MPEG's new H.265 standard is now finalized, this High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard promises high-quality streaming even on low-bandwith networks. H.265 promises to give publishers the ability to stream 1080p HD video using only around half the bandwidth used by today's video compression standards.
Software encoders will arrive by the end of the year but hardware may take until 2014 at the least.
This should make HD streaming a reality for households, like mine, where you don't have an ultra-fast Internet connection. Better yet, on mobile connections it'll be a godsend. Being able to stream HD or Full HD video over your mobile network in better quality, while using less bandwidth (and hence, data) will be great.
The new H.265 standard could also pave the way for even higher-quality video such as Ultra HD-capable 4K TVs. Right now the networks aren't built to sustain that type of load, but with H.265 we could see the required bandwidth for streaming Ultra HD reduced somewhat, somewhere into the 20-30Mbps area. Right now, that's just impossible.