(UPDATE: use MP4 container and the most current version of handbrake (0.10.1) and stock vlc (2.2.1) instead of whatever I recommended, the current version of vlc and handbrake works just fine with h265 mp4 video)

I just did my first encode in x265, the encoder for H.265/HEVC. I am happy to announce that as of 2:54PM GMT+8, h264 is DEAD to me (at least for HD video). It was a 2 hour sci-fi action film at 1080p 24fps, encoded using handbrake 0.10.0 with the following settings: MKV Container (because the mp4 container doesn’t playback in the h265 build of vlc by libdeh265 (win/mac) (get the 64 bit version, the 32 bit doesn’t work) (ignore, see update above get vlc HERE instead) Video: Codec x265, Framerate Same as source, Constant Framerate, Constant Quality 28 RF, x265 Preset Ultrafast
hb2651Audio: HE-AAC, Bitrate 96, Dolby Pro Logic II mixdown. On my i5-4670 processor, x264 at the “same” settings encodes 3 times faster, at around 90fps while the x265 encoded as around 30fps average. However, what surprised me was that after the 90 or so minutes encoding the x265 encode, the resulting file had YIFY-comparable 1080p quality but had only a file size of 806mb. Its x264 equivalent encode took 1/3rd the time but also resulted in a 2.23gb file. Here’s some screens: scrnff1scrnff2I’ll be the first to admit that the quality is far from perfect, but 1) it’s less noticeable when the video is in motion and 2) I mean come on, this is less than 1mbps of video encoded at a speed of 30 frames per second! Besides, imagine how much better the quality would be if the slider was simply moved to the position of say 23. I’m guessing that using high compression will further reduce the file size by 40%, although prolonging the encode time by a factor of 10x or something. Turns out, encoding speed is a none issue. Anybody doing video things at all, YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE NOW, SERIOUSLY! So, as an inexperienced x265 encoder, I’m here to offer some uneducated guess at instructions on how to encode h265 video in handbrake.

1. Install VLC and Handbrake, then open Handbrake, Import Video by dragging into the window or selecting via the button “Source”, “File”

2. Select mkv MP4 as container. This issue probably doesn’t affect other video players, but the libdeh265 build of vlc does not playback h265 mp4 files properly (non issue for newest version of stock vlc).

3. Adjust the video output width if necessary. As for cropping, if the source video has no black bars but the numbers in the top, left, right, bottom fields are any number other than zero, it’s a problem with the software’s auto detection. select the custom option and edit the number to zero.

4. Click the Video tab.

5. Select H.265 (x265) as the video codec.

6. Framerate fps same as source, or any number from 23.976 to 60 depending on the framerate of your source material, I’d recommend constant framerate because it gives the best quality.

7. For quality settings, if you’re making YIFY style encodes, a quality of 28 is recommended. If you want high quality preservation then nudge that constant quality slider to an RF of 23 for a pleasant viewing experience, or to 15 if you really need the detail. Rule of thumb is for the same detail, h265 cuts the bandwidth by three quarters compared to h264.

8. Uncheck the Use Advanced Tab instead checkbox. select x264 Preset Ultrafast if you’re not sure how fast your CPU is. People with higher end hardware are advised not to push the preset beyond Medium, assuming you don’t want to wait forever. edit: It is possible to crank it up to the Very Slow preset which yielded RF23 quality at 1000kbps in my test encode of a 1080p video, but expect 3 hours per 10 minutes if you’re on a desktop i5-4670 or better, and 2 hours per 10 minutes if you’re on a desktop i7-4xxx or better (rough estimate, I don’t actually own an i7).

9. x265 Tune: None

10. H.265 Profile: None

11. Move to Audio tab.

12. Switch to the audio tab. If the grey box is empty and your video is supposed to have audio, click “add track”. If your video contains multiple audio tracks and you want to add a specific one of your choice, click add track for a new track, and then click the on the listbox beside “source”, in the track you added and select from the list.

13. For Audio Codec, use 64-128kbps HE-AAC(FDK) if you’re doing a YIFY-style encode, or use AAC(FDK) at 320 kbps for high quality, and max it out to 448kbps if you need the detail. Do not use a bitrate higher than that of your source.

14. If you want to have surround sound, change the mixdown to the number of channels in the source audio track, however keep in mind there is no point in increasing the amount of audio channels beyond what is in the source. Keep in mind that Dolby Pro Logic retains some surround sound when mixing down to  stereo tracks.

15. Subtitles. Add it the same way you add audio. Foreign Audio Scan scans for special subtitles. Deselect Burn In unless you’re evil.

16. Chapter markers. If your source has them, check the check box.

17. Make sure nothing’s in the Advanced tab, then click add to queue if something else is encoding, or click Start directly.

18. Wait.

19. Once you’re done encoding, don’t close Handbrake. Review the the results using the libdeh265 build of VLC. if you like the results and think you might want to do a similar encode later, save your video encoding settings as a preset by clicking Add in the buttom left corner of the window. Name the Preset Name descriptively or artistically or however you wish. If you want the preset to automatically scale down large videos, change the left number to the desired maximum width, or the right number to the maximum height, and delete the number in the side you didn’t change. If you want the preset not to resize your videos, then change the “custom” to “none” in the drop down.

20. Type something Rebellious in the preset description box, then click Add.

21. Marvel at the amazingness that is h.265 by masturbating to its mediainfo.


86 thoughts on “STOP USING H264 RIGHT NOW!

  1. I converted some BR titles to h264 mkv. Since I didn’t really need full 1080 on all (but 1), I set the width to 1280. High profile, decomb (default) with the slide set to 15 (new to this). I am conserned with file size, but more so with quality. All the BR titles look blotchy.. Like a pastel painting. New to handbrake (10).. What am I missing? My system has plenty of horsepower, so that’s not a concern.. My media player is XBMC (Kodi now… V.14), which uses the latest ffmpeg codecs.

    • I have mine set to the following (DVD Source)… Filters: Detelecine:off, Decomb:decomb:fast, denoise:hqdn3d:light, deblock:off … you can probably disable the denoise, and decomb for BR source, video I’m using quality 18 for dvdrip, for brrip I’d go with 22-24, leaving output at Original. Video is set to x265-preset medium (best encode/time trade off imho), Audio, I’m doing AAC-192 5.1

      The quality level will affect size the most… if you got for constant quality… for higher resolution quality input, or animated, you can use a lower quality (higher number), for lower quality/noisy input you need the filters more, and will usually need higher quality.

      It may run a bit slower on encode, but the saved disk space for a series is so much better, my x265 encodes are under 1/3 the size for DVD content, nearly indistinguishable from source, and BR I can now keep at 1080p instead of downscaling to 720p.

    • slide set to 15 is why the picture looks blotchy try 18 to 20 for DVD and 20 to 23 for blueray. Handbrake version 0.10.5 has pop up instructions just hover your mouse over the slider.

