Technically speaking, it is important to underline that this new H.266 needs only half the current standard bitrate (H.265) to transmit exactly the same content. To put this in practical terms, we can indicate that this new codec needs only 5GB of data to transmit a 90-minute film, in 4K – quality that the predecessor codec would only be able to transmit with 10GB of data.
This means not only that you can stream higher resolution content with slower Internet connections, but you can also store the same videos in half the space you need today for this purpose. Virtual reality can also benefit from this new codec, namely in increasing the resolution of the videos transmitted in 360 degrees to the headsets, which, ideally, makes the experiences lived in these devices more realistic.
Note that although the invention is highly beneficial for industry and consumers, the truth is that nothing compels technologists to integrate it into their products. Google, for example, uses VP9 to encode videos for YouTube, due to the licensing fees that come with the use of technology.
Speaking to the BBC, Ben Wood, from CCS Insight, explains that the real challenge of new codecs is to convince the industry to adopt them. "To be successful, a codec must benefit from mass adoption by the most important names in the industry. And deciding to support a codec can be almost a religious decision," he says.