I currently have a large collection of songs (regional) which are 1080p Remuxes from BluRays (these are not copyright protected FYI). I intend to compress them to save space as they are currently take terabytes of storage and very inefficiently encoded (some are even using constant bit rates (OMG! Right!)). The bit rates currently are in excess of 40mbps on x264 High Profile L4.1 so quality is still on par despite the bad encodes.

I intend to encode them using handbrake with x264 or x265 but I can't seem to decide on some factors. With x264, I would generally go with 'CRF 14/15' and 'Very Slow' preset and 'film tune'. At CRF 16, I can see distortion in the grain in some scenes which I don't like! As you can tell from CRF14, I'm kinda a quality freak.

With my initial testing with x265, I re-encoded using source with same bit rates as x264 CRF14 did (2-pass very slow preset ofcourse!) as I am not bothered to remap equivalent CRF with x265 at this point. The difference in quality was not that much for me except very slightly better grain in some scenes. Infact overall, x265 seemed to denoise the picture a bit despite any alterations I made to tune (denoising and decombing were disabled obviously). At lower bitrates however (~4mbps), x265 is definitely a mega-jump over x264. The quality difference is enormous!!

I know x265 is still in development stage but would you think there is any point in waiting for it to get better? I can wait a couple of months maybe an year for its CRF to become a bit better or with my high bitrate requirement (~CRF14 x264) would you say it won't make much of a difference with x265?

P.S. Encoding times and CPU usage are NOT an issue so ignore those factors plz.

  • HEVC requires a lot of CPU power. For playback, that is. Do you watch your videos on devices that rely on hardware decoding (TV, phone, tablet, ...)? – Daniel B Aug 3 '16 at 12:48
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    Like I said, CPU power and time is not an issue! Furthermore, compatibility is also not an issue! The only issue is quality. – Umer Aug 3 '16 at 14:01

Supposing that you're working with the latest stable release of handbrake 0.10.x, the x265 version used is 1.9

According to the facebook page of x265 project, the 2.0 version released the 13th of july has following 2 new features that you might love:

  • rc-grain: Enables a new rate control mode specifically for grainy content. Strictly prevents QP oscillations within and between frames to avoid grain fluctuations.
  • tune grain: A fully refactored and improved option to encode film grain content including QP control as well as analysis options.

I suggest that you wait that handbrake supports version 2.0. Or you might create a pull request maybe.

  • Thanks a lot for that.. That sounds amazing. I'll definitely wait for Handbrake to update the codec. I'll try the new features in the meantime with CLI. – Umer Aug 3 '16 at 14:02

I would go for h265. It is a much newer codec and has phenomenal quality with less size than h264.

Check out this site for a great comparison: http://www.extremetech.com/computing/162027-h-265-benchmarked-does-the-next-generation-video-codec-live-up-to-expectations/2

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    Thanks for the link but my query is regarding the developed state of H265 at this instant. The link is an article published in 2013 which doesn't really help! – Umer Aug 3 '16 at 14:04

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