Is there a good or best way to go from 10Bit H265 video files to an 8Bit H264 version with minimum loss in quality?
Several files I'm interested are coming in 10/265, even files from old films.
Can I use Vidcoder or there other better options for such conversions?
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AFAIK, H265 is a "dead end" destination format: once a video is formatted as H265, theres no convenient way to convert it to the more compatible H264 format (or AVI or anything else). I wish there was, because like you I'm finding many new files of very old material are distributed in this incredibly annoying incompatible H265 format which doesn't play on anything but the latest PC media apps, a few TVs and some BluRay decks. I know some people love H265, but to me it has no significant advantage over H264 beyond the file sizes being somewhat smaller. In exchange for the smaller size, you get a practically useless file: brilliant format idea, that was.
FFMPEG to do the encoding.. they're simply GUIs through which you can easily encode with FFMPEG.. so the result will be always the same.
Some of them may have more options or use a more recent version of FFMpeg.. the only difference may be this.
So choose the converter that suits you better and with the options you need, since the encoder involved is always the same.
Anyway.. the most problematic things in this kind of conversion is going from 10bit to 8bit depth since it may introduce artifacts (like banding).
The only issue, obviously, is that something of the previous material is always lost and modified in the process - when using a lossy codecs (like h265 or h264) -
In this case the most problematic thing is going from 10bit to 8 (in the less destructive way possible, I mean), for me. Those little 2 bits more make a HUGE difference.
I'll admit I haven't looked into regressing H265 to H264 recently, because awhile back the general consensus was "don't waste your time trying" for a variety of reasons. If the tools have gotten better and faster lately, thats great. But it would still depend on the use case: converting the occasional H265 phone or cam video for a specific device or friend, OK. But I don't think thats OP's problem: it sounds more like he's rapidly accumulating a pile of outsourced videos that he would vastly prefer not be in H265. As a recurring thing, I wouldn't consider regressing these to H264, its too much hassle. Better to dig a little deeper to find an H264 version in the first place: there are enough people around who loathe H265 that one can usually track down some other more-compatible file. If it means trading 1080 for 720 or some other compromise, thats often still better than a messy DIY 265>264 conversion. Then again, some people like messing with files... to each his own.
Last edited by orsetto; 13th May 2021 at 23:20.
Converting directly from the original source using HEVC (h265) is the only correct way to deal with this (like any other) final, lossy codec.
But there are lot of people concerned only about space and not quality .. so there are a lot of ugly, senseless and useless conversion done from h264 to h265 "out there" (that is better to avoid), I know. But you can also find also a lot of amazing, very high quality h265 "conversions" ( from the original source, I mean, not from an already existing h264 encoded one)
HEVC (h265) is not a bad choice per se. Nowadays HEVC is a robust and very efficient codec.. only a bit slower than h264 when encoding, so it is really a very valid option when considering what final codec to use for the encoding process. I think most of modern tv/devices support it..
Last edited by krykmoon; 14th May 2021 at 04:44.
Unfortunately I'm not sure if I can play a 10Bit H265 in my projector, as I use a box (Nvidia Shield Pro) to play the files.
They might play on my TV, which is more modern and also on the Shield.
From what I read now, what I had read that it was a bad idea to convert any of them down would be bad for the quality, which I certainly do not want. I wish there some hardware that could do this conversion more precisely when we playing 10/265 stuff. But maybe I'm dreaming.
I'd urge people that uploads material, to always add an 8/264 version. But I never knew where that people are. Someone does?
Put this in a batch file. Change the path to ffmpeg.exe to where it's installed on your computer (if it's already in your search path you don't need to specify the full path, just ffmpeg). Then drag/drop your files onto the batch file (or put it in your Send To folder so you can right click on a video and select Send To -> batchname.bat).
"G:\program files\ffmpeg64\bin\ffmpeg.exe" ^ -i %1 -pix_fmt yuv420p ^ -c:v libx264 -preset medium -crf 20 ^ -c:a copy ^ "%~dpn1.avc.mkv" pause
The problem is not in the precision of the conversion but in loosing part of the color information. That 2 little bits MORE makes a huge difference, you may lose a lot in quality, especially if it's very well encoded material.
If you can't use 10bit material directly in your device and you can't find a 8bit alternative, I suggest to you to do the conversion.. but keeping the original 10 bit files for future use; sooner or later most devices will support 10bit color depth as input.
For the conversion you can use jagabo batch file (that uses ffmpeg directly).. or other GUIs (they use FFMPEG too), they are configured for 8bit color output as defaut, in their encoding profiles.
How many devices or programs are presently 10Bit ready?
I know they provide more information, not only in color, but the question is how many devices, from computer to TV or projector are 10Bit ready?