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Best H.265/HEVC Converter for Mac and Windows (with How-to Guide)

The forums are flooded with H.265/HEVC not playing or not compatible issues. Here is a typical example - "I am having Samsung HU8500 tv but am not able to play files with HEVC codec. How can I convert H.265 to videos or do anything else to make it compatible."

To tackle the issue, a H.265/HEVC converter is much needed to help convert H.265 to H.264, MP4, AVI, MPEG4, or other video file formats, in such a way you can play HEVC file on TV, QuickTime, iMovie, Windows Media Player, or mobile devices.

In addition, some people need a HEVC converter that is able to transcode H.264 to H.265/HEVC to save space and ensure good quality.

No matter you want to convert HEVC to a different format (such as H.264) or encode a video to HEVC, you can use MacX Video Converter Pro. It converts video to/from HEVC without stuttering thanks to the unique level-3 GPU acceleration.

In this post, we'll introduce 3 popular H.265 converters, including MacX Video Converter Pro, HandBrake, and a free online HEVC converter from Convertio.

Does Your Device Support Decoding or Playing HEVC?

Due to better compression, many TVs and mobile devices use HEVC to deliver 4K, 2.7k footage. Roku 4, Amazon Fire TV (2015), Xbox One, Chromecast Ultra, GoPro Hero 6 Black/Hero 7 Black, Windows 10, iPhone iPad with iOS 11 or later, Mac models updating to 10.15 or later, Apple TV with tvOS 11 have a good compatibility with HEVC codec.

However, because of the loyalty of the format, it has less website compatiblity as many sites and browsers choose the free VP9 over HEVC H265. Below are the devices that are inable to handle HEVC:

  • Google's Chromecast (first and second generations)
  • Apple TV (although some reports suggest 1080p HEVC playback is possible by running VLC on a 4th-gen model)
  • Roku (third-gen models and earlier)
  • Amazon Fire TV (2014) and Fire TV Stick
  • Any Western Digital WD TV products
  • All PlayStation consoles (including PS4 Pro)
  • Xbox 360
  • PS4 and earlier
  • iPhone 5 and earlier
  • iPad Mini and earlier
  • Macbook, iMac, iMac Pro models before 2009, Macbook Air/Pro, Mac mini and Mac Pro before 2010

HEVC is still far from perfect compared with H.264 when it comes to the compatibility. Time is required for mobile devices, apps, tvs, etc to support the codec. At the same time, many H.265 players fail to support decoding H.265 videos, if without extra H.265 or HEVC codec installed. That's where a HEVC converter makes sense, which can decode and convert HEVC/H.265 videos in a resolution of 8K/4K/1080p etc to H.264 MP4 for better compatibility.

However, Converting HEVC Videos Is Still A Challenge

As HEVC is a highly compressed format that stores double the data in the same size, both the decoding and encoding will be a very heavy burden on your computer. No suprise that you will experience a lengthy process and endless freezes on the system. Hardware acceleration is a life saver. Intel, Nvidia and AMD all offer support for H.265. In other words, you need a H.265/HEVC converter that is able to ultilize the GPU acceleration. So what is the best H.265/HEVC converter?

Best 3 H.265/HEVC Converter for Mac/Windows

No.1 MacX Video Converter Pro - a HEVC Converter for Mac and Windows

MacX Video Converter Pro supports converting video to or from HEVC/H.265 codec and delivers ultrafast speed to encode/decode the computer-intensive HEVC/H.265 video without burndening the CPU yet output the file with crisp image and audio quality.

  • With built-in 370+ codecs, it will convert H.265 to H.264, MP4, MOV, MKV, MPEG, AVI, etc with high quality.
  • Converts any video such as H.264 to H.265 (.MP4) for lower-capacity mobiles; 4k h.264 can be converted into H.265 in smaller size without sacrificing the image quality.
  • Full support of hardware acceleration (Intel QSV, Nvidia Cuda, AMD) ensures 5x faster speed than other H.265 converters, solving problems like overheating computer, stuck system, lengthy process, fast battery drain, etc.
  • Easy H.265/HEVC editing features and 4K HEVC/H.265 video download functions are included.
  • It infuses with a lot of readymade profiles for various needs, e.g. for HD TV, Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, iPhone, iPad, Android, PS4, Xbox One, etc.

How to Convert HEVC to H.264 with MacX Video Converter Pro

Step 1: Free download HEVC converter for Mac (macOS Big Sur inc.) or download the H.265 converter for Windows (Windows 10 incl.) and run it. Click "+ Video " icon to load H.265/HEVC video to be converted. Batch HEVC video converting is supported as well.

Step 2: Choose output format. For better compatibility with mobile devices, you are suggested to convert HEVC to MP4 (H.264) by going to the Mac or PC General Video and choosing MP4 (H.264+AAC) as the output format. You are also free to convert HEVC to AVI, MOV, MKV, WMV, Apple TV, Samsung TV, iPhone, iPad, Sony, HTC, etc.

convert HEVC to MP4/H.264

Step 3: Click "Browse" button to switch the default folder to another target folder where you can save the output file.

Step 4: Click "RUN" button to start converting H.265 to H.264.

How to Convert H.264 to HEVC/H.265 with MacX Video Converter Pro

MacX Video Converter Pro also functions as a H.264 to HEVC converter. By converting H.264 to HEVC, you will save much space. This tool is infused with readymade MP4 and MKV HEVC/H.265 profile setting. It can help you convert videos to HEVC from MKV, WMV, AVI, FLV, MTS, M2TS, AVCHD, etc in a fraction of seconds. Check the tutorial below.

