U.N. group OKs new video format to save bandwidth

Jan 26, 2013, 8:44 AM EST
A Pakistani cell phone user browses YouTube on his mobile phone in Quetta on December 29, 2012.
AFP/Getty Images/Banaras Khan

GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. telecommunications agency says its members have agreed upon a new compression format that could dramatically cut the amount of Internet bandwidth currently used by video files.

The International Telecommunication Union says the format, or codec, known as H.265 would require just half the amount of data needed by its predecessor, H.264.

The Geneva-based agency says videos encoded using the H.264 format — which is favored by devices such as Apple's iPad — currently account for two-fifths of web traffic.

ITU said in a statement late Friday the new H.265 codec could pave the way for "the next wave of innovation," such as faster movie downloads and higher-quality video streaming.