Whats the difference between x264 and x265 video formats ?

x265 and x264 are both video compression formats that are used to compress video files to make them smaller in size without compromising on quality. However, there are some key differences between the two formats:

  1. Compression efficiency: x265 is more efficient than x264 when it comes to compression. It can compress videos to a smaller file size while maintaining the same level of quality. This means that x265 files are typically smaller in size than x264 files, making them easier to store and share.
  2. Quality: Both x265 and x264 are considered to be high-quality video compression formats. However, x265 is considered to be the better of the two when it comes to preserving the quality of the original video. It uses a more advanced compression algorithm and is able to retain more of the original video’s detail and color.
  3. Hardware support: x264 is more widely supported than x265, as it has been around for longer and is more widely adopted. This means that x264 files can be played on a wider range of devices and platforms. x265 is more recent and not as widely supported but it is quickly gaining popularity.
  4. Licensing: x264 is free to use and distribute, but x265 is subject to a GPL-like license and can be used for free only for non-commercial usage.
  5. Bit depth: x265 supports a bit depth of 8-bit and 10-bit while x264 supports 8-bit only. 10-bit support allows for a wider range of colors and greater color depth. This can result in better image quality, especially when working with high-resolution or high-dynamic-range (HDR) videos.
  6. Encoding time: x265 is generally slower than x264 when it comes to encoding. Because of the more advanced compression algorithm used in x265, it can take longer to compress a video file.
  7. Codecs: x265 is a part of the HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) standard, which is also known as H.265. x264 is a part of the AVC (Advanced Video Coding) standard, also known as H.264. HEVC is more recent and has more features, it is considered to be more advanced than AVC.
  8. Player support: Some media players may not support x265 codecs, especially older ones, but more and more players are adding support for x265.
  9. Streaming and online distribution: x265 is more suitable for streaming and online distribution because of its smaller file size and better compression efficiency. This means that videos in x265 format will take up less bandwidth, which is crucial for streaming videos over the internet.
  10. Compatibility with editing software: Some video editing software may not support x265 format natively, which means that you may have to convert the videos to x264 before editing. This can add extra steps and time to your workflow.
  11. Future proofing: x265 is considered to be the future of video compression as it offers better compression efficiency and quality. This means that videos encoded in x265 will be able to maintain their quality for longer and be more compatible with future devices and technology.
  12. Automation and batch processing: Some software and tools like ffmpeg, support batch processing of videos, this can automate the process of converting videos from x264 to x265. This can be useful for those who have a large number of videos to convert.

x265 is a newer and more efficient video compression format that can compress videos to a smaller file size while maintaining the same level of quality. However, it is not as widely supported as x264 and has licensing restrictions.

It’s worth noting that x265 is not always the best choice for all situations, it depends on the specific use case. For example, in some cases, the slower encoding time may not be worth the slightly smaller file size and the slight improvement in image quality. In those cases, x264 may be the better option.

In conclusion, both x265 and x264 are great video compression formats, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. The choice between the two will depend on the specific needs of your project, such as file size, image quality, and hardware support.