How to Play H.265 Videos with Your Favorite Media Player

Featured Media Players with HEVC

H.265 or High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) is the world’s fastest video encoder. It supports 25 to 50% data compression at the same video quality leading to a higher coding efficiency. Without a doubt, H.265 enjoys the attention of many, including online streaming artistes, gamers, and software developers.

H.265 is aimed at higher resolution displays including 8K/4K and gives superb picture quality with no hazy output. Here we will learn how to play H.265 videos on your favorite media player. As it turns out, very few of them directly support this format. However, with a few tweaks, you can run H.265 videos without any trouble.

VLC

If VLC is your favorite media player, then you’re in luck already. From version 3.0 and above, you can play H.265 codec without any extra support packs. Surprisingly, they forgot to update this important fact on their official website. There are tons of websites offering you H.265 support for VLC, which adds to the confusion.

Therefore, if you simply download the latest version of VLC, you can play H.265 videos as shown below. You can download VLC 3.0 for Windows, macOS, iOS, Apple TV, GNU/Linux, Android and Chrome OS.

VLC with HEVC playing

Windows Media Player

If VLC was a natural fit with H.265, Windows Media Player (WMP) requires some work. You will usually get a blank screen while trying to play H.265 videos on WMP.

video-h265-windows-media-player

The good thing is that if you learn to install H.265 codec with WMP, you can apply the same principle for other media players. Go to this website to top up your WMP software with an advanced codec pack.

Windows Media Player Codec Pack Plus

While installing, you will be able to see the new codecs including HEVC to be supported in WMP. Don’t forget to uncheck adware, browsers and unrelated software, as there are going to be many.

hevc-codec-installed-media-player-codec-pack-plus

Once installed, you can now play the HEVC videos on Windows Media Player without any issues.

Windows Media Playing Playing HEVC

Microsoft Photos

If you are a recent convert to the Microsoft Photos app, you might be in for a disappointment while playing H.265 videos. Fortunately, there is a link to the appropriate codec at the Microsoft Store.

HEVC Error Photos App

The extension is quickly installed from the store and can play HEVC videos in any of the other Windows apps.

Buy HEVC Extension Photos App

DivX

DivX, including its latest version, does not support H.265 directly. You get an error screen as shown below. However, all you have to do is disable hardware decoding to fix the issue. This will not affect the quality of the H.265 videos, as the purpose of hardware acceleration is to reduce CPU load. If you have good graphics in your PC, it won’t be a big deal anyway.

DivX Error HEVC

Once done, you can play H.265 videos on DivX players without further reminders to disable hardware coding.

DivX Running HEVC Videos

KM Player

Just as with VLC, KM Player is extremely advanced and runs H.265 straight off the bat. KM Player supports 4K, 8K and 60FPS, and there are no advertisements unlike in the past. With the latest version for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android, you can play H.265 videos without any trouble.

KM Player Supports HEVC

Conclusion

With H.265 you get the best visual quality whether you’re watching a movie, playing a game or doing a multicast. It serves you best in transferring the small screen experience to the big screen. Currently, very few cameras support 8K, which means that for the time being, H.265 will remain the gold standard for video compression.

Do you have a favorite media player that needs H.265 support? Shoot questions to us here, and we will be happy to answer you.

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