What Is the Difference Between H264 vs H265? Get the Answer!

What Is the Difference Between H264 vs H265?

What Is the Difference Between H265 and H265? Comparison between h265 vs h264 and original
Comparison between h265 vs h264 and original

Do you ever wonder why while watching your favorite shows your video is choppy, lags, and worst freezes? Read on and find out.  In the world of video, there are many questions concerning video standards such as 720P, 1080P, HDTV, HD, 4k, 8K, Mpeg4 vs svc, h.264 vs h.265,  AVC vs HEVC and so many more questions.  In this article, we will do our best to address some of these questions to give you the answer to the difference between h264 vs h265, AVC, HEVC and so much more that affects your viewing experience.

4k images and videos have become the standard across the globe when it comes to shooting videos and movies. In fact, it is the standard against which almost all major broadcast applications are judged, and it’s easy to see why. 4k images and video is considerably better than the standard 1080p video, and the difference in quality is just too much to ignore.

However, one of the primary requirements for viewing 4k video or images is that the transmission link must have a suitable bandwidth to allow for the appropriate streaming. For instance, if the transmission links are using standard H264, there is a chance that they will get overwhelmed with the higher bandwidth that is needed for 4k video. So essentially video image quality such as 720p, 1080p, HD, 4K requires transmission link standards such as H265 vs h264 to display the video or images properly.

Each one of us might have experienced this in one way or another. You might be watching a video or a movie online, and suddenly the frames catch up, and the movie freezes. It could even be the live stream of a sporting event, and the whole thing just gets stuck.

Obviously, this sudden loss in quality is frustrating, to say the least. Understanding the difference between h.264 vs h.265 is important for this reason. If you are going to do a comparison of h265 vs h264, you might need all the facts, and it’s imperative that you get a better idea of both before proceeding further. Let’s talk about them in detail.

What Is H264?

h264 codec

Before we talk about what is the difference between h264 and h265, let’s first focus and understand each of them properly. H.264 refers to Advanced Video Coding, also abbreviated as AVC. This is the industry standard used for video compression. It allows an average user to record, compress, and then distribute a wide range of digital video content.

It uses a block-oriented video compression standard that is known as macroblocks. Usually, each of these blocks has a 16 x 16-pixel sample. Obviously, all of this might sound a bit confusing, so the best way to understand this is to know that the algorithm used for H.264 can bring down the bit rates significantly when compared with the previous standards.

Another major advancement in H264 video compression standard was Scalable Video Coding (SVC). Specified in picture quality example on your left of H.264/SVC.  SVC allows the construction of bitstreams that contain layers of sub-bitstreams that also conform to the standard, including one such bitstream known as the “base layer” that can be decoded by a H.264/AVC codec that does not support SVC.  Essentially,  it enhances the picture quality of the image or video.

Currently, this video standard is used throughout the globe by a number of major services. It is used by a bunch of streaming sources and videos from iTunes and even YouTube uses this video standard.

You may ask the question regarding your favorite streaming service like Netflix.  What compression does Netflix use? The compression that Netflix uses is H.264/AVC High Profile and VP9 (profile 0).  It prioritizes video quality for low bandwidth internet connections with standard and high definition video with standard dynamic range.


What Is H265?

When comparing h.265 vs h.264, you also need to understand the key factors that set H265 apart.  There are encoders that can be used for both, so it might be a wise idea to check the comparison between the x265 vs x264 to understand how these encoders are different from each other.

One of the things that you should know is that the H265 video standard is considerably more advanced when compared with the H264 in a variety of ways. Whereas the H264 is known as Advanced Video Coding, the H265 is regarded as the High-Efficiency Video Coding. This is a considerably more advanced variant and it also allows for considerably more reduced file size.

As a result of that, the amount of bandwidth required is also reduced for the Livestream, which greatly reduces the choppiness in the videos and makes it easy for the videos to run smoothly for a longer period of time without breaking up. Whereas H264 uses macroblocks, this video standard makes use of units known as Coding Tree Units.

This allows it to efficiently stream video and process as much as 64 x 64 blocks seamlessly. Ultimately, this makes it much easier to stream video in a quicker and simpler fashion.

What Is the Difference Between H264 vs H265?

Difference Between H264 vs H265
Difference Between H264 vs H265

By now, you should already know the basics and the main difference between HEVC vs h264. Apart from the larger size of the Coding Tree Units, HEVC gives much better motion compensation as well as a spatial prediction than the AVC. However, you should know that this also means that High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) also needs much more powerful hardware.

But, if you have decided that it is capable of using the H265 video standard, you should know that it’s also going to allow you to watch the videos while consuming considerably less bandwidth and processing power. Ultimately, you will be able to watch a stream of the best quality without consuming as many resources.

This makes it easy for the average person to stream 4k media and video content on standard network speeds without having to upgrade their connection. Because of the fact that the HEVC standard is able to process video in such an efficient manner, you should know that it’s going to reduce bandwidth by a considerable margin.

Not only that, but it also results in much smaller file size. If you were to use the AVC standard, the average file size would be much higher. However, that’s not the case with the HEVC standard. So, when you do a direct comparison between AVC vs HEVC, it’s easy to see that HEVC is popular, faster, and of course, better on all accounts.

What Is the Difference Between HEVC Vs H264?

Difference Between HEVC Vs H264
Difference Between HEVC Vs H264, x264 vs xh265

As mentioned, HEVC is considerably better than H264 by a number of different margins. If you were to encode, you would just need an x264 vs xh265 encoder for the H264 standard, whereas, for the H265, you might want to consider a more powerful x264 encoder. Either way, it is important for you to make sure that you choose the right program.

How is the difference between the two so big? Let’s discuss a few important points. First of all, as discussed earlier, you should know that the compression ratio of H265 is considerably better, which is why you are able to watch 4k video without having to opt for files that are bigger than what you would like.

Furthermore, you should know that the intraframe motion prediction rate is also considerably higher. This leads to greater stability during the video recording and makes it easy for you to watch videos without having to worry about the stutters or jitters that you might have noticed in videos encoded using h264.

Then, you have a parallel processing feature. The parallel processing feature makes use of slices and tiles to independently decode the rest of the frame. Ultimately, this allows the average user to divide the whole thing into multiple parallel processing threads, which takes advantage of the increased power to quickly decode the video and provide greater stability.

As the video resolutions continue to increase, this kind of efficiency makes it easy for the average person to view high-quality videos without having to compromise on the hardware. You can easily watch 4k video that is developed using the h265 standard on lower-end hardware without having to worry about anything at all.

On top of that, the maximum frame size is also a bit higher on the h265 standard when compared with the h264.

What Is the Difference Between AVC vs HEVC?

Difference Between AVC vs HEVC
Difference Between AVC h.264 vs HEVC h.265

As mentioned above, AVC simply refers to Advanced Video Coding, also known as the H264 codec. On the other hand, the H265 video standard is referred to as HEVC. The differences between AVC and HEVC have been described above, so they are essentially the same differences. Basically, h26 is the older video standard; the H264 one, and the HEVC, known as the High-Efficiency Video Coding standard, is the newer one, also known as the H265 standard.

If you are going to stream videos, you should definitely consider opting for 4k videos that are encoded using the H265 standard. It is considerably better and the quality of the video overall is also much smoother. So, if you were to make a choice, you would obviously opt for the HEVC video standard.


Understanding the difference between both of these video standards is of the utmost importance. If you are going to work in the video processing industry, you have to make sure that you understand all the important details.   Even if you are an amateur video guy at home.  You can understand what h264 vs 265 streaming and compression standards are now while watching your favorite TV shows or movies on Netflix at home.

There are quite a few codecs nowadays that are used for encoding and decoding video, and you will need to brush up on your knowledge and understand the differences between the two. As technology continues to improve and advanced video quality becomes the standard, it is only likely that we will see more change in the way video is processed.

On top of that, you should know that video quality standards are also likely to change and evolve in the future. Currently, 4K video is quickly becoming the standard, but we have already seen 8K video being touted and used by professionals. In fact, 8K television sets have already been released by many major companies, though they are still unable to go mainstream and are currently quite expensive. But, as you already know, it doesn’t take long for technology to go mainstream, so this is a very dynamic industry that is going to change rapidly!


Leave a Comment