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H.264 vs. H.265: How to Choose from Different Video Codecs

Melissa Lee updated on Mar 18, 2022 to Video Converter Tips

With the advancements in technology, codecs have also come a long way. The codecs are crucial because all the output video aspects depend upon them. H.264 and H.265 are two unique video coding standards, but people often misconceive them as one. However, there are many situations where people have to convert between these two formats. The decision is based on their output requirements. If you want a high-definition or efficient video, you must convert your H.264 videos to H.265.

So selecting the suitable one is a must thing. This article will explain all the differences between H.264 vs. H.265 and how to choose the suitable one from them. Let's get started!

What is H.264?

H.264 is also called MPEG-4 Part 10 and Advanced Video Coding (AVC). It is the first codec that comes to mind while talking about video compression. The codec is a video compression industry standard that allows content creators and publishers to compress, record, and distribute online content (videos), particularly streams.

h264 image

AVC/H.264 is a standard that can provide high-quality videos at lower bitrates than previous standards. It is trendy among streaming services that seek to give their customers the finest watching experience. Moreover, you can play videos in this codec practically on any device.

H.264 is a compensation-based, block-oriented video compression standard with multiple tools and levels such as max resolutions and bitrates. Also, this format supports 4K and up to 8K Ultra HD.

What is H.265?

The H.265 codec is also known as High-Efficiency Video Coding, abbreviated as HEVC. The H.265 video compression standard is for the advanced times of the high-resolution video. Compared with H.264, this codec offers between 25% and 50% better content compression while maintaining the same level of video quality. Mainly, it transmits videos in high quality at the same bitrate. H.265/HEVC can also support resolutions up to 80M pixels with 8K UHD included. 

h265 image

As a result, H.265 improves the H.264 encoding efficiency of the video compression standards by providing the best quality content in the smallest video file. HEVC video codecs use a PC's GPU's accelerated decoding power to deliver the requisite performance for little or no extra expense at all.

Difference Between H.264 and H.265

Here are some of the most critical factors you must consider before deciding between H.264 and H.265.

h265 and h264

Bandwidth:

H.265 can lower file size and bitrate so that it only occupies the necessary bandwidth, thanks to its high compression ratio. For example, on HEVC vs H.264 comparison, if H.264 High Profile takes 512 Kbps to transmit a 720p 30fps image then, H.265 only needs 384 Kbps.

File Size:

First and foremost, you must understand that the size of a video file can be calculated by multiplying the bitrate by the length. Given that, H.265 uses a lower bitrate to transmit the same quality as H.264. So, it can be concluded that H.265 can provide a smaller file. A video encoded with H.265 would be 1-3 times smaller than the one encoded with H.264.

Pixels:

In H.265, you can break the data from the preceding frame's original pixels into several sizes to suit every scene better. CTU is the term for this procedure, abbreviation of Coding Tree Units. In this method, the spaces containing information from another frame can be divided into blocks of 4 x 4 to 64 x 64. On the other hand, in H.264, they can only be 16 x 16. It allows for more significant areas of the previous frames, thus saving your storage space.

Compression:

For a long time, and even now, H.264 has proved to be a superb compression method, and it is still the most extensively used codec. The reason is that H.264 offers excellent compression with low-quality loss and does not place an encoding system under an undue strain. The great majority of computers can encode video data using software and hardware-assisted versions of H.264 with minimal effort.

Until now, most cameras used the H.264 codec, and thus the vast majority of CCTV systems are still operational but were installed years ago. Most people thought this was fine for compression up to 2 Megapixels, which is still considered the same.

Quality:

As mentioned above, one thing that affects video quality is bitrate. The higher the bitrate, the better the quality. The quality difference between H.264 and H.265 is that H.265 will even offer videos of better quality if it uses the same bitrate as H.264.

Best Converter to Turn Videos to H.264

After comparing HEVC vs. H.264, you may want to convert some of your videos to H.264, and the best approach is to go for special software, EaseUS Video Converter. It works tirelessly to ensure the high-quality output file in the minimum time possible. Moreover, you will have the option to choose from the various device-based or web video presets.

Besides codecs, this all-in-one video converter supports many formats like MKV, MP4, AVI, and MOV to convert your video. It can be utilized by anyone, including naive, regular users, or developers, to carry out any media-related task. You can even use the built-in media player to see the changes. Also, it offers an extensive toolkit to adjust your video parameters. 

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Conclusion

While reading this article about H.264 vs. H.265, you must have known their in-depth details. Indeed, this information will help you choose the correct codec for your next video. Also, there are many situations when you need to convert between these formats, like compatibility, quality, or file size issues. A remarkable converter like EaseUS Video Converter can assist you in carrying out this task. If you want to have a try, download it for free now.

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