Skip to content

AV1 vs H.265

Posted on:22 март 2023 г. at 16:12 ч.

There has been a lot of buzz lately about AV1. An open source and royalty-free video codec developed by the ​Alliance for Open Media, a non-profit industry consortium.

In the same time my storage server is almost full at 80% occupied capacity. Мuch of that has been taken up by 4К videos from recent years. So I am currently thinking about how I can reduce this space. The videos are random clips from here and there, travel and family memories for example, they are not intended for future editing. So I can reduce their quality with a modern codec. But which codec? At the moment the two most popular codecs are AV1 and H265.

Use case

What is my use case? I want to store videos. I will not stream them and will not edit them in the future. The videos are basically from three cameras - GoPro Hero 9, Panasonic GH5 and Panasonic G7. All the footage from them is 2160p 4K resolution with different bit rates. All the original footage is encoded in H.264, the predecessor of H.265. I’ve been reading for the last few days about which codec to choose, but I can’t come to a decision.

All the hype now is about AV1, but this does not guarantee that it is the better choice. H.265 is older and more developed, AV1 promises that it’s the codec of the future.


I decided to conduct a test using three source files, one from each camera. For software I am using Handbrake, free and open-source converting tool. For encoding I am using CPU only. Hardware encoding trades quality for speed. I’m not in a hurry.

There are a lot of settings for each encoder. I haven’t delved into them too much. For quality I sat a bitrate of 15 Mb/s. Results:


GPU hardware encoding:

Panasonic GH5:

Panasonic G7: