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High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) is a new video compression standard developed jointly by ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) and ISO/IEC Moving Pictures Expert Group (MPEG) through their Joint Collaborative Team on Video Coding (JCT-VC). The first version of HEVC will be finalized by the JCT-VC in January 2013. The HEVC project was launched to achieve major savings-e.g., reduction by about half for 1,280 × 720 high-definition (HD) and higher-resolution progressives can video-for equivalent visual quality relative to the bit rate needed by the widely used H.264/ MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding (AVC) standard. For high resolution video where such additional compression is most urgently required, implementations of the current draft standard are already meeting or exceeding the targeted goal. We review the architecture and building blocks of HEVC, which were carefully selected with regard to compression capability versus complexity and to enable parallelism for the signal processing operations. Given the benefits that HEVC provides, it is likely to become the new primary reference for video compression.