H.264 vs H.265 – Which One is Better?

Zacharia S
Zacharia S

10 Dec 2022

8 min read

H.264 vs H.265 – Which One is Better?


When it comes to video compression, H.264 and H.265 are two of the most commonly used codecs. H.264 and H.265 are both video codecs that provide excellent-quality video compression. So, which one is better? 

From video conferencing and streaming to image processing and gaming. By listing the benefits of each, we hope to help you choose which format would work best for you and your needs. 


What is a Video Codec?

Video codecs are pieces of software or hardware that compress and decompress digital video data. They use algorithms to reduce the size of a video file so it can be more easily stored or transmitted over the internet. By compressing video data, these codecs enable faster streaming and smoother playback.

Codecs also maintain the quality of the video by using algorithms that minimize the distortions that occur when videos are compressed and decompressed. Without codecs, videos would be too large to stream or download without long delays and poor quality.

There are several types of video codecs, but two of the most common are H.264 and H.265. These two codecs have become industry standards and are used by many video streaming services, video editing applications, and web browsers. So which one is better? Let’s take a closer look at H.264 and H.265 to find out.

What is H.264 (AVC)?

H.264 (or MPEG-4 AVC) is a video compression format that is used to compress digital video files for streaming over the internet or for storing on physical media, such as DVD and Blu-ray discs. 

This format is highly efficient in its compression, meaning it can provide excellent quality video at a low bit rate. It was developed by the Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) and is now widely supported by hardware encoders and decoders.

H.264 is capable of supporting resolutions up to 8K and provides support for a wide range of colorspaces, including the common YUV color space used in television and movies. 

It also supports HDR (High Dynamic Range) video, allowing for a wider range of colors and more vivid detail than standard dynamic range video. Furthermore, H.264 video codec is capable of encoding interlaced content (such as videos from television broadcasts) without needing any additional processing, making it an ideal choice for many uses.

What is H.265 or HEVC?

H.265 (High-Efficiency Video Coding, also known as HEVC) is the latest video compression standard. It’s designed to provide significantly improved video quality over its predecessor, H.264 (or MPEG-4 AVC).

Compared to H.264, H.265 can compress video more efficiently at a lower bit rate. This means that it requires less bandwidth to stream or store high-quality video, making it an ideal choice for streaming services and other applications.

H.265 also supports many advanced features such as higher resolution (up to 8K UHD), 10-bit color depth, HDR, and improved image fidelity. As such, H.265 video codec offers higher-quality video with smaller file sizes compared to H.264, enabling smoother streaming and better viewing experiences.

H.264 vs. H.265: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to digital video encoding, H.264 and H.265 are the two main codecs used today. Both are powerful tools that can provide high-quality results, but they have their differences.

H.264 has been around since 2003 and is considered an older format. This codec is widely adopted by many different applications, such as streaming media services, and also offers good quality at lower bit rates compared to H.265. It’s also easier to work with, making it a great choice for many users.

H.265 (also known as HEVC) is the newer of the two and was developed in 2013. It provides better compression efficiency, which results in improved image quality at lower bitrates than H.264.

It also supports higher resolutions, allowing for even sharper images. However, working with this codec can be more difficult, as it requires more processing power and time for encoding and decoding.

Overall, both H.264 and H.265 are great options for video encoding, depending on what you need from your video. If you’re looking for faster encoding times and an easier workflow, then H.264 may be the better choice for you. 

However, if you’re looking for improved image quality at a lower bitrate, then H.265 might be the way to go. Whichever you choose, you’ll be sure to get the best results possible!

H.264 (AVC) vs. H.265(HEVC): When are they used? What are the benefits?

Since its creation in 2003, H.264 has touched our lives. This codec could’ve been found in HD DVDs, HDTV, or even some Youtube videos. 

H.264 encodes HDMI (HD) video and audio signals into an IP stream. These streams can be sent over IP networks. The decoder on the other end converts this IP stream back into an uncompressed HDMI format. 

H.264 is very versatile because it can stream video from an encoder to multiple decoders at the same time. 

Benefits of H.264 Encoders and Decoders

  • Reduced demands for video storage
  • H.264 bitrate is lower than other formats
  • Low bandwidth usage and higher resolution monitoring
  • Vendor-agnostic video extension solution

H.265 came out in 2013. HEVC (H.265) being newer offers a lot of betterments over H.264. H.265 gives users amazing visual quality, which is crucial for 4K. HEVC allows for easier streaming and downloading. 

Benefits of H.265 Encoders and Decoders

  • Allows for Universal Adoption
  • Less cost when compared to an AVC Encoder
  • Works well for Data-Strapped Locations

So, Which One is Better – H.264 or H.265?

When it comes to video encoding, H.264 and H.265 (also known as HEVC) are two of the most popular codecs used today. Both of these codecs offer powerful compression capabilities, allowing users to store and stream high-quality videos without consuming too much bandwidth or storage space.

H.264 is an older codec that has been around for over a decade and is widely supported across a variety of devices and platforms. It offers a good balance between file size and quality and has become the standard for many applications, including Blu-ray and streaming services like Netflix and YouTube.

H.265, on the other hand, is a newer codec that provides even more impressive compression capabilities than its predecessor. It can compress videos up to twice as much as H.264 without sacrificing much in terms of quality. However, it is not yet as widely supported as H.264 and may require additional hardware or software to use it.

In conclusion, both H.264 and H.265 offer powerful compression capabilities with different trade-offs. The best option for any particular application will depend on the specific needs of the user, but it’s safe to say that both codecs are worth considering when choosing a video encoding solution.

Regardless of which video codec you choose. Something we can definitely recommend is Postudio. Postudio is a unique post-production solution that offers its patrons access to the best post-production software. These software are available at a fraction of the price on a secure platform that allows you to work remotely with your team. 


What is the difference between H.264 and H.265?

H.264 is an older codec that offers a good balance between file size and quality. H.265 is a newer codec that can compress videos twice as much and doesn’t sacrifice on quality. 

Should I use H.264 or H.265 for Youtube?

H.265 is much better to use for Youtube. If your encoder can stream in H.265, then we definitely recommend using H.265.

Is it worth converting H.264 to H.265?

If you want to decrease the file size of your video. It is recommended that you convert from H.264 to H.265. 

Does H.265 reduce quality?

No. H.265 does not reduce the quality of your file.


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