"So I have a pretty decent library of movies and shows(2tb) but I want to conserve some space and convert h264 media to h265 without quality loss, also it would be good if conversion software would be able to queue files."
"Quick question. I used this to convert h264 to h265. Although ffmpeg says it's processing the file, after an hour it has written a 44 byte file."

H.265 (also known as HEVC), a successor for H.264, has won its popularity in the digital world. This video coding format has been widely used in many aspects for online 4K/8K video streaming, 4K video playback on Windows/Android and more, because its high efficiency can deliver a improved quality with the support of UHD resoluton. And there are two major reasons why most tech fans are inspired to convert H.265 to H.264:

1. H.265 is more superior to H.264 in regards to video quality, size and compression rate. Namely, to achieve the same visual quality, H.265 encodes a more compressed video that is about half the size of H.264, at only half the bit rate.
2. Two key improved features of H.265 (HEVC) compared with H.264 (AVC) are the support for higher resolution videos like 4K/8K UHD resolution and improved parallel processing. H.265 will save much bandwidth when compressing and streaming 4K/8K videos online.

Best H264 to HEVC converter

For this day, the demand of H.264 to HEVC/H.265 conversion is doomed to increase. To do this, a HEVC/H.265 encoder and decoder is necessary. It is not recommended to use free online video converters to decode H.264 to H.265/HEVC. Most online video converters only support small video files conversion, e.g, lower than 20MB. Besides, The online conversion speed is always like snail speed and the process is not stable, together with poor output video quality and sometimes malware/virus saved along to computer. If you're looking for an easy and quick solution to do the job, you've come to the right place. Here we single out the best 2 HEVC encoders - EaseFab Video Converter and Handbrake and illustrate how to transcode H.264 to H.265n for smaller size with no quality loss.

Way 1: Convert H.264 to H.265 with EaseFab Video Converter | Lossless & Fast

There are numbers of paid or free programs that claim to encode H.264 to HEVC. If you don't want to be held back by slow processing and poor output quality, EaseFab Video Converter will be your best choice. It's available for Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, etc. And it has a Mac version compatible with macOS Big Sur and lower. This software tool is avilable to create a H.265 encoded videos from H.264, MKV, MTS/M2TS, AVI, MP4, MOV etc, while keeping a great quality in only 3 steps.

Key features:
◉ Encode any video including H264 media to H.265/HEVC with virtually zero quality loss and decode H.265/HEVC (hvc1/hev1) 8/10/12bit videos to other formats (H.264, MPEG4, AVI, WMV, MOV, FLV, 3GP etc.) in lower resolution for better playback on small monitors and devices.
◉ Support 370+ output formats, 420+ output device profiles incl. iPhone, iPad, Android, Xbox, PS4, Xbox, Apple TV, Chromecast and so on.
◉ Work as a video editor to crop/trim videos; merge several files into one for H.265 encoding/decoding; add external subtitles.
◉ Advanced GPU (Intel/Nvidia/AMD) hardware acceleration tech helps process 4K HEVC video encoding at dedicated GPU chip, instead of CPU chip. Thus, the compute-intensive 4K H265 encoding will be fast & smoothly finished, no laptop lagging, CPU overuse/overheating issues.

✔ Pros: Intuitive interface, ultra user-friendly, clean, stable and superfast.

[Guide] 4 Simple Steps to Convert H.264 to H.265/HEVC with EaseFab

To begin with, you need to download and install EaseFab Video Converter Windows or Mac version on your computer. The guide below takes the Windows version for an example. Mac version has the same process.

Step 1. Download and launch EaseFab Video Converter on Windows PC or Mac. Click Add Video button to import your H.264 video or other digital video files. Dragging and droppping works too. (Note: batch conversion is supported, so you can several mov videos to the program to convert at a time.)

Import H.264 Video File(s)

Step 2. From the drop-down list of Profile you can select HEVC MP4 or HEVC MKV as the output format from the Common Video category.

Select HEVC Encoded Profile

Step 3. (Optional) Flexible options are offered to further reduce the size of the encoded HEVC video. Click the Settings button beside the Profile bar and enter into parameter settings page. A slew of other variables such the video/audio codecs, pixel dimensions, frame rate, bit rate, audio sampel rate, etc. will help convert a H.264 video file at GBs to a smaller MP4 file at MBs.

Recommended video quality-size settings for Encoding H.264 to H.265:

◆ You're not suggested to adjust the frame rate and aspect ratio, if not necessary.
◆ Lower the bitrate to a lower level. Adjusting the original Normal quality to bitrates of around 1500-2000 is acceptable and can make the result H.265 video much smaller than the original H.264 video, and to the naked eyes, it's highly unlikely to distinguish the difference between the original movie and the re-encoded video.
◆ Lower the resolution. Adjust the resolution to lower or higher won't make any quality difference.

Please note: Adjusting these variables have some effect on the re-encoded video quality. Remember the file size and video quality is based more on bitrate than resolution which means bitrate higher results in big file size, and lower visible quality loss.

Recommended video size settings for H264 to H265 conversion

Step 4. Simply click "Convert" button in the bottom part of the video converter software window and the conversion will then begin. Wait until it's done, the speed of completion always depends on how big or how many your files are.

Way 2: Transcode H.264 to H.265 Free with Handbrake

Handbrake is a famous free and open-source video encoder program mainly focusing on ripping regular DVDs or converting videos to MP4 or MKV container in H.265 or H.264 codec, and to some iPhone iPad preset profiles. People who have used this software figure out that it has complex interface and settings which are more suitable for experienced users.

Key features:
◉ Support H.265/HEVC and other single video files, video folders, and DVD disc input sources.
◉ Convert various video files like H.264 to MP4 or MKV format in H.265/HEVC, MPEG-4, and MPEG-2 codec for free.
◉ Fast rip non-protected DVD to MP4 or MKV (only support these two output video formats) for free.
◉ Various advanced video/audio/image parameter settings.

✔ Pros: Free and fast. Versatile advanced settings.

☹ Cons: Handbrake always outputs poor video quality.
It takes quite a long time to load source video and convert video.
It sometimes crashes in the middle before finishing the conversion process.
Besides, Handbrake is not updated often and lacks technical support.
The interface and settings of Handbrake are complex and it is not suitable for new beginners.

[Guide] How to Convert H.264 to H.265 for free with Handbrake

Step 1: Download Handbrake (latest version 1.3.3) from its official website. Install and open it.

Step 2: Click Source button to load folder with one or more H.264 video files, or choose a single H.264 video file.

Step 3: Next click Browse button to set a target folder to store the converted H.265 video.

Step 4: Choose MP4 or MKV as the output video container.

free H264 to HEVC converter

Step 5: Then hit Video tab to select H.265 (x265) video codec as the output and adjust other video settings like frame rate, bit rate, etc.

Step 6: Hit Start Encode button on the top left to start converting H.264 to H.265/HEVC for free with Handbrake on Windows 10/8/7 or Mac.

You may be using free Handbrake to transcode H.264 to H.265, but if you meet problems using Handbrake, turn to its best alternative - EaseFab Video Converter.