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The increasing proportion of video traffic in telecommunication networks puts an emphasis on efficient video compression technology. High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) is the forthcoming video coding standard that provides substantial bit rate reductions compared to its predecessors. In the HEVC standardization process, technologies such as picture partitioning, reference picture management, and parameter sets are categorized as “high-level syntax.” The design of the high-level syntax impacts the interface to systems and error resilience, and provides new functionalities. This paper presents an overview of the HEVC high-level syntax, including network abstraction layer unit headers, parameter sets, picture partitioning schemes, reference picture management, and supplemental enhancement information messages.