HEVC, short for High-Efficiency Video Coding, also known as H265 and MPEG-H Part 2, is a video compression standard upgraded from AVC (H264). As the fastest video encoder in the world, HEVC is very popular among streaming artists, software developers, and gamers.

1. H264 vs H265

Why HEVC 265 codec is so popular? You have to know the differences between H264 vs H265 first. Here, I will compare them from such 7 aspects below. Continue to read and learn more about H264 vs H265.

H264 vs H265

🔎Difference between H265 and H264

Compress data ability: With the same video quality, HEVC codec saves 50% bitrate compared with H264, almost doubling the compression of H264.

Smaller size: With the same quality, H265 is smaller than H264. So start the H265 codec download to save more space.

Better quality: H265 supporting 4K and 8K provides a better video quality than H264 based on the same bit rate. Specifically speaking, H264 supports 16×16 pixel macroblocks while H265 codec allows for 64×64 pixel macroblocks. 

Intraframe prediction: H265 > H264. Based on the mathematical function to describe pixels, H264 only supports 9 directions of motion, while H265 can detect 33 directions of motion. So H265 vs H264 makes the former popular.

Nowadays, H265 videos can be found everywhere in Apple’s new iPhone and iPad, iOS 11, MacBook Pro, and tvOS. Even some websites begin to stream H265 videos such as Safari, Netflix, etc. If you want to convert Hevc codec to get more convenience, continue reading! 

2. HEVC Codec Converter (H265 Converters)

HEVC Converter

UniFab Video Converter

This Video Converter is the best method for whenever you want to convert hevc codec between h264 and h265 and save it in MP4 format.

Key Features:

  • Convert your video hevc codec from h264 to h265 at fast speed
  • Support to convert any video to 1000+ video and audio formats
  • Convert or compress videos to any video format without quality loss
  • Offer customized settings and a built-in video editor to make your video 
  • Convert multiple videos with the Batch Mode

Steps on how to use this H265 converter:

Step 1

Install and launch the UniFab Video Converter on your device first.

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Step 2

Select the video/file you want to convert, and add it into UniFab Video Converter.

HEVC converter

Step 3

Customize the video codec you want, then, click the Start button to convert your video.

HEVC converter

Recently, HEVC has upgraded its HEVC codec version to release more powerful capability. To keep pace with the new technology, UniFab Video Converter has also optimized its HEVC codec, which greatly improves the utilization rate of the CPU and shortens the conversion time. Besides, if you want to enhance your video quality to next level, UniFab video Enhancer will be your best choice. 

3. Free Hevc Codec Extension in Windows

How can I play HEVC on Windows 10? Find Windows HEVC codec first as few media players can decode HEVC and MKV files, so a third-party HEVC 265 codec is needed.

Then how to get HEVC codec or the HEVC video extensions from the Microsoft Store for free? Find HEVC Video Extensions from Device Manufacturer on the Microsoft Store, and add it to your browser. After adding HEVC video extensions free, you will be able to view HEVC video and HEIF photos free and easily.

hevc codec extension on windows

For those who are looking forward to a stunning entertainment experience, HEVC is the best choice even in congested network environments. If you want to play H265 in any video app on Windows 10, HEVC video extension helps you encode HEVC content on devices without the help of a hardware-based H265 encoder.

Alternatively, you can turn to the best H265-capable media players for help. Continue to read and see how to play H265 videos with your favorite media player - 4K x265/HEVC player.

4. How to play H265 videos? (Top 9 HEVC Codec Players)

The following content introduces some top free media players helping you play H265 videos smoothly and fast. Although few video players support H265 videos, some professional HEVC codec can still do that. 

(1) PlayerFab

This best 4K media player with PC mode and TV mode available is the best H265 video player. Does my PC support HEVC? Yes, you can achieve that with the help of this HEVC codec which supports 20+ languages. Besides playing HEVC videos from 1000+ websites, this HEVC codes Windows 10 free also plays back 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays, 4K UHD videos, DVD, and Bluray disk with menu playback support. You can enjoy HDR10 and HD audio output, as well as 3D playback on 3D media content using the free HEVC codes for Windows 10/Mac.

When you watch H265 videos with PlayerFab, right-click the video interface and see numerous options in this HEVC codec player. They help you customize video, audio, and subtitles, adjust playback speed, and display HEVC videos in a better way.

(2) VLC HEVC Codec (Windows/Mac)

Does VLC play H265 HEVC? Yes. VLC is one of the HEVC 265 codec players free and easily found in an open-source cross-platform. Besides playing H265 videos, "download VLC HEVC/H.265 codec pack" also enables you to play DVDs, Audio CDs, and VCDs.

