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Difference Between H.264 And H.265

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The main difference between H.264 and H.265 is video compression performance. H.265 takes half the bandwidth for the same operation as H.264, but it also demands more capable technology. H.264 uses macroblocks to handle video frames, while H.265 uses coding tree units to process information. CTUs process data more effectively, resulting in smaller file sizes and less bandwidth used by your streaming video.

What is H.264?

H.264 is the most generally used video codec, which compresses video from one version to another through encoding. As one of the most widely used encoders, H.264 is often called Advanced Video Coding (AVC) or MPEG-4 Part 10. This codec is primarily used in video recording, compression, and delivery.

H.264 is MPEG-2 or H.263 replacement encoder. The H264 encoder was utilized by more than 91% of video industry players. This encoder is designed to compress HD videos from AVCHD camcorders, HDTV, Blu-ray, and HD DVD while keeping good video quality at low bitrates. Mp4 is one of the most popular H.264-encoded file types.

Numerous encoding methods are accessible in the H.264 codec for file compression. Still, the most notable ones are quality-enhancing and sophisticated bitrate regulating codec approaches that are difficult to decode.

What is H.265?

H.265, or High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), is a video compression codec successor of H264 and is also known as MPEG-H part 2. This encoder supports the Ultra HD Blu-ray version for encoding. The compression efficiency varies based on the kind of material and the encoder parameters.

The major goal of creating H.265 is to improve on H.264's video compression efficiency while keeping H264's video quality in the smallest video file possible using more compact codec technology. HEVC was utilized by 43% of developers and came in second place behind AVC.

h264 vs h265

Differences Between H.264 And H.265

Utilization of Bandwidth

In comparison to H.264 codecs, H.265 requires less bandwidth. H.265 videos demand 15 Mbps of Internet connection speed to display 4K HD videos. H.264, on the other hand, requires around 32 Mbps of speed to do the same task.

Compression Ratio

H.265 provides almost double the compression ratio of H.264. This implies it has roughly double the potential of reducing the design flow rate to reduce transmission and storage costs.

File Size

Many studies have shown that bit reduction is positively connected with file size and inversely proportionate to video picture quality. H.265 features lower bitrates but the same video quality as H.264. This implies that H.265 gives superior visual quality to H.264, particularly when movies are compressed at the same bitrate.


AVC outperforms HEVC, while HEVC is much less popular than AVC. If 100 devices and platforms support the H.264 codec, only 30 devices and platforms support the H.265. You can't deny that H.265 is the codec of the future, and a growing number of gadgets and platforms will gradually adapt to it.

Intraframe Prediction

Compared to H.264, H.265 features a larger, more thorough intraframe prediction. H.265 has the potential for thirty-three motion orientations, while H.264 has just nine. That is a significant variation in intraframe prediction.


H.265 provides support for 64x64 pixel macroblocks. As a result, it is more efficient in encoding varied resolutions. H.264, on the other hand, supports 16x16 pixel macroblocks, a functionality that does not perform as well in higher-resolution films as H.265.


When discussing any video compression procedure, the first thing that comes to mind is video picture quality. So, in H.264 vs. H.265, the big distinction is how these codecs process the frame. H.264 employs the DCT with block sizes of 4×4 and 8×8, while H.265 employs the DCT and DST with block sizes ranging from 4×4 to 32×32.


Regarding overall performance, H.265 unquestionably outperforms H.264 – but this is not without context. H.264 offers typical use cases suitable for practically all mainstream devices. However, HEVC encoding requires a significant amount of processing resources.

Consequently, HEVC can compress videos far more effectively than AVC while maintaining the same picture quality. H.264's performance is inadequate for 4K streaming, while HEVC makes up for it.

Comparison Chart: H.264 Vs H.265

NameMPEG-4 Part 10 AVCMPEG-H, HEVC, Part 2
Launched in20042013
Successor toMPEG-2 Part 2MPEG 4 AVC, H.264
Bit ReductionCompared to MPEG-2, the bit rate is reduced by 40-50%Compared to H.264, the decrease is 40-52% at the same quality
SpecificationUp to 4K resolution supportSupport for up to 8K
4K Bandwidth32 Mbps15 Mbps


Is It Preferable To Use H.264 or H.265 For Video Streaming?

H.265 is preferable for video streaming since it offers greater compression rates with no noticeable loss of visual quality. H.264, on the other hand, delivers enough quality for most common applications and is still regarded as an industry standard.

Is The Quality Of H.265 Lower Than That Of H.264?

No. That is the nice thing about H.265, which is one of the main reasons it is seen as the successor to H.264. H.265 produces files that are nearly half the size and have roughly the same visual quality as H.264. Of course, there's a catch: H.265's improved efficiency comes with a larger processing power demand. However, this is becoming less of a problem as time passes.

What Is H.264 Vs H.265 Handbrake?

Handbrake encoder used to utilize the H.264 codec method to convert video files from one format to another a few years ago, but with the advent of the H.265 codec, you can now enjoy the increased advantages of the H.265 during the conversion of video. So, in H.264 vs H.265 handbrake, nothing can beat H.265.


The simple version is that the video compression efficiency of H.264 and H.265 codecs differs. H.265 uses fewer resources and bandwidth than H.264, putting less load on the servers that will eventually host the digital files. In the long term, all of this lowers total expenses.

As you can see, HEVC is not without flaws, and despite its many benefits, it does have a few drawbacks to consider. These are not deal-breakers but should be considered for the whole picture.

HEVC, in addition to better resolutions at lower bit rates, delivers an expanded color gamut, significantly improving image quality. If you are presently utilizing H.264 codecs, you should consider experimenting with H.265 for your video content or streaming projects.

Feel free to comment and discuss about the article in the comment space below if you have any information or remarks to add. If you think we made a mistake, you can also report it there.
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About the Author: Nicolas Seignette

Nicolas Seignette, who holds a scientific baccalaureate, began his studies in mathematics and computer science applied to human and social sciences (MIASHS). He then continued his university studies with a DEUST WMI (Webmaster and Internet professions) at the University of Limoges before finishing his course with a professional license specialized in the IT professions. On 10Differences, he is in charge of the research and the writing of the articles concerning technology, sciences and mathematics.
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