What is H.263, H.264, H.265

H.263 is an older video compression format standard, or codec. It’s still widely employed by Internet applications such as Flash Video content (used on sites such as YouTube and Google Video), desktop video conferencing, video telephony, surveillance and monitoring, and 3GPP files for play on mobile phones. IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) also require the use of H.263. The Wowza Transcoder supports transcoding to h.263.


H.264/AVC (Advanced Video Encoding) or MPEG-4 Part 10 is a video compression format that provides higher-quality video with lower bitrates than earlier formats. The terms H.264, AVC, and MPEG-4 Part 10 are equivalent and interchangeable. H.264 is the current standard for video streaming and is the most commonly used format for encoding live streams and multimedia files for on-demand streaming that are served by the Wowza Streaming Engine® software. Most of the clients that Wowza® Media Systems supports will play H.264 video, restricted by the various limitations for the Levels and Profiles of H.264. The Wowza Transcoder’s default video encoding format is H.264.


H.265, also called High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), is a draft video compression standard that delivers much higher-resolution video at the same bitrate as H.264. Its data compression ratio standard is double that of H.264.

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