But sometimes, to play HEVC videos with this H265 encoder, you need to download VLC HEVC/H.265 codec pack of version 3.0 or above. Otherwise with a lower version of the HEVC VLC player, maybe things will happen like this: I have installed the VLC media player but it fails to run a downloaded HEVC video; Instead, it displays audio normally but with a freezing video of H265.

hevc codec download

(3) 5K Player (Windows/Mac)

5KPlayer is a 4K x 265 HEVC player to reads HEVC video of 10/12-bit footage from GoPro, iPhone, JVC DSLR cameras, etc. With such powerful functions supported as a video decoder on Windows and Mac, it costs a lot as well.

After HEVC H.265 codec download, you can use this HEVC codec to play both online and downloaded videos from 300+ websites. The video formats this H265 encoder supports include MP4, AVI, WMV, FLV, MKV, etc. So you can use this HEVC Codec Windows/Mac to display and manage your videos well based on your needs.

hevc codec windows 10

(4) Windows Media Player (Windows)

How can I play HEVC on Windows 10? Windows Media Player is an HEVC encoder. If you choose this HEVC Codec Windows 10 to play HEVC videos, a media player codec pack plus is needed to be installed.

There are two types of installation provided: Easy Installation for simple installation, and Expert Installation for advanced installation. No matter which kinds of installation you choose this HEVC codec, take care that there is adware, browsers and unrelated software hidden, and remember to uncheck them. After that, you will see HEVC codec is added to Windows Media Player.

h265 vs h264

(5) H265 HEVC Player (Windows Vista/7/8/10)

What can play HEVC files? let’s get down to this HEVC codec Windows free. It can play video files containing H265/HEVC media & MKV, audio files of common codecs, and subtitles in formats of SSA and AAS. However, this HEVC codec hasn’t been updated in the late three years. Its last update was on May 22nd, 2017. Although it is an H265 encoder, the video quality you can get depends on the decoding speed of your machine instead of this HEVC codec Windows 10 free.

(6) UFUSoft Blu-ray Player (Windows 10/8.1 blur/8/7/Vista/XP)

How can I play HEVC on Windows 10? UFUSoft Blu-ray Player is a good choice that supports video codecs of H264, H264 as well as MPEG-4. And its output audios include Dolby, DTS, AAC, TrueHD, and DTS-HD.

When you use this HEVC codec Windows 10 for video display, you can adjust the subtitles, video, and audio as you like. But this H265 encoder is only compatible with Windows. If only it also worked on Mac like DVDFab Player 6!

hevc 265 codec

(7) MPV HEVC 265 Player (Windows/Mac)

MPV player is an HEVC codec Windows 10 media software. It is developed based on mplayer2 and MPlayer. This open-source HEVC player is capable to play 4K AVC 59.94fps videos and there are no frame drops. But when this HEVC 265 player is used to play 4K HEVC HDR video, the frame will drop by 60 - 85 percent. In addition, this x265 player is said difficult to use, as there are lots of keyboard shortcuts for you to memorize.

h265 encoder

(8) KM Player (Windows)

The last HEVC codec I am going to introduce is KM Player. It runs H265 on Windows and supports English, Turkish, Czech, Dutch, Hebrew, and Persian. When you get this H265 encoder installed, there will be no advertisements but they did exist in the past.

HEVC Codec

(9) MPC-HC (Windows)

Have you ever heard of this HEVC player? MPC-HC is said to be lightweight, customizable, and all-around. But after this HEVC codec download, you will find that this video decorder Windows 10 only reads 4K HEVC files on CPU, and there are some bugs like freezes when you this HEVC Windows media player to play your high definition videos. If you are lucky to avoid all the troubles, this x265 player is still highly recommended.

HEVC Codec X265 player - MPC

Apart from such 9 HEVC/H265-supported media players or HEVC codec, I also heard of another five H265-capable software, including MPC-HV, Pot Player, MPC-BEIINA, Splash, and Elmedia Player. They are claimed to play H265. Unfortunately, I haven’t found any details about their ability to play H265 videos after a careful check on their websites. So I recommend you make a cautious decision when using any of such 5 HEVC codecs.


How to run H265/HEVC? Convert Hevc codec with  UniFab Video Converter to get more compatible codes. What's more, there are HEVC codec for Windows 10 free and Mac provided in this article. Choose your favorite video player such as PlayerFab 6 and just get the HEVC codec downloaded. Then you will find the disadvantage of H265 over H264 easily.