Zencoder: HEVC/H.265 Guide

API Developer
Zencoder API

Zencoder supports next-generation video playback with the HEVC (H.265) codec. HEVC is the successor to the ubiquitous H.264 codec, and creates high quality outputs with a much lower bitrate than AVC/H.264.

HEVC/H.265 Overview

HEVC (also commonly referred to as H.265) is available to all customers. HEVC is a next-generation video codec that is capable of delivering higher quality content at lower bitrates than its predecessor, H.264.

Encoding recommendations

video_codec_level: constrains the bitrate and coding tree units (CTUs). List of valid values.

video_codec_profile: sets the encoding profile. The currently supported HEVC profiles are: main, main10, main12, main422-10, main422-12, main444-8, main444-10, main444-12. Default: main.

video_reference_frames: Limits the number of reference frames for HEVC. Default: 3.

video_bframes: Limits the number of consecutive bframes used for HEVC. Default: 3.

Sample: HEVC + MP4

Below are sample settings for a job that will create an HEVC output (muxed as mp4) with an additional MP4 output for clients that do not yet support HVEC.

  "input": "https://user:pass@bucket-name/file-name.mov",
  "outputs": [
          "label": "hevc",
          "url": "s3://output-bucket/h265.mp4",
          "video_codec": "hevc",
          "video_codec_profile": "main",
          "audio_codec": "aac",
          "format": "mp4",
          "size": "1920x1080"
          "label": "h264",
          "url": "s3://output-bucket/h264.mp4",
          "video_codec": "h264",
          "video_codec_profile": "main",
          "audio_codec": "aac",
          "format": "mp4",
          "size": "640x360"