Spotlight on HEVC: The codec of choice for the video streaming industry

White Paper / Dec 2023

Since the standard was finalised a decade ago, HEVC has been on a slow but steady journey to become one of the leading video codecs. HEVC’s adoption may not have been as rapid as the developers of the codec originally anticipated. Nevertheless, there is evidence that adoption of the codec is now expanding, partly due to the news last year that Google had added native support for HEVC video decoding in its Chrome web browser, mirroring Apple’s continued support for HEVC in Safari.

This adoption has provided a considerable impetus to HEVC and its prospects of becoming the first choice for developers and content creators. Indeed, this decision convinced other browser developers to also follow a similar path. But beyond Google’s endorsement, one area of significant growth and interest in the implementation of HEVC is within the streaming industry. The largest video streaming services depend on advanced video compression to deliver ever higher quality content to consumers as efficiently as possible. HEVC’s ability to support ultra-high definition video means that it is particularly well placed to encode premium content on services from providers including Netflix, Disney, Amazon, Apple, Paramount and Warner Bros.

Commissioned by InterDigital, researched and written by Futuresource Consulting, this white paper analyses the reach of HEVC within consumer devices, how the codec is enabling higher quality for subscribers, examines HEVC’s rise amongst the streaming giants, and explores what’s next for codecs within the rapidly evolving delivery of video content.