International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has approved the H.265 video standard. The new High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) promises to lower the amount of bandwidth required to stream current MPEG-4 H.264-standard content by half, potentially allowing mobile devices to view HD content over high-speed wireless connections with little to no buffering required.
Study Group 16 of the ITU has agreed the first-stage approval for the codec, which could open the door to 4K-resolution content being delivered by streaming services. TechCrunch estimates that a H.265 4K stream could be done on a 20 to 30Mbps connection, something that a number of streaming-service users already have or could have in the future with broadband connection improvements.
Though the format has now been approved, it will still take time for new devices to have hardware acceleration built specifically for H.265. This is likely to occur from mid-2014 onwards.