High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC), also known as H.265, is a video compression standard capable of supporting video resolutions up to 8K.

The Full Story

HEVC was first published in 2013 as a successor to the Advanced Video Codec (AVC) video compression standard, also known as H.264.

While AVC was introduced to support HD video (usually 1920x1080 resolution), HEVC was introduced to support 4K and High Definition Range (HDR) video.

In September 2017, Apple introduced native HEVC support to all of its operating system variants - macOS 10.13, iOS 11 and tvOS 11.   Any Apple device running these versions of the operating system or above can play back HEVC.

Apple also introduced hardware support for HEVC on later model hardware.  Hardware support for HEVC (or any video codec) means that the encoding (recording and converting) and decoding (playback) of this video type takes place on a dedicated chip, usually the graphics driver, leaving the main CPU free to keep the computer running as normal without being bogged down by intense video management.

With Smart Converter and Smart Converter 2.4.0 and above we have changed our device definitions for Mac, iPhone, iPad and AppleTV assume these devices are running macOS 10.13, iOS 11 or tvOS 11.

What this means is that when you convert a HEVC video file using Smart Converter or Smart Converter Pro 2.4.0 or above, HEVC video will be 'FAST' converted, meaning the video codec will be left as-is and re-wrapped (if required) into MP4.

Bottom Line

As of November 2017, Smart Converter and Smart Converter Pro assume that you are running the current version of macOS, iOS or tvOS.

If this is not the case, you can force conversions of HEVC (H.265) to AVC (H.264) by selecting the following output options:

  • Legacy Apple (this forces conversions to H.264)
  • AppleTV 3 or earlier
  • Any iPad version other than iPad Pro or iPad Air or iPad Mini
  • iPhone 5 or earlier