This article is a draft and may contain incomplete or incorrect information.
H.264 (x264): For MPEG-4 part 10, also known as H.264/AVC.
This is HandBrakes default encoder. It provides excellent performance, filesizes and quality.
It is widely supported by players and mobile devices.
H.264 (Intel QuickSync): For MPEG-4 part 10, also known as H.264/AVC.
Available on Intel processors with Intel HD Graphics.
QuickSync is a hardware based H.264 encoder so is very fast, with significantly lower CPU usage than x264.
Intel Haswell or newer CPU’s are recommended as these offer the best results in terms of Quality and Filesize.
You can typically expect larger (but usually not significantly larger) file sizes and slightly lower quality to an equivilent x264 encode. This is a trade off that is fine for most.
H.265 (x265): Also known as HEVC
This is the next generation of encoder that offers even higher quality encodes and better filesizes over H.264
Note, encoding to H.265 is a significantly more complicated process, so it is expected to be slower than HandBrake’s H.264 encoders.
Playback support is rather limited at the moment, particularly with mobile devices but this should improve drastically throughout 2015/16
MPEG-4 (ffmpeg): HandBrake offers FFmpeg’s MPEG-4 part 2 encoder for fast, low quality encoding.
Better support from older devices such as DVD players and cheap “MP4 Players”
Lower quality than the H.264 encode option but typically faster encodes.
MPEG-2 (ffmpeg): HandBrake offers FFmpeg’s MPEG-2 part 2 encoder for fast, low quality encoding.
- Fast Encoding, but requires larger files than MPEG-4 for the same quality level. Useful for testing but not much else.
- A free and open video codec which offers significant improvements over Theora.
VP3 (Theora): HandBrake can also encode Theora video. Theora video with Vorbis audio in the Matroska container represents a truly free option for multimedia encoding.
- However, Theora has yet to reach maturity when measured by quality at a given bitrate.