General availability: Azure Media Services – HEVC encoding support in Standard Encoder
Published date: 12 March, 2021
Azure Media Services encoding allows you to upload and encode content for distribution and delivery to browser, mobile devices, and smart TVs using Adaptive Bitrate Streaming. High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) or H.265 allows you to encode and deliver content at lower bitrates while maintaining the same video quality compared to H.264. The Standard encoder in Media Services now supports encoding with HEVC to reduce bitrates on your content stored and distributed through Azure. This helps by reducing the amount of content you store in Azure and deliver over the CDN to your customers.
You can now take advantage of several built-in encoding presets for HEVC including a new Content Aware encoding preset. Using the new HEVC Content Aware encoding preset allows you to upload your source files and the encoder will evaluate and recommend the best adaptive bitrate ladder with the correct bitrates and number of output tracks needed to deliver your content.
This helps you to reduce the overall video storage and delivery costs through the CDN by providing improved quality at the lower bitrates available through the HEVC codec.
HEVC is available for you today through all of the SDKs (.NET, Java, Node.js, Java, Ruby, Go) and can be found in the REST API as well. Note that HEVC is currently only available for on-demand encoding and is not yet available for Live Event encoding. You can get started with code samples showing how to create a custom Transform with HEVC - see the sample for HEVC custom encoding in the Media Services .NET Git Hub repository.
HEVC pricing is now available in 3 encoding complexity modes, Speed, Balanced, and Quality. The default complexity mode is Balanced. The Azure Pricing page is now updated to include details on HEVC encoding with Standard encoder.