Whenever a new technology comes out, there is undoubtedly going to be some growing pains. When it comes to 4K UHD video that pain has come in the form of the codec that’s used to compress 4K video streams.


The favored codec of choice is H.265 or HEVC (high efficiency video codec). Essentially, 4K TV manufacturers and content providers such as Netflix and Amazon had been unable to come to an amicable licensing agreement with the codec’s patent holders, HEVC Advance, regarding royalty fees.


If an agreement wasn’t reached, TV manufacturers and content providers would have been forced to find another way of compressing 4K video. So, what would this mean for current 4K TV owners? Unfortunately, the news would not be good. The current crop of UHD TVs have the HEVC codec built-in. If manufacturers and UHD content providers such as Netflix, had been forced to switch to another codec current 4K TV owners would be unable to stream 4K video from the most popular streaming services.


Luckily, a major catastrophe was averted when all parties recently came to an agreement over royalty rates. HEVC Advance announced a significant decrease in their pricing structure which should appease TV manufacturers and content providers. In the agreement royalties are also waived for public/non-profit TV broadcasting, and content distribution that is free to end-users including over-the-air commercial TV broadcasting and internet content distribution.


With this agreement in place, the real winner is the consumer. With 4K TVs flooding the market, consumers can now be confident that their new purchase will remain relevant for years to come.




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