Step 1: Click "+ Video " to load the source video to be converted to HEVC.

Step 2: Go to PC General video > choose HEVC Video (.mkv) as the output format. For better compatibility with Mac, iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, choose Mac General Profiles > MP4 Video (HEVC) as the output format. This will be space-saving and make your iDevice accept the output file with no problem.

H.265/HEVC converter - convert H.264 to HEVC

Step 3: Click "Browse" button to specify a folder to save the output file.

Step 4: Tap "RUN" button to begin the video to H.265 conversion. You can choose to open the output folder after the conversion or directly add HEVC MP4 files to iTunes library after conversion from the Option tab on the top side of the main interface.

Tips: You can also click "YouTube URL" icon to free download HEVC movies from Facebook, Dailymotion, Letv, etc. 1000+ movie sharing sites.

After you convert videos especially 4K and HD videos to HEVC, you can:

1. Save space: HEVC, however, owning to its higher compression ratio than H.264 AVC, takes up half the space without sacrificing image quality. It keeps 4k and high-resolution videos taken with mobile devices from eating up the available storage. This is especially great for owners of low-capacity devices, as a HEVC video converter capable of converting videos to HEVC, in such as way to save space.

2. Reduce bandwidth consumption: According to Netflix, HEVC/H.265 is far more bandwidth efficient than H.264. This means by converting videos to HEVC, the bandwidth requirements for video delivery is tremendously reduced by over 50% compared to the H.264 implementation. Videos will be uploaded and streamed over the internet easily.

3. Good compatibility with iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra or newer: Compatibility isn't any issue with iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra and newer versions. This means you can record or play HEVC on iPhone iPad running on iOS 11 and Mac computer supporting the latest High Sierra with ease. This also leads to a huge demand among Mac users on video conversion to HEVC.

Also worth noting is that the hardware acceleration offered by A9 chip or newer is required, in case of a smooth playback of HEVC 1080p and 4K videos without stuttering and in a battery-friendly manner. For example, using iPhone 6 to play HEVC videos in 4k 2160p led nowhere. Or you will say spinning wheel when playing HEVC video in 4K UHD on MacBook 2012. Specifically:

  • HEVC videos greater than 1080p at 240 fps won't be played on iPhone 6/Plus or iPad Air 2. See how to play HEVC on iPhone >>
  • HEVC videos greater than 1080p at 60 fps or 720p at 240 fps won't be played on iPhone 5S, iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina display.
  • HEVC videos greater than 1080p at 240 fps won't be played on Mac models from mid 2015 or earlier.

Free Download MacX Video Converter Pro to Have A Try

Are you still struggling with keeping your video in HEVC codec or re-encoding it to H.264? Free download the H265/HEVC converter to transcode any video to HEVC for smaller size or convert HEVC to H.264, MP4 etc. for better compatibility. Just try it right now!

No.2 HandBrake - a Free HEVC Converter for Mac, Windows, and Linux

HandBrake is a popular free and open source video transcoder. It can convert video from nearly any format including HEVC. Both H.264(x264) and H.265(x265) can be chosen as output formats.

How to convert video to/from HEVC with HandBrake

Step 1. Download, install, and open HandBrake on your computer.

Step 2. Under Source Selection, click File to open the video you want to convert.

Step 3. Specify a preset based on your own needs.

Step 4. Navigate to the Video tab, click the drop-down menu of Video Codec, and choose a desired format. H.264, H.265, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4 are available to choose.

Step 5. Click the Browse button at the bottom right corner to specify output folder and output file name.

Step 6. Click the Start button. Then, this free HEVC converter will start video transcoding.

Free H.265(x265) converter - HandBrake

No.3 Convertio - Free Online HEVC Converter

If you don't want to download and install software, you can open your browser and visit Convertio to convert videos to/from HEVC online. The free version allows you to convert a video less than 100MB. To convert larger file, you need to register and choose a plan.

How to convert videos to/from HEVC online with Convertio

Step 1. Open your browser and access Convertio HEVC Converter.

Step 2. Click Choose Files to open the video you want to convert.

Step 3. Choose output format. It will select HEVC as the output format by default. If you want to convert your video to other format, you can click the drop-down menu, scroll down to Video and choose a desired format.

Step 4. Click the red Convert button to start uploading and converting.

Free HEVC converter online

External Reading

What's HEVC/H.265?

HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding), a.k.a H.265, is the successor to H.264 (AVC). In H.265 vs H.264 comparison report, H.265/HEVC is tested to offer better data compression ratio than H.264, namely, 50% bit rate reduction at the same image quality. The new video compression standard supports resolutions from 260p up to 8K UHD (8192×4320). Specifically, the average bitrate reduction with HEVC was 64% for 4K UHD, 62% for 1080p, and 56% for 720p, compared to the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High profile.

Where HEVC is Used?

HEVC is more welcome to build a digital video library among filmmakers, videographers, vloggers, and so on. Additionally, HEVC/H.265 makes streaming 4K/8K video on YouTube, Amazon, Netflix, etc easier than ever due to the less bandwidth usage. Mobile users can transfer videos in HEVC for quality video playback experience. Apple offers HEVC support since iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra.

So if you want to upload some UHD video online or reduce the file size of large-file AVCHD or MKV, to encode video into H.265/HEVC with an HEVC converter/encoder is a must-have.

Still have any problem on the best HEVC/H.265 converter or how to convert videos to/from HEVC, just email us >>