  2. Oh… The 1 1080 title I did? Was a 30gb source that resulted in a 10gb h264. It looks AMAZING at those same settings.

  3. Just as soon as more devices start using h.265 I will change, but untill then the point is moot. At least for me. I use the Plex media server, and it doesn’t handle h265 natively right now (although it will encode it on the fly, but I’m trying to avoid that). All the boxes I have hooked up to my TV’s (ROKU 3, WDTV, Chromecast) do not natively decode h.265. When a box comes out that does, though, I will be all over it. :0) I am in awe of what h.265 can do.

  4. The Problem with H.265 is that many of Table-top Media Players CANNOT play this new Encoder … so then I have to re-encode the crap back again … Wasting time and Heating up my 8 years old 2GHz T5750 Intel CPU of my cheapy Gateway laptop. 🙂

  5. H.265 is awesome codec.Soon every encoder will change to it..Thanx for this wonerul post..i converted many videos..I use vlc so playing this codec is not a big deal…

  6. I happened to stumble across your page here on H.265. I’m getting ready to start a commercial site with quite a bit of long play content that will be downloadable, not streamed. I was going to use H.264, but now I know H.265 is available, and according to you, it’s working well with handbrake. But would you go so far as to make it the format for products you sell on a website? Is VLC the only player that plays it back well? What about people that want to play the videos on their tablets or phones?

    • Any mobile chip from 2015+ should be able to play h265 content no problem (depending on your encoding settings, I’m not sure all chips support all hevc compression levels). I definitely would provide h265 as the preferred option to save both you and the user’s bandwidth while upping quality, although h264 is still the format for maximum compatibility (it’ll be obsolete in like a year). H265 will be supported natively by Windows 10 although compatibility is easily achieved with a codec pack, many new Android phones already natively support H265 and Apple should be adding h265 support soon if it hasn’t already.
      While I wouldn’t offer h265 exclusively just yet, it is the best option for saving users bandwidth, time and disk space. Hope this helps and good luck with your venture.

      • Thanks for your input, much appreciated. The problem is that most of my target market are older generation and I’m sure they’re not going to have the latest and greatest hardware. You’re right, I should offer it as an option for those that are in the know.

  7. Just ripped a 1h40m VOB directly from a DVD to a 740mb MP4 with this codec using Handbrake! The quality is stunning @720p. I compared it to a MP4 I made of the same DVD 2 months ago, using the x264 codec and the quality was the same or better, but the old x264 codec made the 1h40m VOB into a 1.6gb file! This H.265 codec made it @ less than 50% of that file size! Here are the settings I used: H.265 codec, MP4 container, Constant Framerate, Constant Quality @ 20 RF, x265 Preset to MEDIUM, Audio HE-AAC @128kbps ProLogic II. Also Handbrake added the subs into the MP4 easy peasy (selectable English subs using VLC to play). It took 16 hours on an older laptop running Win 8.1 64-bit, Intel Celeron 1.5 CPU with only 4gb ram. I experimented with the settings a lot over the past week. I noticed the RF # and x265 Preset speed make the most difference in filesize, time to encode, and overall quality. You can get much faster encode times using a higher RF # and setting the x265 Preset to Fast. But the filesize was double and the quality was SLIGHTLY less. ie. @ 28 RF and Very Fast, it encoded the same VOB in 50% less time (8h as opposed to 16h), but the filesize was more than double (1.6gb as opposed to 740mb) and I noticed a little pixelation in some parts. Bottom line, use the settings I used and you will not be disappointed. It is YIFY quality and filesize! Doesn’t get any better as of right now.

    • To clarify some other settings… I kept the SOURCE aspect ration (720×480), Auto Cropping, Loose Anamorphic @ 2, Framerate Same As Source (for this DVD it was 29.97fps). leave all the other settings/boxes where they are by default (unchecked or NONE). Make sure the subtitles are showing up on the Subtitle tab, if not you may have to manually add them. You can also import a SRT file here as well if you have an external SRT file for the movie you are encoding. As soon as I get my PC box (2.6ghz w 16gb ram) back up and running I will be encoding my entire DVD library with this codec and putting them all on BD-R data discs (I can store 65-75 movies on one 50gb BD-R disc using this codec). And can put a multiple bookshelves worth of DVDs onto a single BD-R spindle! SWEET!

  8. Don’t know why, every video I convert in Handbrake, it gets washed out. Your screenshots look like it too. It doesn’t happen with xvid4psp tough, you should try it.

    • My workaround against washed out: high-tier:no-strong-intra-smoothing as extra options in handbrake (or on normal command line: –high-tier –no-strong-intra-smoothing ) – but the resulting video is nearly as large as the x264 one (both preset slower, tune Film (grain on x265) and crf 22), but with five to ten times longer to encode.

  9. Why would you use Handbrake? Barring anything else, the fact that it can’t encode to 10-bit makes it useless to me. MeGUI is far, far better.

  10. Hi,
    Great tutorial ,but I have some questions !
    How could I merge multiple videos using the same format ? and should all the videos have the same quality ?

  11. h265 isn’t even ahead of h264 in many aspects yet, you don’t know what your talking about. To read more about this from people who actually know what they are talking about check out the doom9 forums.

    • I’ve been using x265.exe to do 10 bit 2 pass hevc using the presets “slow” and “slower”. My goodness is it slow – my 8 core 4Ghz can encode a 45 minute 1080p TV episode at “slow” overnight (about 4 hours for each pass) but in “slower” it can take 12 hours or more.

  12. Until I have decent media player that supports h265, h264 is still the way to go. I’ve just done some test encoding with handbrake and some Battlestar Gallactica episodes ripped with makemkv. I tend to use DTS passthrough for the audio, and a constant quality factor of 21. The other settings are just the defaults… So far in every case the h265 video file has ended up larger… I can’t tell the difference in quality. I am using a quality factor of 21 simply because that is the point where I can’t see further improvement by decreasing the value below 22, so 21 gives me a little bit of breathing room should I ever need to reencode without re-ripping. The point is, until I actually start seeing some advantage to the h265 encoding, there would be no point in running out and buying new hardware to play h265.

    For 4K video h265 is essential. For 1080P it just seems like hype…

    • I just bought an Android streaming box which supports HEVC 10 bit. Awesome. Forget Handbrake, it does not offer enough options.

  13. Why is everyone bitching they can’t play this with their hardware? Do you not know you can play h265 with any laptop or PC with VLC Player installed and HDMI out? I use a 15′ HDMI cable from my HDMI output on my laptop to HDMI input on my tv to play h265 movies (72″ Samsung 4k 1080p plasma). The quality for a properly encoded 720p movie using h265 codec is not distinguishable from a the same resolution video on dvd. Arguably 1080p BluRays are slightly better quality. The real advantage (to me) for the h265 codec is the very small filesize (half that of h264 if encoded properly). I encoded/stored every single episode of the X-Files (9 seasons, 202 episodes + 2 full length X-Files feature films) into h265 and stored them onto ONE, yes 1 single BD-R blank media disc with a cost of about $2 a disc. Another big advantage is downloading times & data usage are cut in half the more people share h265 compressed video. Heck, a quick check of the torrent sites shows someone has already begun encoding the X-Files series in h265… season 1 is up in 1080p with 5.1 sound! ( google “The X-Files Season 1 S01 (1080p Web x265 HEVC AAC 5.1 Joy)[UTR] ” ). I probably shouldn’t have wasted 6 weeks encoding the entire series when I could have just downloaded it in a fraction of the time. I’m so excited about this CODEC!

