Help a Noob Understand How to Migrate from x264 to x265

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Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2022 1:34 am

Help a Noob Understand How to Migrate from x264 to x265

Post by gerowen »

I've been using the same x264 encoding profile for literally years to encode my content to a predictably acceptable level of quality for my viewing habits. But, in light of the improvements to compression, and the space savings that could net me on my home server, I want to migrate from x264 to x265. In Handbrake, I know that's as simple as changing a dropdown, but there are two settings here, "Profile" and "Level", that I'm not sure about that, when changing that option, get reset, and I'm not sure what they should be set to in order to provide comparable video quality to my old profile.

With my current x264 profile, "Profile" is set to "high", and "Level" is set to "4.0". What should I set these to when switching to x265? I'm guessing since the only options under "Profile" are "auto", "main", and "mainstillpicture", that either auto or main would produce the same result, but the one I'm really not sure about is "Level". I'm not even really sure what it does, that setting came as one of the original settings in the x264 preset I used as a starting point for mine, but I'm not sure if using 4.0 in x265 would produce comparable results to what I'm used to, or different ones since it's a different encoder.

Any help in what I should set these two is appreciated. For those who want to take a look at my profile as it exists now, you can see the contents of the file here. Mainly I just need to know what I should set "Level" to in order to get as good of results as I was getting with setting it to 4.0 when I used x264.

Code: Select all

    "PresetList": [
            "AlignAVStart": false,
            "AudioCopyMask": [
            "AudioEncoderFallback": "av_aac",
            "AudioLanguageList": [
            "AudioList": [
                    "AudioBitrate": 160,
                    "AudioCompressionLevel": -1.0,
                    "AudioDitherMethod": "auto",
                    "AudioEncoder": "av_aac",
                    "AudioMixdown": "stereo",
                    "AudioNormalizeMixLevel": false,
                    "AudioSamplerate": "auto",
                    "AudioTrackDRCSlider": 0.0,
                    "AudioTrackGainSlider": 0.0,
                    "AudioTrackQuality": 1.0,
                    "AudioTrackQualityEnable": false
                    "AudioBitrate": 640,
                    "AudioCompressionLevel": -1.0,
                    "AudioDitherMethod": "auto",
                    "AudioEncoder": "copy",
                    "AudioMixdown": "none",
                    "AudioNormalizeMixLevel": false,
                    "AudioSamplerate": "auto",
                    "AudioTrackDRCSlider": 0.0,
                    "AudioTrackGainSlider": 0.0,
                    "AudioTrackQuality": 5.0,
                    "AudioTrackQualityEnable": false
            "AudioSecondaryEncoderMode": true,
            "AudioTrackSelectionBehavior": "first",
            "ChapterMarkers": true,
            "ChildrenArray": [],
            "Default": true,
            "FileFormat": "av_mkv",
            "Folder": false,
            "FolderOpen": false,
            "InlineParameterSets": false,
            "Mp4HttpOptimize": false,
            "Mp4iPodCompatible": false,
            "PictureAutoCrop": true,
            "PictureBottomCrop": 140,
            "PictureCombDetectCustom": "",
            "PictureCombDetectPreset": "default",
            "PictureDARWidth": 0,
            "PictureDeblock": 0,
            "PictureDeblockCustom": "qp=0:mode=2",
            "PictureDeinterlaceCustom": "",
            "PictureDeinterlaceFilter": "decomb",
            "PictureDeinterlacePreset": "default",
            "PictureDenoiseCustom": "",
            "PictureDenoiseFilter": "off",
            "PictureDenoisePreset": "",
            "PictureDenoiseTune": "none",
            "PictureDetelecine": "off",
            "PictureDetelecineCustom": "",
            "PictureForceHeight": 0,
            "PictureForceWidth": 0,
            "PictureHeight": 0,
            "PictureItuPAR": false,
            "PictureKeepRatio": true,
            "PictureLeftCrop": 2,
            "PictureLooseCrop": false,
            "PictureModulus": 2,
            "PicturePAR": "auto",
            "PicturePARHeight": 1,
            "PicturePARWidth": 1,
            "PictureRightCrop": 0,
            "PictureRotate": "disable=1",
            "PictureSharpenCustom": "",
            "PictureSharpenFilter": "off",
            "PictureSharpenPreset": "",
            "PictureSharpenTune": "",
            "PictureTopCrop": 140,
            "PictureWidth": 0,
            "PresetDescription": "High quality H.264 video that keeps the same framerate and resolution (or as close as possible) as the source material, AAC stereo audio, audio pass-thru, subtitle pass-thru, all in an MKV container",
            "PresetName": "Bluray Rip",
            "SubtitleAddCC": false,
            "SubtitleAddForeignAudioSearch": false,
            "SubtitleAddForeignAudioSubtitle": false,
            "SubtitleBurnBDSub": false,
            "SubtitleBurnBehavior": "none",
            "SubtitleBurnDVDSub": false,
            "SubtitleLanguageList": [
            "SubtitleTrackSelectionBehavior": "first",
            "Type": 1,
            "UsesPictureFilters": true,
            "UsesPictureSettings": 2,
            "VideoAvgBitrate": 9000,
            "VideoColorMatrixCode": 0,
            "VideoEncoder": "x264",
            "VideoFramerate": "auto",
            "VideoFramerateMode": "cfr",
            "VideoGrayScale": false,
            "VideoLevel": "4.0",
            "VideoOptionExtra": "",
            "VideoPreset": "slow",
            "VideoProfile": "high",
            "VideoQSVAsyncDepth": 4,
            "VideoQSVDecode": false,
            "VideoQualitySlider": 20.0,
            "VideoQualityType": 2,
            "VideoScaler": "swscale",
            "VideoTune": "",
            "VideoTurboTwoPass": false,
            "VideoTwoPass": true,
            "x264Option": "",
            "x264UseAdvancedOptions": false
    "VersionMajor": 34,
    "VersionMicro": 0,
    "VersionMinor": 0
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Re: Help a Noob Understand How to Migrate from x264 to x265

Post by mduell »

Auto and auto.

But unless you're targeting really low bitrates (and low to moderate quality), there's no really much upside to x265 for content that fits in Level 4.0.
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