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Home > Video > Convert HEVC > H265 vs H264

Updated by Donna Peng - Contact Author

H.265 vs H.264: Comparison Between H.265 (HEVC) and H.264 (AVC)

You will learn: what's the difference between H.265 and H.264, how to convert H.264 to H.265 and H.265 to H.264.

Hot discussion about H.265 and H.264 is underway. The technical content of H.265 was settled on January 25, 2013, while the specification was formally approved as a standard on April 13, 2013. Apple applied next-generation H.265 technology to its iPhone 6 and larger iPhone 6 Plus for FaceTime over cellular in 2014, and introduced HEVC and HEIF as new camera formats in iOS 11 in 2017. And some companies urgently gear up to launch H.265 converters to convert videos from/to H.265. So, what is H.265? How can it fight against H.264? If you want to figure out these things, this post focusing on H.265 vs H.264 comparison can come in handy. It tells you clearly the definitions of H.265 and H.264, and also the differences between H.265 and H.264.

H.265 vs H.264: Definitions of H.265 and H.264

What is H.264?
H.264 (aka MPEG-4 AVC) is a kind of video codec that developed & updated by Moving Pictures Experts Group (MPEG) in a period of 4 years. Video code is a kind of algorithm in which we consider the fundamental technology of the video industry that to compress the huge raw clip materials to transmittable format. H.264 is highlighted by its motion-compensated Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) structure, with DCT, H.264 provides an excellent solution for fast movement & rapid changing frames and provided a space-saving scheme when compressing the videos.

What is H.265?
H.265 is the successor of MPEG’s H.264, which inherited all specifications of H.264 and expanded its efficiency on data save domain and upscale the maximum resolution to 7680 x 4320, also the algorithm has been optimized that better fulfilled the needs of online video streaming. With larger sized video presentation & better transmission reliability, a higher hardware requirement is in return for its high performance.

H.265 vs H.264
H.265 vs H.264

H.265 vs H.264: Differences between H.265 and H.264

AVC uses the integer discrete cosine transform with 4×4 and 8×8 block sizes, HEVC uses integer DCT and DST transforms with varied block sizes between 4×4 and 32×32. HEVC expands the pattern and difference-coding areas from 16×16 pixel to sizes up to 64×64. HEVC also has better block size flexibility, supporting block sizes up to 32×32. The followed graph will give you a technical comparison between those two.

HEVC codec

Detailed H.265 and H.264 Comparison

To know more differences between H.265 and H.264 codec formats, check the list below. The list include H.265 and H.264 formats' launch date, bandwidth requirement for 4K transmission, storage, max resolution, frame rate support, and key improvements compared to predecessor.

H.265/HEVC

H.264/AVC

Launch Date

2013 2003

Basic bandwidth requirement for 4K transmission (Lower means better)

14mbps 32mbps

Storage Needs for same quality video

Take only 1/2 of the storage space needed by H.264 Massive waste to storage space compare to H.265

Video block unit size optimization

Combination of Coding Unit/ Prediction Unit and Transition Unit Fixed block size partitioning & inter partitions of blocks

Deblocking Filter

Sample Adaptive Offset (SAO) Loop filter(LPF)

Maximum resolution (in pixel)

7680 x 4320 4096 × 2048(only in 30 or below frames)

Key improvement (compare to their predecessor)

* 40-50% bit rate reduction compared with H.264 at the same visual quality
* It is likely to implement Ultra HD, 2K, 4K for Broadcast and Online (OTT)
* 40-50% bit rate reduction compared with MPEG-2 Part
* Available to deliver HD sources for Broadcast and Online

Support up to 300 fps

Yes No. support up to 59.94 fps only.

Check the H.265 vs H.264 Comparison Video from YouTube

What you may also interested in: AV1 vs HEVC - Which is the Codec of the Future?

H.265 vs H.264: Conclusion

In general, as the successor of H.264 codec, H.265 is taking advantages in almost all aspects, better graphic displaying, delicate image and bandwidth saving. But H.265 has slower encoding, giving problems when playing back on many devices and players. It's CPU intensive and requires much better hardware for processing. H.264 is a current video standard, it has good quality, much faster encoding and plays smoothly on most devices and players. H.264 has better compatibility.

Simply put, H.265 is the codec of the future. So, do you want to convert videos files to H.265? In this way, you can downsize HD videos without damaging the quality to free up space, and also convert SD videos to H.265 for better visual effects. So, how to convert videos to H.265? All you need is a H.265 converter to convert videos to H.265.

Convert (H.264) Video Files to H.265 - A Way to Compress Videos Without Losing Quality

Among all available H.265 video converters in the market, WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe claims one of the top H.265 encoders. It is an all-in-one H.265 decoder, encoder, converter and player. Not only can it allow people to convert H.265 to common video files, but also convert SD/HD videos (AVCHD, M2TS, MTS, MKV, H.264, MP4, AVI, TS, MOD, TOD, WMV, MOV, MPEG, etc.) to H.265 with several mouse clicks.

Firstly, download and install it on PC and Mac to start converting videos.
(Tips: for Mac users, HD Video Converter for Mac is an ideal option to convert videos from/to H.265.)

Step 1. Click "+ Video" to load target video file.

Step 2. Choose "HEVC Video" under category "PC General Video" as your output profile. To convert H.265 to H.264 video, you should choose a profile with H.264 codec.

Convert Videos to H.265
Convert H264 to H265

Step 3. Specify destination folder to save H.265 video file.

Step 4. Hit "RUN" to begin converting. Then you're able to play H.265 files freely on computer, mobile, TV and more!

According to H.265 vs H.264 (or HEVC vs AVC) comparison, the superiority of H.265 is evident. And with the help of WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe, we can convert videos files to/from H.265 effortlessly, including converting H.264 to H.265 and H.265 to H.264.

Still have trouble about converting videos to/from H.265/H.264? Please feel free to Email Us >>

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

author - Donna Peng

Donna Peng twitter icon

Donna Peng's fascination with multimedia began at an early age - shortly after she licked the physical disc and then she's been obsessed ever since. Her decade-long career at Digiarty after the graduation has seen her unmatched expertise in the field of DVD, digital video, software and anything related to home theatre. She is currently fascinated with photography.

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