    • The point is you still need a PC to play x265. With x264 encoded videos I can just stream them from my NAS or media servers(phone, tablet, wireless HDD, etc.) to my 50″ plasma TV without having to turn on the computer first. It makes things much easier.

    • ’cause some people wanna spend more time actually watching TV/movies, and less time f–ing with some stupid fragile computer setup in their living room. Especially when they have non-techies in their house who also wanna watch TV/movies. Swapped out an HTPC for a Roku a couple years ago and never looked back

  14. There are so many things wrongs with this article I don’t even know where to begin.
    Let’s get some things clears first:


    2)However, for very low bitrate settings, and sources that have flat colors such as digital animation, x265 indeed is much more efficient than x264 at encoding.

    Taking this two facts in account, it becomes obvious that at some point, the advantage of x265 efficiency shifts towards x264. The more detailed, grainy, random and difficult to encode the source is, the better the x264 will be (given enough bitrate to the encoder). However, at extremely low bitrates, x264 still fails in any scenario (think around about 400kbps for a 720p or 600kbps for 1080p. This numbers vary a lot depending of the encoding settings and the source, so take than as a rough generalization) and x265 will get the heads up.

    I’ve been doing several testes with x264 and x265 for both grainy film, and flat animaton in the past 6 weeks for a personal project, and I’ve found out, that it is not worth to use X265 at quality settings higher than 18~17, even at placebo settings, with flat sources, and even as low as 20~21 for grainy sources comparing to a equivalent size 2 pass x264 encode.

    However, for someone that actually thinks that HE-AAC, CRF23 and “YIFY” level of quality is acceptable, I’m not surprised with this article.
    Truth is, the general public don’t really have trained enough eyes. Lots of people cant even distinguish the extra quality a 1080p video vs 720p siting at one foot in front of a 55″ television, so there is no point on trying to convince that x265 is not good enough by pixel peeping. If one wants the absolute smallest possible filesize, something like less than 200 megabytes for a full hd half an hours live action series, and this level of quality is acceptable to you, than yes, there is advantage on going to x265.
    However, if you have any sort of higher standards, and think YIFY quality is too low, than don’t waste time downloading or encoding stuff at x265. Go with x264 all the way, since it is faster, better and has much more quality.

    You can get proper samples from here:

    Although x265 has improved since these tests were made, 1 year ago, it still is inferior to x264 at those levels of quality.
    Not to mention, encoding 1080p with placebo settigns, is abismal slow, less than 0.5fps on a Haswell i5. While a very slow setting with X264 will produce better results and be 4x faster to encode.

    I’m sorry if I sounded like a prick, but I got disturbed about how misinformative this article was.

    • if it is true h265 offers no advantage beyond rf18, then my bad for suggesting rf15 but I did say its a uneducated guess.
      unfortunately for you, the “general public” is the 1 billion users on youtube and the 36 million netflix subscribers, the reason yify is one of the top uploaders on pirate sites, and the recordings made by modern phone cameras. In every application stated above, h265 offers superior quality and/or bitrate vs h264.
      downloading files above 8gb is a niche market, when you fall into videophile territory there are few who follow. so yes, while h265 may or may not fail at rf18, to most people such high levels of quality would be irrelevant.
      ps. when talking about encoding, the encoding time is of minimal importance, because cpu speeds will increase and optimizations will come.

  15. I still find H264 better for encoding time/quality.

    You just need to use Handbrake with “H.264” with “Avg Birate: 3850” & contstant framerate with 2-Pass Encoding (Turbo First pass) size vs quality.

    I did it on H.265 & it came out the same size/quality then remembered to lower the bit rate as H.265 supposedly can have half the bit rate & the same quality but after doing 2000 kbps it still looked terrible sorry to say.

    Maybe I just have not found the sweet spot on H265 yet as it did take a while to find out the best size/quality for H264.

    • To add tried “RF 28” size is pretty low but it losses the grain of the video + some detail/quality when looking at the faces/hair like it has smoothed/removed wrinkles & you cannot even see the hair strands etc.

      If you want minimal quality loss & a 4GB video for 2.5hrs then handbrake settings below are amazing:-

      “Avg Birate: 3850” (Constant Framerate)
      2-Pass Encoding (Turbo First pass)

      This “3850” was not discovered by me but is supposedly used by popular streaming services & guessing a lot of research went into finding the best for size/quality.

      Just depends how much you want to sacrifice for space.

      When looking at the convert you will be hard pressed to notice really any difference vs blue-ray source.

      You will really have to stare at the video images side by side to even notice that there is even a difference on a good Samsung LED 27″ Monitor.

      When watching on LED TV 55″ Changhong it’s even harder to notice possibly because LED quality is not as good or because your sitting further away from the screen.

      • You have no idea what you are talking about.
        This arbitrary “3850” bitrate is completely BS. Different movies have different bitrate demands for a similar level of quality. What you want, is use a CRF setting. A decent start point is around CRF 20. YIFY shitty quality is equivalent to as low as 26~28. (the higher the CRF value, the lower the quality) But if you train your eyes you will start to bother a lot with detail lost with quality settings as high as CRF 20. I myself never go bellow CRF 18 for archival.
        CRF 18 on full hd 16:9 movies with a lot of grain and pans for 1h:47m movies usually will result in a filesize around 4~6gbs. But this may oscillate a lot depending of specific encoding settings and the level of movement, sharpness and amount of the noise of the original movies.

        Here is a hint from a professional: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A “UNIVERSAL SETTING” when dealing with video. You have to analyse each different source and tweak the encoding settings accordingly.

        Also, “LED quality is not as good”. Another empty statement: LED is not a display technology, its just a type of backlight. Edge LED backlight has poor white uniformity, but Direct RGB backlight LED is simply the best type of screen possible available. Anyway, there are PLENTY of excellent pre-calibrated consumer televisions quality-wise nowadays. LCD televisions usually suffer at black levels and a little bit on color accuracy, but this has almost nothing to do with noticing artifacts on a low quality transcoded video file.

        • Sephirotic’s comments are right on target. Constant bit rate of 3850 will be wasted on some source and inadequate for another. CRF 18 to 20 are good starting points. I would add two things:

          1. Other settings make a big difference, I’ve found. In Handbrake, you can greatly improve the result by tweaking in the “advanced” tab. (“Improvement” means better preservation of detail without increased output file size but at increased encoding time.)

          2. On some sources CRF 20 would be wasted, and you may want to go as high as 26 etc. These are sources that are already bad. E.g. some made-for-TV “studio” movies, or transfer from VHS tape. The “detail” on these sources may be artifices you don’t care to preserve.

