[FFmpeg-user] Reencoding from H.264 to H.265

SDSS NuncEstBibendum at excite.com
Thu Sep 1 00:58:52 EEST 2016

After some googling I was able to find out how to use ffmpeg to convert MKV
videos in H.264 format to MKV videos in H.265 format. I looked into this
because I have a lot of H.264 videos, which I would like to reduce in size,
as H.265 can reportedly do. 

However, in my search I also found out that, according to many, re-encoding
H.264 videos as H.265 is a waste of time, for the most part, on the grounds
that H.264 videos are already compressed, and re-encoding them as H.265
won't achieve much.

I have run a few tests, changing the CRF and presets parameters, and I can
re-encode my H.264 videos as H.265, in such a way that the quality of the
resulting H.265 material seems to be pretty much the same as that of the
original H.264 - but its size is not all that much smaller. This seems to
corroborate those opinions above.

Would it make sense to uncompress the H.264 first, and then encode the
resulting video material with H.265? Is this even possible, in general, with
ffmpeg, in particular? More to the point, is the H.264 to H.265 conversion a
rather pointless exercise? It is clear that H.265 will shine when applied to
original, uncompressed sources - but maybe it is indeed pointless to do an
H.264 to H.265 re-encoding.  

Views from the experts on this would be much appreciated.

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