Agenda for talk on optimizing x265 and x265 quality with FFmpeg
Agenda for talk on optimizing x265 and x265 quality with FFmpeg.

How to Optimize x264 and x265 Quality in FFmpeg

This blog includes the video and handout from my talk on “How to Produce x264 and x265 Video at Maximum Quality and Maximum Efficiency” at NAB 2023 (thanks to Dan Rayburn). Here’s the description.

This research-based session explores configuration options like presets, threads, color depth, and others that impact output quality and encoding efficiency. Balancing encoding cost and streaming bandwidth, you’ll learn how to choose the optimal preset based on the expected viewer count and the optimal core count for cloud instances to encode your video.

If you’re looking for some tips on how to optimize x264 quality, or x265 quality with 1080p/8-bit encodes and 4K/10-bit encodes,  you’ll find this useful. Here’s the handout (download)

You’ll have to watch the video on the NAB website because there are no embed codes, and it wouldn’t be cricket to pirate a video professionally produced by Dan’s team in Las Vegas. Go to this page, search for Ozer, and you’ll find the video. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Agenda for talk on optimizing x265 and x265 quality with FFmpeg
Agenda for a talk on optimizing x265 and x265 quality with FFmpeg.

Here’s the agenda. Obviously, x264 starts close to the front, x265 at around 28:21, and x265 4K starts at 36:50. Note that the camera follows me a bit too much to the exclusion of the slides (in the video), so the most efficient way to move through these materials might be to just read the handout.

Optimize x264 Quality/x265 Quality Resources:

About Jan Ozer

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I help companies train new technical hires in streaming media-related positions; I also help companies optimize their codec selections and encoding stacks and evaluate new encoders and codecs. I am a contributing editor to Streaming Media Magazine, writing about codecs and encoding tools. I have written multiple authoritative books on video encoding, including Video Encoding by the Numbers: Eliminate the Guesswork from your Streaming Video ( and Learn to Produce Video with FFmpeg: In Thirty Minutes or Less ( I have multiple courses relating to streaming media production, all available at I currently work as as a Senior Director in Marketing.

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  1. In this experiments performed to evaluate the effect of change in “preset”, was considering a fixed video bitrate or a fixed CRF?

    Best regards