  16. It’s almost a year later and I’ve started using it lately and I’ve got to say if you use it properly you can get WAY better quality than Yify at the same sizes. If you do it right you can still get good space savings at high quality compared to x264. Also if you want to see some “professional” relatively high quality encodes with good size savings you can check some done by Qman (I.e. Shadowhunters series which look great at crf22 with the added settings) Star Lord, and Joy (though Joybell does both “middling” and “high quality” encodes).

    Just a reminder to some of the other posters. Remember that CRF in x265 is the opposite. Higher number means lower quality in x265 and obviously lower number = higher quality.

    • YIFY quality is shit, and even their settings are shit for their low bitrate encodes. it’s very easy to create better quality encodes than theirs. There is no such this ans “professional” transcoders, because that is not a real job. The best “encoders” around are usually around closed trackers and in the Japanese Animation scene.

      CRF 22 is too low quality, and x265 is still worse than x264 in pretty much every situation at higher quality setting (around CRF 20~18 and better), specially for FILM and Grainy sources. (which are 99% of hollywood movies) These are facts, you should do better research.

      • Also, what makes a good encoder good, is not even the ability of choose the best encoding settigns or even the best sizexquality ratio sweetspot, because there are no such sweetspot as quality perception for motion image is very subjective. What makes an encoder good, is it’s ability to pre-process the video with proper filters and not fuck up settings and colorspace. (With pretty much EVERY wannabe encoder do, even famous “encoders” like YIFY fucks up colorspace every so ofter).

  17. I’ve subscribed to this thread. There seems to be some controversy but that’s not my reason for writing.

    The comments about washed out video made my ears prick up.
    I am currently engaged with a dvd from a black and white 35 mm archive source which has not been restored (restored vs remastered– restored is removing film artifacts by an expert archiving source.) It could be remastered but it it looks pretty raw yet.

    My encode attempts in Handbrake have given the washed out look in this black and white content. How can I deepen the image and do any sharpening possible? Please give all the settings. I could supply a MediaInfo log but I don’t know if you do that sort of detailed help.

    These techniques take me one step beyond just using defaults. I am not an encoding expert. I have MeGUI but have avoided its complexity as an unskilled user.


    • If you use high-tier:no-strong-intra-smoothing in the extra option in Handbrake or –high-tier –no-strong-intra-smoothing on command line you get the same quality as x264, but encoding takes ten times more than with x264 and you might only gain 10% saved space. Currently you are better off using x264 –preset veryslow –crf 21, and if you source is film use –tune film. If it is very grainy use –tune grain. If you really want to archive.

      If you are unskilled you are better of with handbrake, easy to use, works very well. Choose .mkv as container, x264 as codec, crf 21 (or lower if you want insane quality, but that doesn’t help), “x264 preset” very slow, “x264 tune” film (you can try grain there too). For audio use flac or auto-passthrough, I’d recommend the latter if you don’t know whether it is 5.1 or something else in the source.
      If the source is DVD, and you only need a part of it you can use Avidemux in copy mode with target container .mkv to concatenate the .VOB files (drop one after the other in avidemux, it appends the vidos by default) and remove things like menus.

  18. Any special instructions for use of Vidcoder vs. Handbrake? I’ve gravitated to the Vidcoder redesign of Handbrake because RandomEngy has added a cpu throttle which does not max out the cpu allowing for some other small tasks like listening to net radio.

    I found that reading the old Yify Secrets and then here that I’m mixing in at least one command at “Denoise” NL- medium -Film setting for my black and white movie serial episodes (current task,) Will you have a canonical set of instructions for the inexperienced?

    Still trying to pull it all together in Vidcoder.

    • I didn’t know vidcoder up to now. Just checking the 2.24 Beta version, and it looks [b]very[/b] good since it takes over the chapters into MKV and does the .vob concatenation of the whole DVD in background. The encoding settings are (of course) the same. Usually I don’t denoise old BW movies, but sometimes I send them through deshaker to get rid of the small shakings inherent to old cameras.
      No matter how much you know, be always ready for something you haven’t seen yet 😉

    • He gave good advices, but the problem with the “washout” colors in handbrake is because handbrake don’t deal with colorspace conversion properly. Ideally, for a DVD source you should specify a colors primaries of BT601, while for HD content, BT709. Handbrake don’t manage this settings and don’t even have the options for color primaries tags on it’s advanced tab, you must type it manually on the cli input. Last time I used handbrake and typed manually the bd color primaries: –colorprim bt709 –range tv –primaries bt709 it didn’t even work properly. Only way to be sure to have proper color reproduction is using Avisynth + megui and specify the color primaries on Megui advanced settings as well as using a DGIndex with color primaries plus ConvertTo (matrix=”rec601″) in the case of mpeg2 and DVDs.

      If you don’t know what color primaries is, check out the wikipedia page:

      I know this is a lot of info to process, but this deal of washed out colors is quite annoying to get properly

  19. Where then is the deshaker found? I noticed some of that at the beginning of my content which appears to be some sort of digitized version from an archived 35 mm. Not from the Internet Archive though.

    Also there are tips here on using the command line (CLI) but in Vidcoder
    I haven’t seen how to open it.

    Example: how would I put in the very simple threads=1 instruction to Vidcoder
    current Beta?

    • I’d say in the extra options box in the lower right of the of the video tab? Deshaker is a virtualdub plugin. Not easy to use, can give very good results. Both easy to find with any search engine. I rarely go to command line level today, mostly for ffmpeg. The time I used 20+ command line x264 parameters was before they added –preset and –tune options which gave me better results with less haggling, and then the vfw version of x264 came along and many other programs.

  20. Ok. I’ll look again. The moderator has to tell us if we’re being too chatty.

    But I can’t recall the other WordPress site mentioned in the Secrets of Yify– something related to archive qualities.

  21. Yes I have since seen the box and entered threads=1, don’t know what that did.

    I’m back to get advice on black and white 35 mm so-called remastered (or maybe just duplicated) to dvd encodes to hdd. For comparison I’m looking at a restored edition of a silent film. Restoring is not possible for me. But on this b/w encode from dvd does anyone have special settings like the film and grain ones in filters or other enhancements for black and white and depth of
    image? Gray scale? I may have spoken incorrectly of what I think is washed out. That may only apply to the cases of color discussed above.

    Add that to the small Yify output settings being discussed and perhaps give
    the settings for all the elements. I seem to be changing too many settings at once since these encodes of even 30 min segments/chapters take a couple hours.

    • You mean over 50yo 35mm films? Old film stocks were very noisy and had poor detail retention, If you want to transcode from a DVD source, it’ll make things even more complicated as many older film rescans where interlaced and poorly Denoised. MPEG2 DVD standard don’t have enough bitrate to preserve grain properly even at 720×480 resolution.

      nevertheless for h264, I’d suggest use FILM tunning (not grain tuning, just film), no-mbtree (disable it), and 4 or 5 b frames, Regarding being greyscale, there is no point in encoding it in native grayscale (4:0:0 colorspace). Do a little bit of reading about video colorspace (yv12, y8, 4:4:4, 4:2:2, 4:2:0 and 4:0:0-> greyscale) and you understand that forcing video into greyscale will save less than 16.67% of redundant data, and this redundant data is detected by avisynth anyway and chopped away without needing to force greyscale. Even if it was possible to force x264 to encode into 4:0:0 (which is not), this would kill compatibility outside a PC, no hardware decoder has support for 4:2:0.

