For Windows 10 users who are looking for a free software to playback HEVC-encoded files, Windows Media Player is a great choice that can natively play HEVC videos. However, a lot of people from microsoft forum complains that they fail to play HEVC (H.265) with build 10162 and 10166 just as the condition listed below:
“On the previous builds I’ve used, Windows Media Player supported x264 and x265 without any problems. Now with build 10162 and 10166, we have Movies (Films if your in the UK) & TV app, which looks good, recognises files as being compatible and plays AVI, MP4 and x264 fine… but not HEVC (h265), just get sound only! Also, Windows Media Player now just hangs trying to play the same video and then I have to force closure. Was working fine before, so is the a fix yet? Build 10166 now doesn’t even recognise the files as even playable!”
Why fail to play H.265 with WMP build 10162 and 10166?
Initially Microsoft include HEVC (H.265) software decode in Windows 10 pre-release for Windows for PC and phone. They have just made a late decision to limit HEVC support to devices that had hardware support. As HEVC is very computationally complex, this will provide a more consistent experience. Although there are limited devices in the market today with HEVC hardware support (e.g., NVidia GTX960), this is likely to change soon.
The list of supported codecs for Windows 10 can be found here: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/xaml/mt282148.aspx.
Solution to get H.265 played on Windows Media Player
Although Microsoft has limited H.265 playback on Windows Media Player, the good news is there are still other alternative solutions for you to play H.265/HEVC on Windows Media Player.
Solution 1: Use UHDcode DirectShow
The x265 Upgrade includes UHDcode DirectShow, which upgrades your Windows PC to enable playback of MP4 files containing HEVC (H.265). It’s easy to get started.
1. Download the x265 HEVC Upgrade.
2. Run the installer
3. When prompted, enter the activation key that was emailed to you
4. Run Windows Media Player (64 bit)
Note: Even on a 64 bit version of Windows, a 32 bit version of Windows Media Player is the default player for most media files. The 64 bit version can usually be found here: C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe. The x265 HEVC Upgrade will change your default file association for MP4 files to the 64 bit version of Windows Media Player and it will optionally install a shortcut on your desktop.
5. Drag a file to Windows Media Player, or open the MP4 file in Windows Media Player (64 bit) to play your HEVC video.
Solution 2: Convert H.265 to Windows Media Player native playback file format
If you are looking for a more reliable way to play H.265 on Windows Media Player, we highly recommend you to direct transcode H.265 to Windows Media Player native playback WMV file formats which won’t require you to install extra codec.
Here, you can get the job easily completed by downloading our best H.265 Decoder software – Pavtube Video Converter. The program has full importing support for both 4K/HD H.265 codec wrapped in both MKV or MP4 container file format. Thanks for its batch conversion mode, you can load multiple H.265 video into the application for conversion at one time.
The application can assist you to easily convert H.265 to Windows Media Player most compatible playback WMV file formats in 3 different file types:
– Fast conversion speed to output a “WMV 2(WMV 8)(*.wmv)” file with wmv2 codec
– High quality “WMV3 (WMV9)(*.wmv)” with VC-1 codec
– High definition quality “WMV HD(*.wmv)” file with HD standards
You can choose the suitable one according to your own needs.
For your great convenience, the program is available on both Windows 10/8.1/8/7. Besides H.265, this powerful program also assists you to convert other unsupported file formats such as AVI, MP4, MOV, MKV, AVCHD, etc for Windows Media Player convenient playing.
Step by Step to Convert H.265 for Windows Media Player Viewing
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 H.265 files into the program.
Step 2: Define the output format.
Clicking the Format bar, from its drop-down list, select Windows Media Player best supported WMV files under “Common Video” main category.
Output fast conversion speed WMV2(WMV8) file
Output high quality WMV3 (WMV9) file
Output high definition WMV HD file format
Tips: Click “Settings” on the main interface to open “Profile Settings” window, here, you can flexibly adjust the output 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: Begin the conversion process.
After all setting is completed, hit the “Convert” button at the right bottom of the main interface to start H.265 to Windows Media Player supported WMV file format conversion process.
When the conversion is finished, click “Open Output Folder” icon on the main interface to open the folder with generated files. Then you will have no problem to play the converted H.265 files with Windows Media Player.