Although the new compression codec H.265 has many great advantages such as encoding video with the same amount of space with improved quality or encoding video that occupy half the space with no noticeable change in quality over its predecessor – H.264, however, the software support for H.264 is very limited. For Kodi users, you may wonder is it possible to natively play H.265 video on Kodi?
H.265 support condition for Kodi
From Kodi wiki page, we get the following information:
Kodi v14 (changelog) introduced software decoding support for HEVC. Kodi v15 (changelog) introduced limited hardware decoding support for some devices, such as a few Android-based video decoders, for Linux on Amlogic SoCs and for Windows via DXVA. Kodi v16 (changelog) further improved hardware decoding on Android and Windows and introduced it via VAPI and VDPAU API on linux. Most HTPCs do not have hardware decoding support for HEVC, so they will need a fairly powerful desktop class CPU in order to playback HEVC videos.
From above information, we can see that to play H.265/HEVC video on Kodi directly, make sure to upgrade your Kodi to version 14. When you try to stream video from Kodi to devices, make sure that the Kodi has improved hardware decoding on that devices. If not, make sure that your computer have a powerful CPU for H.265 decoding.
Best solution to play H.265 on Kodi
For those people who are looking for an effective solution to play H.265 files on Kodi, then you can try to transcode H.265 to H.264, a more compatible file which is widely accepted by Kodi and also Kodi available devices and applications. Here, you can get the job easily completed with our powerful yet simple to use H.265 Decoder software – Pavtube Video Converter. The program has full importing support for both 4K/HD H.265 files wrapped in either MP4 or MKV container file format. Thanks to its batch conversion mode, you can batch import multiple H.265 files into the application for conversion at one time. With the application, you can easily produce Kodi or Kodi available devices most compatible H.264 MP4 file format with perfect quality and super fast encoding speed.
Tips: The program supports hard-ware encoding acceleration, so that you can get up to 6x H.264 codec encoding speed as long as your computer runs on Graphic card that supports Nvidia CUDA or AMD App technology.
For Mac users, you can switch to download the Mac version – Pavtube Video Converter for Mac to complete the same conversion on macOS High Sierra, macOS Sierra, Mac OS X El Capitan, Mac OS X Yosemite, Mac OS X Mavericks.
Step by Step to Transcode H.265 to H.264 for Kodi Playing
Step 1: Load H.265 files into the application.
Download the free trial version of the program. Launch it on your computer. Click “File” menu and select “Add Video/Audio” or click the “Add Video” button on the top tool bar to import source video files into the program.
Step 2: Output Kodi or Kodi device compatible H.264 file format.
Clicking the Format bar, from its drop-down list, choose “H.264 HD Video(*.mp4)” under “HD Video” main category.
Tips: Click “Settings” on the main interface to open “Profile Settings” window, here, you can flexibly choose or specify exactly the profile parameters including video codec, resolution, bit rate, frame rate, audio codec, bit rate, sample rate, channels, etc as you like to get better output video and audio quality.
Step 3: Start the final format transcoding process.
Now hit on the “Convert” button on software main interface to start the H.265 to H.264 conversion. When it finished, just open the output folder to find the generated video.
Then you will have no problem to play the converted files on Kodi or Kodi compatible devices.