It is safe to bet that any video professional, enthusiast, or even home theater junkie has heard of and most certainly used the H.264 codec which has become the de facto standard for compressing high-definition video. H.264 uses very complicated algorithms that help accelerate the decoding process, which in turn reduces energy consumption and allows for higher bit rates. Yesterday, we participated in a briefing on the new X265 and HEVC encoder project that is being tackled by a company called MulticoreWare.
The X264 encoder remains one of the leading H.264 encoders on the market and it resides under both the open source GNU GPL license as well as a commercial license which is designed for companies that wish to inject their own proprietary code without having to release it into the open source community. With Ultra HD Video beginning to flow in, H.264 was just not delivering the performance needed for high bit rate, high quality output. This is where H.265 comes in the play along with MulticoreWare.
High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), aka H.265, is being designed to replace H.264 and the official standard was released just over a month ago. And today, MulticoreWare announced its commercial open source project around the x265 encoder. The company has released the source code for x265 and it is available for download at Source #1 below. The x265 encoder is already highly parallel and supports all of the big instruction sets including FMA3/FMA4, AVX, and AVX2.
We have been given a pre-alpha build of the x265 encoder to play around with and use in some of our benchmarking. I had the chance to play around with the encoder some over the weekend and while I have not done any official testing, I'm quite impressed, although my puny 4 core AMD Phenom X4 processor peaked the entire time. I can say that the other editors here at TweakTown are super excited to begin using x265 in our benchmarks.