      Apart from that, if you don’t have knowhow or time to manually adjust the exposition (levels, aka: brightness, contrast and gamma) scene by scene, which is a massive undertake, then don’t mess with colors or brightness. If you think the movie could have brightness “pulled up” by looking a couple of scenes without a RGB Parade (histogram), be sure that there would be other scenes where you will clip the whites, so just don’t touch it.

      You just need to make sure, that when you are encoding from a DVD source, you preserve the bt601 (409)color space, to make sure of that,

      Here an excerpt from x264 help:

      –range Specify color range [“auto”]
      – auto, tv, pc
      –colorprim Specify color primaries [“undef”]
      – undef, bt709, bt470m, bt470bg, smpte170m,
      smpte240m, film, bt2020
      –transfer Specify transfer characteristics [“undef”]
      – undef, bt709, bt470m, bt470bg, smpte170m,
      smpte240m, linear, log100, log316,
      iec61966-2-4, bt1361e, iec61966-2-1,
      bt2020-10, bt2020-12

      Make sure to set –transfer and colorprim bt470m for NTSC and bt470bg for pal. Range into TV. Also would be a good idea to use megui instead of handbrake and use DGIndex to index the DVD’s vobs and thus get the colormatrix data from it.

      Here an script example:

      LoadPlugin(“C:\Programas SAC\VIDEO e AUDIO\megui\tools\dgindex\DGDecode.dll”)
      DGDecode_mpeg2source(“C:\EVA eps\Ep1 broadcast.d2v”, info=3)
      LoadPlugin(“C:\Programas SAC\VIDEO e AUDIO\megui\tools\avisynth_plugin\ColorMatrix.dll”)
      ColorMatrix(hints=true, interlaced=true, threads=0)
      LoadPlugin(“C:\Programas SAC\VIDEO e AUDIO\megui\tools\avisynth_plugin\TIVTC.dll”)

      With color matrix properly loaded and already a basic deinterlace plugin.

      Check the avisynth wiki to get started on installing it and its plugins.


      • I’ll take what hints I can from this extensive reply and with thanks. For a 50 year old film on dvd, h264 should then be used rather than the subject of the topic which is h265?

        I have changed VidCoder to FILM and Medium in the Filters section.
        Still have Constant Quality (CQ) set to 25.

        Maybe rather than trying to perfect the image that I see, the viewer could
        adjust the brightness up or down to reveal detail. I’ve been looking at the depth of the blacks on borders vs the blacks on the image– how deep (saturated) each is.

        Will also get MeGUI updated to current though the help files for that are extensive but (for me) not well written. It does not seem well- supported these days.

        • >should then be used rather than the subject of the topic which is h265?
          Ow, this depends. The big point here is that, hevc is not always better than x264. I have made a commentary before about how h265 IS ONLY BETTER than h264 at very low bitrate videos and preferably WITHOUT GRAIN. Hevc is bad for retaining fine texture and grain detail compared with x264. However, at very low bitrates, pictures always get smudged anyway with x264 and thus this disadvantage disappears from hevc.

          Lossy video is all about a compromisse of Size vs Quality. Choosing between h264 vs h265 depends on what level of quality vs size you find acceptable. My personal recommendation is for you to test it yourself. Encode a small 2 minutes clip of the source you want to transcode in h265 at around CRF 20~22 (try to find a 2 minute clips with balanced movement and static scenes to be an “average” sample of the overall movie. A very static scene needs much less bitrate than pans or scenes with blur and the camera moving around). If you find the quality acceptable, then go with x265. (remember that CRF is a “quality” setting, instead of fixed bitrate, it gives a fixed quality with near-unpredictable filesize. The lower the CRF, the HIGHER the quality).
          Then check the average bitrate. Say, it was around 900kbps (remember those are bits not bytes. Multiply it for the whole movie; for a 2h 23mins movie this would be 8580 seconds, times 112kiloBYTES per second, you get 960,960 kilobytes, /1024 -> that is a 938 megabytes for the video. Remember those are just approximations.)
          If you think you would prefer a little bit more quality and the consequently higher (bitrate) filesize is acceptable, then don’t lower the CRF of the HEVC further down to 18 or even 19. At those level of qualities, SPECIALLY FOR GRAINY SOURCES, x264 is STILL BETTER, and you also get the bonus of near universal compatibility from H264. if you want a little bit better quality than hevc at CRF 20, then try X264 at CRF 19. (keep in mind that the level of CRF quality is not equal from x264 compared to x265. a Slow preset hevc at CRF 20, has smaller bitrate and worse quality than x264 at CRF20.. This is a wild generalization tough, the resulting quality also depends on some encoding settings another hit: Every around 5 CRF points for the same encoding settings, the bitrate will double ).
          Personally I’d recomendo for a SD 480p encode, to go as low as CRF 16 for x264, 18 maximum, and no more than 20~21 for HEVC.

          Another personal hint that I would give, is that with time, we tend to get more picky and demanding with the quality of reencoded video. If today you find CRF26 acceptable, (YIFY level of quality), if you keep encoding video and testing settings, in a couple of years you will rewatch the videos and find them blocky and smudged and if you don’t have the source anymore, regret not encoding at higher quality.

        • >Will also get MeGUI updated to current though the help files for that are extensive but (for me) not well written. It does not seem well- supported these days.

          MEGUI is the most complete stable and supported X264 gui with Avisynth integration around, period. The only way to get (a little) better control and quality is to write avisynth scripts and directly feed them with Command line to the x264.exe encoder using AVS2x264.exe.

          It’s true, tough, that the help for megui leads too much to be desired, One would had to find a good beginners tutorial for avisynth and megui to start venturing with it. Handbrake and Vidcoder are indeed, better alternatives, but I had problems with incorrect colorspace with handbrake before, and that (incorrect color space) is the primary cause for washed out/greyed colors beginners are plagued with. I don’t know if vidcoder has the same issues, but I’m skeptical of anything else besides megui to proper deal with color primaires. Best way to avoid issues is to double check the input and output formats on megui (and avisynth).

          Anyway, fiddle around some more, any other questions I will find the commentary reply on my email. Good luck.

  22. Thank you. But no, thank you. I will not stop using x264. Even though I agree it’s not the most efficient code out there, it is by far the most compatible with most modern devices in terms of hardware support. X265, while impressive in its encoding efficiency and thus the superior quality/size ratio it offers, virtually no devices or players support it natively in the real world yet (as to my knowledge) except PCs.

    • @Bocheng
      X265 IS WORSE than x264 at crf quality above 18 (on x265), specially with grainy source.
      IRL, this mean even a 4gb 1080p rip modern 1h47m movie will look better in x264, at the same filesize or lower than x265. There is still too much myth and misinformation exaggerating H265 efficiency.

