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x265 Encoder is a free software library and application for encoding video streams into the H265/MPEG-H HEVC compression format, and is released under the terms of the GNU GPL. x265 CLI is a command line software. x265 is used in several free video converters like Handbrake, Xvid4PSP, StaxRip, RipBot264, MEGUI, Xmedia Recode, etc. See All features how to install on Linux/Mac OSX. Command line software.

Free software
OS: Win Mac Linux
File size: 1MB
Portable version
Other versions
Version history
19 votes
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x265 Encoder screenshot
Latest version

3.4 (May 29, 2020)


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Download x265 Encoder 3.4 Windows  1MB  Win  Portable

Download x265 Encoder 3.4 Mac  Mac

Download x265 Encoder 3.4 Linux  Linux

Download other versions

Download x265 Encoder 3.4 from another mirror site  Win

Software License

Free software / FOSS (Free download and also Free and Open Source Software)

Supported operating systems

WinWindows MacMac OS LinuxLinux

More information and other downloads

x265 Encoder GUIs/Frontends:
Handbrake, Xvid4PSP, StaxRip, RipBot264, VidCoder, MEGUI, Xmedia Recode.

Version history / Release notes / Changelog

Version 3.4
Release date - 29th May, 2020.

New features
Edge-aware quadtree partitioning to terminate CU depth recursion based on edge information. --rskip level 2 enables the feature and --rskip-edge-threshold denotes the minimum expected edge-density percentage within the CU, below which the recursion is skipped. Experimental feature.
Application-level feature --abr-ladder for automating efficient ABR ladder generation. Shows ~65% savings in the over-all turn-around time required for the generation of a typical Apple HLS ladder in Intel(R) Xeon(R) Platinum 8280 CPU @ 2.70GHz over a sequential ABR-ladder generation approach that leverages save-load architecture.
Enhancements to existing features
Improved efficiency in 2-pass rate-control algorithm. The savings in the bitrate is ~1.72% with visual improvement in quality in the initial 1-2 secs.
Encoder enhancements
Faster ARM64 encodes enabled by ASM contributions from Huawei. The speed-up over no-asm version for 1080p encodes @ medium preset is ~15% in a 16 core H/W.
Strict VBV conformance in zone encoding.
Bug fixes
Multi-pass encode failures with --frame-dup.
Corrupted bitstreams with --hist-scenecut when input depth and internal bit-depth differ.
Incorrect analysis propagation in multi-level save-load architecture.
Failure in detecting NUMA packages installed in non-standard directories.

View full changelog

All features

Encoder features
Full prediction and transform quad-tree recursion supported
Adaptive B-frame placement
B-frames as references / arbitrary frame order
CABAC entropy coding
Intra: all block types (32x32, 16x16, 8x8, 4x4, and PCM with all predictions)
Inter P: all partitions (from 64x64 down to 8x4)
Inter B: partitions from 64x64 down to 8x4 (including all merge modes
and biprediction)
Weighted prediction for P slices
Multiple reference frames
Ratecontrol: constant quantizer, constant quality, single pass ABR, optional VBV
Scenecut detection
Parallel encoding on multiple CPUs, both frame-level and wavefront parallelism

Linux x265 Install Instructions
# ubuntu packages:
$ sudo apt-get install mercurial cmake cmake-curses-gui build-essential yasm
# Note: if the packaged yasm is older than 1.2, you must download yasm (1.3 recommended) and build it

$ hg clone
$ cd x265/build/linux
$ ./make-Makefiles.bash
$ make

Mac OS X x265 Install Instructions
The latest Mac OS X 10.8 gcc and clang based compilers can build x265 using the linux instructions above. Xcode 5 with the most recent patches can build, debug, and profile x265.

Sections/Browse similar tools

Alternative to x265 Encoder

DivX HEVC Encoder

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19 reviews, Showing 1 to 5 reviews

Royalties to use it commercially are a mega pain. Using open source version is no advantage as it takes forever to encode even on fastest CPU computers. Try doing a 2 pass! Battery drainage on devices playing hevc big big problem. Roll on AV1 or V9 codecs to sink this into the dust in the 4k/8K streaming wars.

For the home consumer H264 is still around and reliably good. Forgot that 4k nonsense. To get the 'true' benefits you must be 9inches from screen to notice differences from a regular 2k TV. 8k is even bigger overkill nonsense mixed up with this hevc compression craze.

Review by William on Jan 1, 2021 Version: 3.4 OS: Windows 10 64-bit Ease of use: 1/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

Strange one to grade, as it is either 1/10 or 10/10. Maximum marks for quality and over 50% bitrate savings over H264 at lower bitrates, giving H265 superior quality e.g 500kbps H265 should look better than 1000kbps down with H264. At higher bitrates for archival purposes above 5000kbps both codecs should equal out in quality and I dare say at lower bitrates 2000kbps might even subjectively appear the same apart from scene by scene examination of rain in film scenes or where H265 will retain detail better and not be a blur regarding edges.

But is it worth it to use H265? No, when it could be 10x slower at CPU speeds at high quality settings to achieve these bitrate savings at lower bitrates. The wealth of H265 on the download scene at higher bitrates are little better visualwise(Media Info will show often you the quick and 'dirty' encode settings than carefully planned H264 encodes 1 pass crf or 2 pass ones. Ergo it still gets 1/10 from me!

Review by A.Philips on Jun 3, 2020 Version: 3.4 OS: Windows 10 64-bit Ease of use: 1/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

If you check the media info of any online x265 download for test purposes you will mostly see 1 pass abr type encodes. I've yet to ever see a 2 pass. Excellent quality, but snailpace encodes which choke up about pretty much any hardware out on the average user's computer or tablet. A royal pain to set up or even decode for simple playback on a PC or tablet unless you like to see video frame freeze every micro second and the audio jump or go silent. You must have top spec hardware to take advantage of this codec. H264 is still king!

Review by Gaz on May 30, 2020 Version: 3.4 OS: Windows 10 64-bit Ease of use: 1/10 Functionality: 1/10 Value for money: 1/10 Overall: 1/10

I'm not seeing a great range of hardware even in high spec computers that can utilise as yet hevc codec/h265 in 2020 nor being able to give fast encoding speeds and take full advantage of its compression abilities. Maybe some NASA super computer or commercial outlet rather than Joe Blogs can use it?

Let's be honest at high bitrates H264 and H265 are more or less the same and for me h265 still washes out fine details in videos. It is only the lower nitrates which h265 excels at for streaming, much like the same when they said h264 was superior to xvid at lower bitrates when it(h264 etc) first dominated and still does the downloading scene formats.

Review by Al on Feb 18, 2020 Version: 3.3 OS: Windows 7 64-bit Ease of use: 5/10 Functionality: 7/10 Value for money: 10/10 Overall: 5/10

Excellent software from a compression point of view, but torturous to set up and like Chinese water torture to encode. This is commercial application only. H264 is enough for me. It has been around for a bit now and the lack of H265 encoding out there shows this might never take off. Most users hardware can't cope with it even after all this time. That said it is the future, but when? For TV streaming only.

Review by Wesley on Jun 18, 2019 Version: 3.1 OS: Windows 10 64-bit Ease of use: 1/10 Functionality: 7/10 Value for money: 10/10 Overall: 5/10

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