It’s been busy at Shadow since they officially launched in the United States back in January. They released an iOS client in Beta for all Shadow Subscribers. Most recently they implemented H.265 Support to reduce Cloud Gaming bandwidth requirements.
What is H.265?
To understand how important H.265 is for Cloud Gaming, we need to talk about what the heck it actually is. We’re basically talking about video compression.
When you play a game through a Cloud Service, you are streaming a video file from the Cloud Server to your device. That file has a size, and that size determines how much bandwidth is required to stream it in real time. Compression reduces the size of the video data which in turn reduces the amount of bandwidth that is required to stream it.
There are different types of compression that are used to stream video. The current standard is H.264 (Advanced Video Coding). H.264 does a pretty good job of compressing video without reducing quality by much. It’s widely compatible with the majority of modern devices.
H.265 is a newer compression format that uses intelligence to reduce the size of a video. It’s all about both more compression and better compression. More compression is important because it reduces bandwidth requirements. Better compression is equally important because it ensures the quality of the video. H.265 excels at both.
H.265 and Shadow
Shadow knows how important H.265 can be for Cloud Gaming. It allows you to experience the quality of a stream that used to require 15 Mbps download with only a 5 Mbps connection. That’s a big difference in speed! It can mean the difference between streaming over a mobile connection or waiting to find a hotspot.
Shadow added H.265 to their Streaming Box on 03/05/18. They expanded to include it for Windows and Mac clients as of version 0.22.7. You’ll need at least 5 Mbps of download speed on your client in order to activate H.265.
It’s important to note that H.265 is only supported by the latest GPU’s from Intel, AMD, and Nvidia. If you have an older device, you may not have the hardware needed to decode a H.265 signal. You may need to find out which GPU your computer uses, and then then look it up to see if it supports H.265.
So what do you think? Have you had a chance to test H.265 for Cloud Gaming? Did you notice a difference in your streaming experience? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to check out Shadow’s H.265 Trailer below.
Also published on Medium.
Josh is a long-time Gamer and Technology Guru. He is known for his writing and troubleshooting skills. Josh can solve just about any problem, and is especially good at getting to the bottom of technology challenges. He has a background in Networking and holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology degree. When he’s not gaming, Josh can be found blogging, testing new tech, and interacting with Flickstiq’s social media following. He lives in Ohio with his wife and children.