H.265 Implementation

in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
So, first off, I don't know of any rumors about timing for adoption of HEVC.  I simply saw speculation that Apple may announce an upgraded Apple TV with 4K support that got me thinking about HEVC adoption.*-1  I'm just getting that out of the way first.

Now, obviously, Apple will be moving to HEVC sometime, and my question concerns how they do it.  Basically, while new iDevices with HEVC support would include hardware support, what about current devices.  What current devices have the necessary power to handle playing HEVC?*-2  Also, would Apple simply switch over completely, i.e., one day running h.264, the next, everything's h.265 after the new iDevices with hardware support is announced?  Or, would they run in parallel for, say, 6-18 months using both h.264 and h.265 to allow people time to upgrade.

*-1 - Note 1: I am not speculating about when Apple would adopt 4K, just HEVC on older iDevices at current resolutions.
*-2 - Note 2: I am not saying all currently supported iDevices would be able to play HEVC, just that some may have the necessary power in their CPUs.


  • Reply 1 of 2
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Apple would simply keep multiple content options up on their stores... indefinitely. Or until such time as said stores no longer work with products that can ONLY use previous codecs. For example, until the Apple TV 3 is deprecated, Apple will be keeping video content in H.624 format in its TV and Movie sections.

    Honestly, I don’t see the old stuff ever going away (simply because the stores are still accessible on even the earliest and oldest devices); H.265 will simply be prioritized on devices that can handle it. Knowing Apple, they won’t even give the option to download the older encodings on said devices.
  • Reply 2 of 2
    ksecksec Posts: 1,567member
    There are patents and licensing issues with HEVC, so this may take a while before things settles down. NAB is coming in April so we may hear a little bit of news from H.265 and Open Media.

    Note: A9 already has H.265 hardware decoding, just not enabled.
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