"So I have a pretty decent library of movies and shows(2tb) but I want to conserve some space and convert h264 media to h265 without quality loss, also it would be good if conversion software would be able to queue files and I wouldn't say no to Nvidia GPU acceleration also :)"

"Hi, can I convert a h264 video to h265 without changing or losing anything in terms of video/audio quality (same bitrate, same resolution etc etc.. I want only reduce file size without losing quality)?"

H.265, also known as High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), is the latest generation video compression standard as a successor for H.264. HEVC's main advantage over H.264 is that it offers roughly double the compression ratio for the same quality. And that's the main reason why more and more people are looking for a way to convert media files with H.264 codec to H.265 encoded MP4 or MKV. If you have no idea about the process, you've come to the right place. In this article, we will show you an easy and fast solution on how to encode H.264 to H.265 without loss of quality. Keep on reading for more details.

Part 1: H.264 Versus HEVC: Understanding the Differences

The H.264 algorithm can substantially lower bit rates better than previous standards and is widely used by streaming internet sources, such as videos from Vimeo, YouTube, iTunes, and more. H.265 is more advanced than H.264 in several ways. The main difference is that HEVC allows for further reduced file size, and therefore reduced required bandwidth, of your live video streams.

Unlike H.264 macroblocks, H.265 processes information in what's called Coding Tree Units (CTUs). Whereas macroblocks can span 4x4 to 16x16 block sizes, CTUs can process as many as 64x64 blocks, giving it the ability to compress information more efficiently.

Type
H.264
H.265
Name
MPEG- 4 AVC (Advanced Video Coding)
HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding)
Successor
Successor to MPEG-2 Part
Successor to MPEG-4 AVC/ H.264
Improvement
Bit rate reduction compared to MPEG-2 is 40-50%
Bit rate reduction at the same level of visual quality compared to H.264 is 40-50%
Resolution
Supports up to 4K (4,096x2,304)
Supports up to 8K (8,192x4,320)
Frame rate
Supports up to 59.94 fps
Supports up to 300 fps
Profiles
21 approved profiles
3 approved profiles, draft for additional 5
Entropy Coding
Entropy coding is CABAC and CAVLC
Entropy coding is only CABAC
Compression Model
Hybrid spatial-temporal prediction model
Enhanced Hybrid spatial-temporal prediction model
Industry Adoption
Dominant and accepted video codec for cable, terrestrial, satellite and IPTV broadcast. Widely used across Blu-Ray, security systems, video conference, mobile video, media players, video chat etc.
Implementation demonstration across NAB, IBC, and other events starting 2012 companies e.g. ATEME, Broadcom, Thomson, Harmonic, Ericsson, Qualcomm etc. Increased RD across encoder/decoder vendors for software and hardware based solutions.
Year of Approval
Approved in 2004
Approved in 2013
Drawbacks
Transmission of UHD content is unrealistic as the bit rate requirement is very high.
Approx. 300% more computational expensive due to larger prediction units and expensive Motion Estimation.

Part 2: How to Convert H.264 to H.265 / HEVC With Zero Quality Loss

To encode H.264 or other formats to H.265 files, you will need a powerful and reliable H.265 converter. For an easy and fast H.265 decoding and encoding, you can adopt EaseFab Video Converter (available for Windows and Mac OS X) for help. No matter you are looking for converting video to HEVC/H.265(HD/1080P/4K) or decoding H.265 to H.264 or other formats, the professional H.265 conver ter will fulfill your task fast and easily. There are only 3 steps needed for H.264 to H.265 encoding without any loss of quality. Now download the program according to your computer OS and follow the steps below to begin the conversion from H.264 media to H.265 encoded files.

Download for Free Download for Free

For macOS 10.15 Catalina, install th 64-bit version here

Simple steps to convert H.264 to H.265/HEVC coded video


Step 1: Import H.264 videos

Install the best H.265 encoder and run it. Drag the h.264 or other non-H.265 video files to the software. Or you can also click "Add" button on the top of the main interface to import video to the program. (Note: batch conversion is supported, so you can load more than one file to save time.)

load-source-files.jpg

Step 2: Select H.265 MP4 or H.265 MKV as output

From the drop-down list of "Profile" you can select "HEVC MP4" or "HEVC MKV" as the output format from the "Common Video" category or you can select the same preset from "HD/4K" category for higher quality.

h265.png

Tips 1: Enable GPU Encode Acceleration

Click "Tools" > "Options", in the opened "Options" window, check "Enable NVIDIA GPU Acceleration" otpion so that the program will accelerate converion speed when encoding videos from/to H.265/HEVC files.

gpu-acceleration.png

Tips 2: If you wanna some advanced settings, you can click "Settings" icon to adjust the video, audio parameters bitare, frame rate, sample rate, audio channel, etc.

Step 3: Start H.264 to H.265/HEVC conversion

Simply click "Convert" button in the bottom part of the video converter software window and the conversion will then begin. Wait until it's done, the speed of completion always depends on how big or how many your files are.

You can easily find the output files in the output folders once the conversion is done. This video converter software also provides good editing features like merge videos, split, crop, and adding effects, and a lot more.

Part 3: Top 3 Free HEVC/H.265-Compatible Media Players

1. VLC

From version 3.0 and above, you can play H.265 codec without any extra support packs. Therefore, if you simply download the latest version of VLC, you can play H.265 videos without any trouble. You can download VLC 3.0 for Windows, macOS, iOS, Apple TV, GNU/Linux, Android and Chrome OS.

2. KM Player

Just as with VLC, KM Player is extremely advanced and runs H.265 straight off the bat. KM Player supports 4K, 8K and 60FPS, and there are no advertisements unlike in the past. With the latest version for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android, you can play H.265 videos without any trouble.

3. Potplayer

Potplayer also serves as a free HEVC player for HEVC/H.265 encoded videos playing as well as any other multimedia formats or codecs like H.264, MP4, FLV, MKV, AVI, MOV etc. Besides, other than the powerful ability of playing HEVC codec videos, you can also download 3D and blu-ray movies/videos for playing on this marvelous video player, which makes it unique among the best HEVC players. But sadly it's only available on Windows.

Conclusion

With H.265 you get the best visual quality whether you're watching a movie, playing a game or doing a multicast. Compared with H.264, It serves you better in transferring the small screen experience to the big screen. Currently, very few cameras support 8K, which means that for the time being, H.265 will remain the gold standard for video compression.

Hope the H.264 to H.265 conversion guide could give you some help.