        • Can you even interpret text? This is precisely why I added the (on x265) parenthesis. I was pointing that at CRF 18 the size x quality ratio of HEVC gets inferior to X264 at the same BITRATE for pretty much all regular encoding settings. settings. I never claimed there is an equivalency to CRF, there is no no direct equivalent, in fact your 23 vs 28 figure is also meaningless depending of the tuning of both encoders, my generalizations are pretty rough for people that have no idea about video encoding. I’m was not going to explain, for example, how mbtree makes the filesize about 20~30% smaller for similar encoding settings and the same CRF in x264 but also makes the image worse for high grainy source. This is too advanced for a commentary section of such a layman misleading article. I’m just trying to minimize the damage of people using HEVC when there is no need to.

  23. I stopped back in here to see if anything more developed with specific settings or new ones for the yify technique.

    But I have a question about processing encodes and the current tools
    which can improve completion of the long ones.

    SATA and M.2 SSD’s are out there. The M.2’s are exceedingly more expensive but a four- fold improvement is claimed for some applications.

    Has anyone used these in the real world of encoding where the M.2 or SSD
    has both program content such as Handbrake or Vidcoder and a target file?

    Thinking this through I can see a bottleneck at the DVD side for operational
    improvement where a direct encode is done from disk. But what are the opinions on the solid state devices from users here?

    Also any link pointers to some — not benchmarks– but user site forums that may cover this.

    I broached the question on already.

    • Disk writting speed is virtually irrelevant for a good encode. A encode with decent setting will usually be several times slower than realtime even in high end Octa Core I7. So you are looking at around 500kilobytes per second of writting data.

      Proper information about encoding you can find in Doom9’s forum.
      x265 is still worse than x264 in decent configurations, This article is misleading.

  24. Hi Yan D,

    Thank you for your info.

    I’ve just converted a 32 gb “Zero Dark Thirty” 1080p mkv file to 720p x265 mp4 file with Handbrake.
    The duration of the movie is around 150 minutes.
    The encoding time is around 65 minutes.
    The resulted mp4 file is 980 mb.

    Playback is using MPC-HC with 42 inch LG-TV display.
    Though of course there must be a quality difference, but I think to the “regular” eyes the video quality is good.

    Curious, I’ve converted another movie.
    This time is 11 gb 1080p mkv file and the duration is around 115 minutes.
    The encoding time is around 50 minutes, and the resulted 720p mp4 file is 716 mb.
    Again, the video quality looks good in the 42 inch TV display.

    I’ve saved 40 gb hard disk space.
    Thanks to you :).


  25. Hi, I have a question. When I encode a film, not from DVD, but from a single eg. mkv file, and I import the subtitles, the Hungarian subtitle always misses the so-called accent-marked characters, such as é,á,ü,ű, etc. What can I do to add a proper Hungarian subtitle?
    Thank you for your help in advance.

    • After encoding you have to use mkvmerge from mkvtoolsnix. . You throw in your encoded video, and you throw in the concatenated .VOB files. You may have to concatenate the .VOB files with ffmpeg, but you can try “copy File1.vob+File2.vob Result.vob” first which should work, but is not guaranteed to work. In mkvmerge you can select which video, audio and subtitles should be taken into the muxed mkv, it will copy the Hungarian subtitle “as is” from the DVD into the .mkv. It should work. I use similar Methods for DVB-S recordings with toggle-able subtitles in the .ts stream.

      • Hi, thank you for your answer, and I’m sorry I just realize I wasn’t specific enough. I encode with Handbrake using x265. When I encode a DVD (some might say it’s pointless since the source is not HD quality) the Hungarian subtitle is OK. But when I use a HD video source, eg a single .mkv file and I have to ‘import’ the subtitle file, the accent-marked characters, (é,á,ü,ű) are missing. I triend different subtitle settings (not all of them), ASCII for example. Isn’t there a subtitle setting in Handbrake that might work?
        Thank you for your help in advance.

        • Sounds like a text encoding problem to me. Possibly the subtitle file is ANSI and Handbrake requires UTF8. Try using a text editor like Notepad++ to check/change the text encoding. Open the subtitle file, check drop down menu Encoding (possible ANSI is checked), select all = Ctrl-A, cut all = Ctrl-X, choose UTF w/o BOM from the Encoding menu, paste all = Ctrl-V, save and try importing that file into Handbrake. If that doesn’t work try other text encoding combinations for source and export/import.

  26. This is not on the same topic as the subtitle marks and no high jack intended.

    What are the best yify style settings for an 8 Gb anime ,mkv to recode to
    a much smaller size? I’ll take suggestions to go to another forum if that’s better. It’s a new area for me. I’ve never seen a lot on it at

    • A few things. You mentioned above about using the “threads -1” option but not knowing what it did. I didn’t see a response to this, sooo…. It tells the encoding program to only use 1 thread of your CPU instead of trying to use all of them. I know the Secrets of YIFY article you are talking about. His point for using this option doesn’t sound like a good fit for you. It will make your encodes take several times longer than without the option. His point was using that option AND setting up multiple (1 for each logical processor your computer has) separate encodes simultaneously will result in 100% CPU usage at a time instead of something like 60-90%, thereby effectively encoding all of them faster. However, this will make your computer less usable because you no longer have the CPU headroom to do other things, AND it doesn’t apply anyways if you are trying to copy/rip video from a DVD. Unless you have 4 DVD/BD drives in your computer and can simultaneously rip from each of them, but I could probably use my fingers & toes to count how many people have 4 DVD/BD drives in their computer…

      As for the YIFY settings, as sephirotic stated above several times, YIFY settings really aren’t that great. I’m assuming when you say 8GB anime MKV, you mean that is the source file, not what you want to encode to, correct? So you want to make it smaller? Then I also assume we’re talking about a 1080p BluRay rip, not a DVD, correct? Because, while I have seen settings which can produce an 8GB DVD rip, they are a complete waste. So assuming my above assumptions are correct…. My personal settings are something like this (using Handbrake):

