Convert HEVC/H265 to H264: Find "Best" H265 to H264 Converter First

By Candice Liu to Convert Video, H265 to H264 | Last Updated on Dec 4, 2018

HEVC/H265, as the successor to H264, obviously has an edge over H264 when it comes to video file size (50% smaller), bandwidth consumption and output quality. That being said, you still have the need to convert H265 to H264 video format, mainly because of better compatibility H264 owns. When you need to play HEVC/H265 4K 8K videos on your mobile devices, game consoles, computer or upload HEVC video to YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, etc., you're advised to convert HEVC/H265 to H264 (x264). Fine, you pause the plan and turn to H265 to H264 conversion. Yet, to transcode H265 to H264, you need an H265 to H264 converter. Here comes another question: which one is the best H265 to H264 converter? How to judge? Simple, you're the boss. You decide after you have some acquaintance with the below HEVC video converter candidates.

MacX Video Converter Pro (Windows/macOS)

Recommended by user Teague9097

Recommendation Rate:

Personal Problem: VLC won't play HEVC 4K MKV files

Teague plans to use VLC to play his home surveillance videos, which are encoded by HEVC/H265 in mkv file extension. The problem occurs when he plays a mkv x265 file on VLC, it stutters, freezes and sometimes crashes. It won't work. It also uses a lot CPU. He also downloaded an other media player Potplayer, it works fine, but it uses all his memory and CPU. Info about his computer: CPU: i5-7600 3.5 Ghz; Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB 3000MHz DDR4; GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB).

Solution: convert H265 to H264 with less demand for CPU & GPU

HEVC video has much higher demand than H264 on hardware configuration. Instead of upgrading PC to high-end computer, he has a try on MacX Video Converter Pro via his friends' recommendation. He uses this HEVC video converter to successfully convert H265 MKV video to H264 MP4 video at full speed. Afterwards, he can smoothly play this x265 4K video on VLC without much burden on computer CPU and GPU.

He has a try on MacX Video Converter Pro via his friends' recommendation. He uses this HEVC decoder to successfully convert H265 MKV video to H264 MP4 video at full speed. Afterwards, he can smoothly play this x265 4K video on VLC with much less demand for computer CPU, GPU and memory. Later on, he dives deeper into this HEVC/H265 transcoding tool and find it can do more things than he think, like:

Convert any video to 4K MKV (HEVC), MP4 (HEVC), 4K MP4, 2K MP4, H264, MPEG-4, VP9, VP8, MPEG-2, MOV, AVI, etc.180+ video and 14+ audio formats.
Transcode HEVC x265 video to iPhone X, iPhone 8/Plus/7/6s/6/Plus, iPad Pro, Galaxy Note 8, Xbox One, PS4, Microsoft device, etc.with original quality.
Convert HEVC/H265 video to YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion recommended H264 encoded MP4, FLV, WMV, WebM with best HEVC upload parameter settings.
Edit HEVC video (trim HEVC video length, crop HEVC image, add subtitles, etc.) and adjust HEVC (resolution, frame rate, etc.) for faster YouTube uploading.

What is also special to Teague is the "Auto Copy" mode of this x265 HEVC video converter, which allows him to directly copy video/audio streams and subtitles from one video container to another video container without decoding/encoding once the input and output file codecs are detected as the same H264. That's astonishing, 10 faster than video decoding/encoding and 1:1 clone quality. Based on all these awesome features, Teague excitingly announces that this HEVC transcoder is his favorite, best to him. And he specially writes a detailed user guide for the newbies who might also need it to transcode HEVC video.

Step 1: Run this HEVC to H264 converter
Fire up this HEVC decoder on your Mac or Windows PC after you free download this HEVC transcoder on Mac or Windows.

Step 2: Load HEVC Video
Click "Videos" button and you can import your HEVC video files. Or just drag and drop H265 files into this H265 video converter. Besides the HEVC 4K or 1080p video conversion, its official website also claims that it supports up to 320+ video and 50+ audio codecs, meaning you're allowed to load H263, MP4, XviD, DviX, VP8, VP9, MPEG-4, WMV2, etc. any video codec and video format as you want. You can have a test when you're free at weekend. I only import the common HEVC 4K mkv, HEVC mp4, avi, some HD AVCHD videos for testing.

