
  • Predict each unit and add it to the output. Once done, reconstruct the final decoded video image.

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Features and Benefits of H.265 Codec

Why is the HEVC video codec so important? Here we list some main features and benefits of the H.265 video codec:

Improved Compression Efficiency: H.265 provides significantly improved compression efficiency compared to H.264. It can achieve the same video quality as H.264 but at roughly half the bit rate. 

Support for High-Resolution Video: HEVC supports high-resolution video formats, including 4K and 8K. It can efficiently compress and transmit high-resolution content without sacrificing quality.

Lower Bandwidth Requirements: By reducing the bit rate, H.265 helps to lower bandwidth requirements for video streaming and other applications. 

Reduced Data Usage: Its improved compression efficiency leads to reduced data usage. This benefits users with limited data plans, as it allows them to consume less data while still enjoying high-quality video content.

Enhanced Video Quality: H.265 offers better video quality than H.264 at the same bit rate. The advanced compression techniques, such as larger block sizes, improved motion compensation, and enhanced prediction capabilities, result in sharper images, richer colors, and reduced artifacts.

Versatile Use: Its versatility and efficient compression make it suitable for various use cases.

Common Use Cases of HEVC Video Codec

Nowadays, the HEVC is widely used by people from all walks of life, as it offers better video quality and smaller file sizes. Here are some typical industries:

Live Streaming

Low latency and efficient video compression are essential for high-quality live streaming. The HEVC codec offers improved compression and will reduce the average bitrate by half. And, that makes it ideal for live streaming high-resolution videos with limited bandwidth. 

Over the Top Streaming

A lot of streaming services, like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc., deliver videos in 4K resolution. That means larger file size and higher bitrates, and using HEVC will shrink video file size and reduce the bitrate, resulting in high-efficiency video streaming that doesn't impact performance. 

Video Conferencing

With HEVC codec, users will improve the video conferencing quality by reducing latency and video and audio quality. 


This post discusses almost everything about the HEVC video codec, and I am sure you will know a lot about it after finishing this post. If you think it is worth reading, don't hesitate to share it with others in need now!


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Updated by Melissa Lee

Melissa is a sophisticated editor for EaseUS in tech blog writing. She is proficient in writing articles related to screen recording, video editing, and PDF file conversion. Also, she's starting to write blogs about data recovery, disk partitioning, data backup, etc.

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Written by Jane Zhou

Jane is an experienced editor for EaseUS focused on tech blog writing. Familiar with all kinds of video editing and screen recording software on the market, she specializes in composing posts about recording and editing videos. All the topics she chooses

Read full bio