      On the Video tab:
      Leave the source resolution & aspect ratio untouched, unless you need to crop the video (say, to remove letterboxing which has been encoded into the video) or actually want to resize the video or change the aspect ratio (which I rarely do).
      If you don’t want to change resolution or aspect ratio, set Anamorphic to Strict, then set Cropping to Custom & set all fields to 0 (unless removing letterboxing or something, in which case it depends on the source).
      If you want to change resolution or aspect ratio for some reason, set Anamorphic to None. You’re on your own after that because it will all depend on what you want.
      On the Filters tab:
      Set Detelecine, Denoise, & Deblocking to Off, then set Decomb to Decomb & Default. You may need some of these, depending on any problems with your source, but this is a good place to begin. You’ll need to do more research for this on your own, as it depends on your specific sources & problems.
      For the Video tab:
      I use the x264 codec still (agreed with others above).
      I set Framerate to Constant & Same as source. There can be some benefits to setting Variable framerate, but not enough in my opinion to counter the reduced compatibility with players & other potential issues. Same as source assumes you are encoding within the same region, such as NTSC to NTSC. I’m guessing that may confuse you, but you’ll need to do some research on that. It basically boils down to if you are watching video encoded for the US, you probably want to keep it encoded for the US. But if you have a UK encoded video (PAL), then you may want to change it to be US encoded video and will need to change the framerate. There are other uses, such as cutting 60fps video to 30fps, which will save on file size if you don’t mind potentially losing quality, especially in action shots with fast movement.
      I set the x264 Preset slider to Medium. I have tried Slower and found no noticeable increase in quality, a mere 5-15% decrease in file size, and 2.5-3x longer encoding times. I tried Faster and found a slight (almost unnoticeable) decrease in quality, similar file sizes, and encoding times were nearly as long as Medium or even as long.
      For the x264 Tune, I either use None, Film, or Animation. None is safe to use generally, but if 1 of the presets here applies to what you are encoding, try it out.
      For the H.264 Profile & Level, I set them both to Auto. These allow all your other settings to take effect as much as possible. Setting these to other settings will restrict what settings your encoding is allowed to use, so you may end up with bigger/smaller files or better/worse quality, depending on how you set these. Auto allows you to get what you want out of your other settings.
      For quality, I generally use Constant Quality with an RF of 20 for DVD or 22 for BluRay. I really don’t care for the Average Bitrate option. Some people swear by it, but read up on it and you will find it generally won’t provide as good of quality or as small a file as the Constant Quality option, because not all scenes in a movie need the same bitrate to achieve the same quality but will use it anyways if you use the Average Bitrate option.
      Oh, and a big one. For myself, I only use MP4, NOT MKV, because I have had problems with nearly every MKV file I ever tried to play, regardless of which program I tried to play it with (my favorite being VLC). Things like the video frequently becoming very pixelated/blocky/etc, or losing audio altogether, or, or… The video problems sometimes happened on their own, though the audio problems didn’t seem to as much), but something *always* went wrong when I tried to skip forwards or backwards in the video, which made it more irritating if I was 10 minutes (or an hour) in to a video and something went wrong because I then had to watch it all over. F*@# that.
      For audio, I usually use Auto-Passthru because it effectively copies the audio in most cases. However, if you’re picky, I sometimes force AC3 (most people would probably do AAC) if Handbrake doesn’t like the original audio and picks something I don’t like to encode it to, which means a 2nd encode of the video…. Unless you force it up-front, anyways.
      For subtitles, up to you if you want all of them or none of just English. I’m still working out these settings myself now, as I recently noticed something odd about the output files if I used the Foreign Audio Scan with Forced Only option. That is supposed to give subtitles ONLY when necessary (if the source had subtitles only when necessary), such as if there is untranslated audio or text on the screen in small parts of the movie but most of it is in English. Otherwise, add all the English tracks (or whatever language you want).
      For Chapters, I would suggest leaving the Create Chapter Markers option set.

      After you set all of these options, I suggest adding this as a new overall Preset, which you do by clicking the Add button in the bottom-right corner of the window, under the Presets pane. This way, you just click it again later to configure Handbrake with all these settings again. You can do this for different types of encoding, such as 1 preset for BluRay, another for DVD, etc. Though, DVDs could be anamorphic or have forced letterboxing, so you may end up with several for DVDs.

      Finally, I suggest reading through this:

    • Whoops, accidentally let a typo go out in that. Eh, I was tired.
      More importantly: For the love of whatever you love, please do NOT leave Burn-in selected on any subtitles. I don’t know why, but Handbrake loves automatically checking 1 of the subtitle options to burn-in. This removes the option of it being an option and encodes it directly into the video so it will ALWAYS be there.

  27. I personally prefer x265(crf 30) + opus(32k) for webinars on any speech recordings. It making ~200kbps mkv files. (1 hour of webinar = 100mb).
    For better quality footage crf 25 + opus 50k, for regular movies (720-1080) crf 23 + opus 50k, and for high-ass (like Last samurai 15GB file) – crf 19 and opus 96. (Resulting 2.3GB file with same quality)

    • CRF 23 is pretty low quality even for 1080p source. I wouldn’t go Higher than CRF 21 for 1080p or 20 for 720p with hevc.
      Also, OPUS is nice for low very bitrate and all, but I wouldn’t use it for archiving movies, as compatibility outside windows or android would be a problem, and 96 is the absolutely barely minimum i’ll find acceptable for music and movies and since AAC is much more compatible all around and not that much less efficient, with QAAC at around 110~128kbps for stereo sources it would already be pretty transparent and a more reasonable source than OPUS.

  28. H.265 is nowhere near becoming a standard – people want lossless these days – not more compression. The shift from AC3 to DTS – Mp3 to FLAC – H.265 is an early familiar solution – there will be better ones down the road and those looking to save space should go with the trend of just getting more space. Amazon offering unlimited Cloud storage and PLEX running entirely from that Cloud and you not needing to buy more HDs is a game changer ….. Think more space – not less detail 😉

    • Wow. I’m amazed. At how narrow-minded you are. What if somebody doesn’t have access to good internet where they live? Cloud storage is thrown out the window & your entire solution becomes irrelevant. What if their internet has a ridiculous data limitation on it? An old service provider I used gave me 100GB per month. I could blow through that easily just doing things to help me in my job, now try adding HD video streaming to it. Doesn’t work. And many people are stuck with worse, low-end DSL which doesn’t have the bandwidth to do what you suggest, or cellular internet which has incredibly low data limits (4GB/month, 10GB/month, etc). SOME places have great internet, such as 100Mbps-1Gbps with no data limit, but those tend to be major cities, which does not include most people.

      Further, BOTH aspects of your solution require ongoing payments to 2 different services. 1-2 years of your solution will easily cost more than buying an extra 4-8TB HDD. Expanding local storage capacity (more HDDs in your PC) is a 1-time cost option, and there are several good, free DLNA media servers to serve media over their network (or even stream over the internet, if they have good enough internet to do so, but that goes back to why your solution may not work in the 1st place).

      Also, regardless of the logic, people can *choose* how they want to do something by which option they feel will meet their needs better OR by a simple matter of preference. It doesn’t make either option wrong. Personally, I can’t stand cloud services for many reasons. If they work for you, fine, but don’t act as though that solution is the obvious solution for EVERYBODY, because it isn’t. It isn’t even the obvious solution for the majority of people.

    • Lossless for video?! Not even professional cameras costing up to 50 thousand dollars can deliver full lossless video! You are insane and have no idea what you are talking about! Lossy codecs, despite the misleading definition their classification carries, given enough bitrate, will be 99,9% of time indistinguishable from the original source for 100% of people, even trained professionals. Most people don’t even know what “lossless” mean. Please do some research about Double Blind tests and transparency.

  29. No no no, you have to compare for equal speed… So crank x264 to very slow or whatever gives you the same speed as your x265 test. Once you find that x264 post which is similar speed….
    Take that same order and run 2 pass with the x265 bit rate you had… It will find the cq to match bit rates and then
    You can compare quality at the same speed and bit rate easily.

