There should be some good news about the sizes of videos in 2013. The new H.265 format is twice as efficient as H.264, meaning that file sizes should be halved and thus streaming will be much quicker. The best news is that it should be in use as soon as 2013.
All of that squabbling over H.264 may be rendered moot in the near future. The Motion Picture Experts Group (better known as MPEG) has just let us know that it was quietly drafting a new video standard while everyone was on summer vacation last month: H.265, also called High Efficiency Video Coding, promises to squeeze video sizes with double the efficiency of H.264. As you might imagine, this could lead either to a much smaller video footprint for bandwidth-starved mobile users or a hike to image quality with the same size as before. Imagine fast-loading HD streaming on 4G, or cable TV without all the excess compression, and you’ve got the idea. Ericsson Research visual technology lead Per Fröjdh anticipates H.265 coming as soon as 2013, when our smartphones and tablets are most likely to play it first. TV and other areas might have to wait, although Fröjdh is offering a consolation prize — he’s teasing a separate MPEG project that could give us glasses-free, compressed 3D video as a standard by 2014.