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What is the HEVC format?

The High-Efficiency Video Coding format (HEVC) is a video coding standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization. It was released in 2013 as the successor to the AVC format.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of the HEVC format?

The HEVC or H.265 format is one of the best options for video compression. That's because it has the following advantages:


  • The HEVC format has better compression technology than other formats. HEVC files are %50 smaller than AVC, for example.
  • At the same bitrate, HEVC shows better video quality than other codecs.
  • HEVC supports videos with 8K resolution.
  • Since HEVC makes files smaller than other formats, it's perfect for streaming over the Internet.
  • But nothing is perfect, and the HEVC format has its disadvantages:


  • The HEVC format shares the problem of all lossy formats: the quality is lower than initially.
  • HEVC is not as adopted as its predecessor, so not all devices support it.
  • HEVC is not a royalty-free format. You must pay to use it for commercial purposes.

HEVC Format FAQs

How does the HEVC format work?

The H.256 format uses lossy compression to make the files smaller. The codec discards negligible data from the original file to reduce the file's size. The method receives the name of lossy because the data is permanently lost.

The codec makes files around ten times smaller than when uncompressed. The data's quality keeps acceptable, although reduced.

Is HEVC better than AVC?

HEVC is considerably better than AVC videos.

H.265 beats its predecessor because:

  • It reaches higher resolutions and frames per second (8K and 800 fps).
  • Its files are smaller and look better at the same resolutions.
  • Movement looks smoother in HEVC videos.
  • AVC only beats HEVC in terms of support. But it's a matter of time for the HEVC to become more widely accepted.

How do I open HEVC files with Windows 10?

Windows 10 doesn't support the HEVC codec natively. However, that doesn't mean PCs can't open files in this format.

There are several ways to open HEVC files on Windows 10. The prominent ones are:

  • Install a media player that supports the format. A famous example could be the VLC Media Player, which is free.
  • Install the official Microsoft HEVC Video Extension, which makes HEVC playback with Windows Media Player possible. The drawback of this way is, the extension is not free.
  • Install a free Codec Pack for Windows 10. But since those packs are not official, they could be dangerous. Only download content from trusted sources.

Does HEVC work in old devices?

No, HEVC doesn't work with old devices. It's not only because they don't support it, but they don't have enough computing power to decode it.

Decoding HEVC videos requires complex processes that most old devices cannot perform. So if you install the HEVC codec on an old computer, it won't decode fast enough to enjoy smooth playback.