Step 3: Choose Output Video Format
Select the output video format on the pop-up window. Choose 4K MP4, 2K MP4 with H264 codec from "General Profile". Or, go to Mac General Video to find more, including MP4 (H264), MOV (H264), M4V (H264), etc. As you can see, the Mobile Video Profile covers Apple (iPhone iPad iMovie, iTunes, QT, etc.), Android (Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, HTC), Sony and Microsoft device profiles (350+) for you to choose from.

convert HEVC to H264

Afterwards, tap settings icon at the main interface to adjust your HEVC parameters (resolution, frame rate, aspect ratio, etc.) to shrink HEVC file size if your HEVC/H265 file resolution is too large to upload to YouTube or Dailymotion. Plus, click "Edit" icon and you will enter the HEVC video editing zone, where you can shorten 4K HEVC length, cut off unneeded HEVC image border, add subtitles, rotate HEVC orientation and so on with the help of this HEVC editor.

Step 4: Start to Convert HEVC to H264 x264
Hit "RUN" button and it will begin to convert H265 to H264 with Intel QSV hardware accelerated speed, along with mutli-core CPU (up to 8) and hyper-threading tech. A video conversion window will pop up to show you the copy processing, the FPS, time remaining, etc.

Handbrake (Windows/macOS)

Recommended by user Joinblaze

Recommendation Rate:

Personal Problem: HEVC (h265) mkv not playback on Xbox

Joinblaze recently posts his question on reddit forum about "can he play 4k HEVC MKV video on Xbox without encoding all over it? More than 12 users answer this question: No. Because H265 and H264 are different codecs. That being the case, what kind of H265 to H264 video converter is recommended?

Solution: free transcode MKV H265 to MP4 H264 with better compatibility

A user named CloudRunnerRed recommends Handbrake for him. Fortunately, it works and helps Joinblaze to successfully accomplish this HEVC to H264 conversion task. Handbrake is a 100% free open source video transcoder for you to not only rip unprotected DVD disc, but also free convert H265 to H264 on Windows and macOS. With newly-added mobilde device profiles, Joinblaze can select "Xbox 1080p30 Surround" or "Xbox Legacy 1080p30 Surround" as output format. Then, the video parameters are automatically filled up, without maunal adjustment on the complex interface.

Though Handbrake only supports MKV and MP4 two formats as ouput formats, it's still regarded as the best H265 to H264 video converter by Joinblaze, for it produces what he needs - Xbox in mp4 format with better compatibility and more importantly FREE. So it would be a nice option if you also don't have other demands on output video formats and mobile profiles.

Joinblaze also thoughtfully posts his whole processing steps, with a desire to offer some assistances for you if you're not familiar with Handbrake H265/HEVC conversion. You can just skip this part if you know a thing or two about how to use Handbrake to convert video.

Step 1: After your free download Handbrake on your PC or Mac, install and run it. Load your HEVC video files by clicking the File button on the top left side. Or you can tap the Folder to batch convert multiple files at a time. It will take a few minutes to scan the title.

Step 2: Click the Browse button to set the destination folder you want.

Step 3: Navigate to the "Presets" at the right side of the main interface -> scroll down to find Xbox profile under "Devices" category -> choose "Xbox 1080p30 Surround" or "Xbox Legacy 1080p30 Surround" as output format.

