What is the difference between H264 and H265?

Many people associate H264 with security camera systems. Many of the DVRs and NVRs we sell have H264 printed on the box or displayed at the system’s initial boot. In reality, many higher quality videos streamed online use H264 compression. H264 is a method of video compression that compares the motion in the encoded image to the stationary objects. In this way, H264 keeps stationary objects in frame as a reference while only recording the motion of moving objects. This allows H264 to be an excellent recording method for surveillance videos. As of 2014, H264 is the most popular video format used for recording, online streaming, and distributing video content online.


H264, Advanced Video Encoding, provides good video quality at a considerably lower bit rate than previous standard video protocols: MPEG-2, H263 and MPEG-4 part 2. There are two things needed for H264 to work properly. 1) The devices capturing the video must be able to properly encode videos. 2) The playback device must be able to also decode the H264 videos back to a playable video format. The two most common playable video formats are AVI (Audio Video Interlaced) and MP4 (MPEG Layer-4). Since there is no standardized format for H264 and many different companies hold different patents, each security camera system might encode their H264 in various ways. That is why each security system has generic files for their H264 compressed videos.


H265, or High Efficient Video Coding, is the new standard video compression that provides even more improvement over H264. H265 provides improved bit reduction of 57% at 1080p and 64% of UHD or 4K compare to H264. Since all our devices, smart phones to smart TVs, are recording or displaying at much higher resolutions, it is even more important that we have HEVC compression. Many of the popular streaming website have encoded all their videos to HEVC or H265.

Also Read: Protecting Your Home Security System From Hackers and Bullet vs. Turret vs. Dome Security Cameras

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