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My laptop can't handle 10bit H.265 / HEVC videos, so I'm looking to convert them to 10bit H.264. How do I do this using, say, ffmpeg, with the least quality loss? And how can I convert 10-bit H.265 to 8-bit H.265?

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Convert 10-bit H.265 to 10-bit H.264:

ffmpeg -i input -c:v libx264 -crf 18 -c:a copy output.mkv
  • libx264 will automatically to to match the pixel format of the input, so no extra parameters are needed.

  • The example uses -crf 18 which will likely appear visually lossless. If you want true lossless mode then then use -crf 0, but note this can create large files. See FFmpeg Wiki: H.264.

Convert 10-bit H.265 to 8-bit H.265:

ffmpeg -i input -c:v libx265 -vf format=yuv420p -c:a copy output.mkv
  • Uses the format filter to choose the yuv420p pixel format to create 8-bit output.

  • Adjust the -crf value to provide the desired level of quality. Default is -crf 28. See FFmpeg Wiki: H.265.

  • If you want lossless mode then then replace -crf with -x265-params lossless=1, but note this can create large files.

Convert 10-bit H.265 to 8-bit H.264:

ffmpeg -i input -c:v libx264 -crf 18 -vf format=yuv420p -c:a copy output.mkv
  • Uses the format filter to choose the yuv420p pixel format to create 8-bit output.

  • The example uses -crf 18 which will likely appear visually lossless. If you want true lossless mode then then use -crf 0, but note this can create large files. See FFmpeg Wiki: H.264.

  • What about 10bit x265 to 8bit x265? – HappyFace Dec 5 '18 at 21:52
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    @HappyFace Looks like I misread the question. I added that section. – llogan Dec 5 '18 at 21:57
  • Adding -map 0 to the commands above will preserve subtitles and other additional streams. – HappyFace Dec 7 '18 at 9:06
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Handbrake can handle most anything.

The release notes mention 10-bit support.

The UI has all the options. I suggest you start there and get familiar with it.
See quick start guide.

There is also a CLI that can be downloaded here.
And the guide that has all the options laid out.

  • Can you add the complete command? – HappyFace Dec 5 '18 at 14:46
  • Added links to post, start with the UI - it has a queue so you can load up an entire folder at once if needed. – BlueGI Dec 5 '18 at 14:58

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