Profile "Xbox 1080p30 Surround" vs "Xbox Legacy 1080p30 Surround":
1. There is no difference in video codec (H264 x264 as default), video format (MP4 as default), video frame rate and output video quality.
2. There is difference in video resolution and aspect ratio. Generally, "Xbox Legacy 1080p30 Surround" keeps higher than "Xbox 1080p30 Surround" in default video resolution and aspect ratio. Therefore, if you're not good at adjusting video parameters, you're suggested to choose "Xbox Legacy 1080p30 Surround" as output profile.

convert H265 to H264 with handbrake

Beyond Xbox profiles, you can see there are also other profiles like general formats, web formats, Android/Apple devices, Fire TV, Roku and more. And under each big category, Handbrake divides it into different smaller profiles including Fast, Very Fast, HQ and Super HQ. Generally, there is no that much of difference between Fast and Very Fast in output file size. Yet, the gap does exist between HQ and Super HQ, e.g., HQ 1080p30 Surround vs Super HQ 1080p30 Surround. In terms of x265 to x264 conversion speed, you can see the distinct gap between Fast and Very Fast. BTW, somewhat regret, the current Handbrake only supports up to 1080p for most profiles, only 4K for Roku. So if you need to convert HEVC x265 to H264 with 4K or 8K resolution, the first MacX sounds better.

Step 4: Tweak the settings. Generally, please leave the settings unchanged.
4.1) Go the Filters tab and set the Interlace Detection to Fast so as to only deinterlace frames are interlaced visibly.
4.2) Leave the audio codec unchanged in the Audio tab -> change the bitrate to 256 for good quality and Mixdown to 5.1 Channels.
4.3) Add tracks, import SRT as the external subtitles, codes the text into the video stream, display subtitles especially when the dialogue is in foreign language.

Step 5: tap Start button to begin to decode HEVC and convert MKV (H265) to MP4 (H264) with free HEVC transcoder Handbrake.

Clipconverter (Online Converter)

Recommended by user flannop

Recommendation Rate:

Personal Problem: HEVC (mkv) file cannot be played on Dune HD Base 3D

The New Jersey 21-year-old young man Flannop has a problem with his streamer Dune HD Base 3D when he tries to import h265 mkv files to play thereon. An error message strikes him: file cannot be played. He doesn't have enough experience on this HEVC codec stuff. Therefore, he asks for help on forum.videohelp and hanker for a way to convert h265 mkv to h264 mkv.

Solution: free convert H265 MKV to H264 MKV online

He's convinced to have a try on the free online HEVC x265 video converter Clipconverter, with which he easily transcodes MKV video from HEVC (H265) codec to H264 codec without video format change. The only change might be the output file size, a little bit larger than HEVC encoded MKV file.

Without HEVC transcoder downloading or installation, it's fast and free converting h265 mkv video to h264 on its own. Flannop is quite satisfied with Clipconverter performance. So this online free H265 to H264 converter is the best to him. How about you? Do as follows to free convert x265 to x264 if you're also intrigued by it.

Step 1: Google "Clipconverter" and then visit its official website on any web browser.

Step 2: Tap "Upload & Convert File" > choose "Select Files" to import your local h265 mkv 4K or 8K files.

Step 3: Followed by output video format selection: MKV format. What's more, you're able to free convert MKV to AVI, MOV, WMV, FLV, etc. 14 formats, too.

Step 4: Click the toolkit icon next to output format button to opt for video codec "H264". It's a must step, or the default setting is to copy video from input file without re-encoding. You can also choose audio codec and add SRT/ASS subtitles to your h265 mkv file.

free convert h265 mkv to h264 mkv with clipconverter

Step 5: Tap "Okay" > hit "Start Conversion" button at the right bottom of the website to call it begin. The whole x265 to x264 conversion speed mainly depends on your computer hardware configuration and network bandwidth. The higher, the faster.

Step 6: Press "Download Files" button to download output MKV h264 to your local storage drive after the hevc h265 to h264 conversion is finished. Then you will get your output h264 mkv file to play on your streamer Dune HD Base 3D or other devices but find that the output MKV h264 is larger than h265 input file in size.

H265 Encoder & Decoder: Convert H265 to H264 from MKV MP4

Free download this top H265/HEVC video converter to easily convert H265 (HEVC) to H264 in MP4, MKV, MOV, AVC formats on Windows and macOS. Also support you to convert any video to 4K MP4, 2K MP4, SWF, AVI, FLV, WMV, MPEG, VP8, VP9 and iPhone X, iPhone 8/Plus/7/6s/6, iPads, Android.

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