    • Speed is irrelevant. wav file is unbeatable in terms of “encoding” speed, but file size is shit since it is uncompressed. if you need real time or time-sensitive encoding, look elsewhere. The objective here is high compression encoding for long term storage and distribution that isn’t time sensitive, and it is assumed any time you spend doing the encoding is acceptable.

      • Yes so why not use very slow x264 preset instead of ultrafast which has been known to be inefficient,placebo is garbage imho lol

      • Your article spurred me to test x265 quality comparison at very low bitrates.
        I just ran a test overnight, Westworld ep9, 1080p x264 10mbit source very clean
        Using vidcoder, same as handbrake core.
        My goal was archiving, 720p with ultralight denoising hqdn3d. and lanczos resizer (default)
        500kbit video, 64 kbit HE-AAC nr=1000 (a good x264 tweak to take grain out but non existent on x265)
        First test to find the fps comparable between x264 and x265
        x265 at medium preset gets similar fps to x264 at very slow in testing.
        (I peeked at the final logs for 2nd pass, both around 25 fps avg on my i5-2500k @4.5ghz)

        So, ran both runs, using 2 pass to ensure bitrate. 2 pass is not the same as average- it does a run to guess the CQ needed for bitrate and then 2nd pass runs the CQ = X to get the target, from what I read.

        Both files are 242 MB +- 500 kb.
        x265 [info]: frame I: 995, Avg QP:18.13
        x265 [info]: frame P: 19763, Avg QP:21.51
        x265 [info]: frame B: 63459, Avg QP:28.19
        Weighted Average with all frames: 26.3

        x264 [info]: frame I:789 Avg QP:22.39
        x264 [info]: frame P:18742 Avg QP:26.19
        x264 [info]: frame B:64686 Avg QP:28.06
        Weighted Average with all frames: 27.59

        Quality testing, subjective of course….
        The x265 is more smoothed out, at some parts faces less detail
        BUT x264 sometimes has small artifacts which can be fake detail
        Motion scenes are similar, where x264 will show artifacts at times instead of blur.
        But overall static scenes x264 seems a bit sharper… So perhaps x265 gets most of its boost by a denoiser.
        Maybe if I ran a higher denoise things would be similar?

        So, that was my point, run both codecs on comparable terms- bitrate and speed.
        x264 veryslow vs x265 medium

        • That was a good methodology for comparison in a particular scenario using 2 passes with the same bitrate. What tuning did you use on x264? Default? Anyway, what I would have expected for such low bitrates was for x265 to win, but you did use only the medium preset on HEVC. I’m not really interested in a speed to speed comparison, because a high quality encode for archival purposes should not worry about speed. I don’t see much point in using HEVC at medium setting, you will sacrifice compatibility with a loss in efficiency, might as well stick with x264. At medium speed it doesn’t surprise me that even in such low bitrates, HEVC would lose to x264, although you didn’t use a denoiser with HEVC, which should be ideal for a better apples to apples comparison. You should definitely give a try on setting up HQDN3D and SMDegrain (a higher quality alternative) with avisynth and megui. I suspect that if you do a slower encode with HEVC with a proper denoiser, It would be better at that bitrate than the x264. Although you did use a 10mbit rip for the westworld series. I don’t know in what westworld was filmed, I assume digital with no fake grain instead of film, but if you really are interested in finding the best compromise in quality x size, I suggest you get some proper raws for the test, digital imagery with no fake grain is much easier on the encoders than proper grained 35mm film, and 99% of release groups out there in the internet don’t know how to deal with grain properly, So I’d get an untouched grainy source and an unotuched digital source myself and redo those tests. You will find that different samples need different settings: The FILM tune on x264 works very well at 35mm sources while x265 fail miserably. Tough I’d never go so low as 500kbps for grain myself for live action, you must degrain if you are encoding at low settings ( anything bellow 5kbps~8kbps). I think the lowest I’d ever go for archival is around 2000kbps for a series I don’t even like that much and don’t look particularly good either.

          Anyway, I digress. What I have found about x265 while testing the limits at what I think x264 still looks better, is that around CRF 18, slower setting in HEVC, x264 at the same resulted filesize would tend to look less smoothed with some more detail preserved but DIRTIER due to artifacts. However, After comparing with the original sources, where some did look like “fake detail”, the x264 versions tended to look more detailed albeit dirtier. And I prefer that look than the exaggerated oversmooth from x265. Bellow that, x265 would start to look better at some scenes than others.

          I also did a different more thorough test trying to make HEVC look better with different tunings I used CRF 20 for x265 as a baseline using the blu ray from star wars tfa, resulting bitrates were around 5000kbps at 1080p. I was able to tune the settings of x265 to considerably improve the detail and grain retention of it making it actually look better than x264 than with the default tune, which it looked worse.
          Interesting enough, with the default x265 settings, the high detail and movement scenes looked pretty bad even at 5000kbps (at least for my taste), and a DOWNSCALE 720P ENCODE AT 5000KPS IN x264 LOOKED BETTER in 90% of the scenes, except the most static ones than a 5000KPS 1080p default slower HEVC encode. Mind you, I didn’t degrain the original blu ray at all something which realistically should be done at anything bellow 8000kps for a proper release. The conclusion of this test is that x265 has the potential to further beat x264 at higher settings with a proper FILM tuning, but the default tuning still needs to be vastly improved and is unacceptable for live action use as high as 5000kbps for a 35mm grainy high movement 2.40 source such as star wars.

          So indeed, it may be possible to make x265 look better at even high more accpetable bitrates with further tweaking and tuning the encoder, but the default tuning setting for x265 is still suboptimal and tend to oversmooth things too much.

          Indeed, the x265 tend to oversmooth things more than x264, while x264 looks dirtier with more artifacts, but It usually end up saving more detail at least in the tests I performed when x264 start to be better than x265, but this occur only around CRF 17 for HEVC, where bitrates will be nearly twice to what you tested. At 500kbps I expect HEVC to be better (less worse) if you give it better settings, even at SD resolution, but still awfully bitstarved anyway.

          By the way, I personally completely hate the artifacts of SBR in HE AAC mode. I rather go 96 kbps with LC for very low bitrate releases. If I really must go with 64kbps, then i’d rather ditch AAC completely and switch to opus, although that may not be practical for compatibility purposes. I usually find the extra 32kbits always worth the gain in quality for audio anyway.

          • With the older handbrake or vidcoder you get fdk-aac, which is on par with Nero and quick time’s quality. They lost ability to keep it in open source, so the faac he does sound bad.

            I used tune film. X264 option: Nr=1000 helps with grain of you want to try
            In most of my encodes I use hqdn3d. Custom setting 1 1 1 8 8 8 for 720p and up. And 0 0 0 5 5 5 for 480 and below.

  30. I basically use Vidcoder and VLC Media Player to encode videos but i recently started using Handbrake and it is giving way better results than both vidcoder and VLC media player. The only flaw is it uses lot of CPU but it’s fast. You should update the post too as there are lot of new features added like Opus Audio etc….

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