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How to Play H.265/HEVC on Kodi flawlessly?

How to Play H.265/HEVC on Kodi flawlessly?

Camille Wesley No Comment
Kodi (XBMC)

More and more video files have popped up in x265/HEVC format recently and some have trouble getting the HEVC/H.265 files to playback in Kodi. From time to time, you might found that you can play a whole bunch of x265 files in VLC happily and smoothly but when open Kodi through and then it’s laggy, out of sync and drops more frames than it shows.

H.265/HEVC to Kodi

Does Kodi support H.265/HEVC? Actualy, the short answer should be YES. Kodi gives its explanation about HEVC supporting on Wiki as below:

H.265/HEVC Support in Kodi

Kodi v14 introduced software decoding support for HEVC. Kodi v15 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 further improved hardware decoding on Android and Windows and introduced it via VAAPI 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.

So, the reasons for Kodi H.265/HEVC playback issues will be various.When you can’t play H.265/HEVC files on Kodi, you can try the mothods below.

Method 1: Upgrade older Kodi version to the latest Kodi v16/v17 beta

Kodi uses ffmpeg as its video decoder, so I’d guess that whatever version of Kodi you are running is using an older version of ffmpeg. Try using the latest Kodi v16 beta (beta 2 currently) which may have improved performance. You might also give OpenELEC a try if you don’t need Windows, since it’s far more optimal than Windows for running Kodi (esp the Intel/VAAPI/EGL builds)

Method 2: Set the video cache 

If you have some issues popped up – got a bunch of HEVC/H.265 files and the audio was severely behind and your PC has no hardware support either. You can drop a RAM in it and set the video cache to something like 4 or 5 GB. Afterward, the video playback / audio sync was a non issue again. Audio sync seemed to be more prevalent in movies than tv shows encoded.

Method 3: Install Hevc Bluray add-on in Kodi

Hevc Bluray is a new add-on that is available through the Entertainment repo. It​ is a great add-on for Movies new & old in HD 720p, 1080p & 3D in High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC). Also has some 1080p tv episodes. Read Top 15 Addons for kodi 2016

This add-on is not supported by the KodiTeam or XBMC foundation. Please do not post questions on the website relating to this add-on

  • Open Kodi
  • Select SYSTEM > File Manager
  • Select Add Source
  • Select None
  • Type the following EXACTLY and select Done
  • Highlight the box underneath Enter a name for this media Source & type fusion
  • Select OK
  • Go back to your Home Screen
  • Select SYSTEM
  • Select Add-Ons
  • Select Install from zip file
  • Select fusion
  • Select xbmc-repos
  • Select english
  • Select
  • Wait for Add-on enabled notification
  • Select Install from repository or Get Add-Ons on Helix
  • Select Entertainment Repo
  • Select Video Add-Ons
  • Select HevcBluray
  • Select Install
  • Wait for Add-on enabled notification

HevcBluray is now installed and ready to use. As usual the add-on can be accessed via VIDEOS > Add-Ons > HevcBluray

Method 4: Transcode H.265 to H.264 for Kodi

If you tried all the ways above and still can’t play H.265 videos with Kodi, this way must be effective. You can re-encode H.265 video to H.264 video for Kodi playback. With Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate, you can easily convert H.265/HEVC video to H.264/AVC files. This video transcoder can transcode H.265 MKV, H.265 MP4 and other H.265 files to H.264 MKV, H.264 MP4 for Kodi playing. It even can convert 2D video to SBS 3D for Kodi 3D playback. Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate is also a Blu-ray Ripper that can bypass Blu-ray AACS, BD+, up to MKV V61 and MKB V62 to convert H.264/AVC and H.265/HEVC Blu-ray to H.264 MP4/MKV for Kodi.


Step 1. Import H.265 video files.

Launch H.265 to H.264 converter on Windows. click “File” to import your H.265 video files. If you want to convert H.265/H.264 Blu-ray to Kodi, you need a Blu-ray drive to read Blu-ray disc.

Step 2. Choose target format

Click “Format” bar to open the format profile list, you can choose H.264 video from “Common Video” and “HD Video” categories. Each category contains many format, like MP4, MOV, AVI, etc. You can choose any one you need. Here, we take H.264 MP4 as instance.

Tip: You are allowed to adjust video and audio parameters if you are not satisfied with the default settings. Presets like size, bitrate, frame rate, audio channels, etc. can be customized in your own way.

Step 3. Start transcoding H.265/HEVC video files to H.264/AVC MP4 for Kodi

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.

If your Kodi and hardware is normal, there won’t be any issues to play H.264 video on Kodi. In addition, Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate also can convert VC-1 MKV to Kodi, compress 4K to Kodi and even rip any DVD to Kodi.

Hope you can solve your problem of Kodi can’t play H.265/HEVC files here.

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