4K TV sounds great, but it has this one big problem: 4K video content is honking huge. An answer may be at hand. The ITU has just given first-stage approval to a new, much more efficient video codec: High Efficiency Video Coding’ (HEVC).
How much better is HEVC? According to the ITU, HEVC video “need only half the bit rate of its predecessor: ITU-T H.264/MPEG-4 Part 10 ‘Advanced Video Coding’ (AVC). That, in turn, means that 4K TV broadcasting becomes possible over bandwidth as slow as 20 to 30Mbps. It also means that HDTV over the Internet may be watchable at DSL speeds of 4 to 6 MBPS.