x265 aims to offer the best HEVC/H.265 encoder that helps users encode video/images into a HEVC bitstream. HandBrake added the support for new H.265 encoder, together with VP8 and Intel QuickSync Video. Up to the latest version 1.0.3, HandBrake has updated x265 to 1.4 with better performance and fewer bugs. Since most non-experts are confused about HandBrake x265 profile, the article is in the purpose of illustrating the best HandBrake x265 settings in detail. But before that, please note that x265 1.4 encoder of HandBrake is not mature yet, so many H.265 features and advantages are missing.
To make the best HandBrake x265 advanced settings for 4K UHD or full HD videos for example, you need to make sure that you've downloaded and installed HandBrake 1.0.0 or 1.0.1/2 that was released in December, 2016.
Step 1: Launch HandBrake, Click on "Source" button, open a single file or a whole video folder you want to convert and wait until HandBrake completes the scanning.
Step 2: Change Output Settings from Container "MP4" to "MKV", because it allows you to embed external subtitles and the MP4 container won't be played back in the H.265 build of VLC by libdeh265.
Step 3: Click on "Picture" tab -> Anamorphic -> Strict.
Step 4: Just leave everything "Off", or adjust them according to your specific needs.
Step 5 [Important]: Click on "Video" -> Video Codec -> H.265(x265) >>See H.265 vs H.264
Framerate (FPS): Same as source -> Variable Framerate (recommended)
Note: Choose variable bitrate instead of Constant bitrate (See the difference between them and how to change Video CBR and VBR)
Optimist Video: uncheck "Use Advanced Tab instead" -> set x265 Preset in the "Medium" (basically, the higher the setting is, the greater quality the outcome will be, but it will lead to a longer encoding process and a larger output file).
Quality: If you are to convert x264 to x265 with reduced file size, just keep constant quality at 20, 21 or 22. This will deliver great quality with acceptable size. Otherwise, 23 will be a great balance between quality and file size especially for 1080p videos.
Step 6: In Audio section, HE-AAC (FDK) is used to be a good choice. However, HE-AAC audio encoder was removed in 0.10.5 due to a license issue. So, just change to AAC (avcodec) instead.
As for the Bitrate, 96 or 265 can make a good outcome.
Mixdown the audio track to 5.1 Channels.
Step 7: Through "Subtitles" tab, you can add new track, add all remaining tracks, add all remaining closed captions, add all remaining selected languages, or import your own SRT file as the embedded external subtitles.
Step 8: After all the HandBrake x265 settings, you are good to go by tapping "Start" button on the top and the video conversion will happen until you can get the x265 video.
Admittedly, x265 gives the better compression and it is available in HandBrake. However, Handbrake is not the best choice for x265 encoding or conversion for at least the following reasons:
1. Can only choose MP4 and MKV container formats for the output.
2. Only support a very limited range of devices, exclusive of iPhone 7, Apple TV 4, Windows 10 Mobile, etc.
3. The operation is too complicated and unfriendly for beginners.
4. Annoying cropping feature: it will erroneously crop out a few pixels on any side; you have a 21:9 video encoded in 16:9, the cropping feature will automatically crop out the black bars at the top and bottom.
5. It runs slowly for HandBrake HEVC/H.265 encoding since x265 is very CPU consuming to encode. (>>What Is HEVC Codec)
There are much more HandBrake errors, so considering all that, this open-source transcode program is not the best solution for x265 video processing. Now that x265 has a wider and wider compatibility with the inclusion of Windows 10, Apple and Android natively, you should keep up with the tide and find a desirable HandBrake x265 encoder alternative.
As for HD video encoding and converting, WinX HD Video Converter comes as the best HandBrake alternative:
1. Fast speed: The hardware acceleration tech makes good use of multiple CPU cores, QSV and CUDA/NVENC to encode and decode videos.
2. Ease of use: the video converter has a built-in "HEVC Video" profile under category "PC General Video" which is set to a good balance of quality and size with HEVC video codec and AAC audio codec.
3. Complete format support: Any videos, including multi-track HD videos, can be converted to H.265, H.264, MP4, AVI, WMV, MOV, MKV, FLV, etc; any videos can be make perfectly suitable for iPhone (7 included), iPad, Samsung, HTC, Apple TV, Android tablets, Windows devices, game consoles and much more.
4. Extra features: Support embedding subtitles, choosing forced subtitles (for non-English dialogues), downloading online (SD/HD/UHD) videos, editing videos, making slideshows and so on.
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