Is It Possible to Play HEVC on macOS High Sierra Natively?

What Is HEVC?

HEVC (H.265) is a video compression standard successor to AVC (H.264) and firstly released in June 2013. Offering better data compression ratio, it delivers improved video quality at the same bit rate yet smaller file size at the same level of video quality than H.264 leading it to support ultra HD resolutions, like 4K and 8K. So far, boatloads of encoders and decoders are published to achieve HEVC encoding and playback. Also, some operation systems, e.g. Windows 10, Android 5.0 or later, start supporting HEVC to play 4K and 8K videos with sharper and clearer images.

Does macOS High Sierra Support HEVC?

High Sierra is the 14th generation of macOS which was announced at WWDC 2017 in June and will be publicly released in the fall. Apple had released several public beta versions empowering users to experience this system.

It is confirmed that HEVC is fully supported on macOS High Sierra helping play and stream 4K/8K videos encoded with HEVC natively. HEVC hardware acceleration is also available but requires a Mac (iMac/MacBook/MacBook Pro) with a 6th generation Intel processor or newer.

How to Play HEVC on macOS High Sierra?

From above-mentioned, we can play HEVC on macOS High Sierra natively without any other 3-rd party HEVC codecs installed. Open QuickTime > drag and drop a HEVC video into it and the video will be automatically played. However, HEVC not playing issue still occurs:

“I am using a MacBook Pro while running the macOS High Sierra public beta. I converted a video to the H.265 codec in HandBrake, and I cannot get QuickTime to recognize the file. Does anyone have a potential fix?”

Actually, we dont know why some HEVC (H.265) files can’t be played on macOS High Sierra but boldly guess that there are some minor bugs of HEVC compatibility on this new system. And, we would like to share 2 solutions to play HEVC on macOS High Sierra smoothly.

Solution 1. Convert HEVC to H.264
H.264 codec was available from Mac OS X v10.4 with QuickTime 7 in April 2005. Through over 10-year development, it is coming to a perfect support of H.264 on Mac. Therefore, we suggest you to convert the unplayable HEVC video to H.264.

WinX Video Converter for Mac is a professional free video converter for macOS including the newest High Sierra. It supports a wide range of video formats, covering HEVC, H.264, MKV, MP4, MOV, AVI, WMV and more. Using it, you can get a H.264 file converted from HEVC with a high quality. Fast speed can save you time if converting a feature-length 4K HEVC movie. In addition, it is 100% clean and safe with virus-free.

Download and install WinX Video Converter for Mac on macOS High Sierra and follow the guide to convert HEVC to H.264.

1. Open WinX Video Converter for Mac and click +Video button to load the unacceptable HEVC video.
2. After the Output Profile window pops up, go to General Video > MP4 Video (H264) > OK.
3. Click RUN button to start converting HEVC to H.264.

Solution 2. Download Third-party HEVC Player for macOS High Sierra
If you want to keep original HEVC files without any change, try to download a competent HEVC player for macOS High Sierra instead of QuickTime.

5KPlayer is a versatile media player for macOS High Sierra and lower versions capable of playing ultra HD (4K)/HD (1080P)/SD videos, DVDs and music. Supporting virtually all popular video and audio formats, it handle playback of HEVC, H.264, MOV, MKV, MP4, AVI, WMV, FLV, WebM etc, without additional codecs. No matter where you get the HEVC videos, downloaded online or encoded with HEVC encoders, 5KPlayer can deliver a success and flawless playback.

Download 5KPlayer on your Mac > Open it > Drag and drop HEVC video into it. Now, you can enjoy the video on macOS High Sierra.

Author: MediaGroup

We are a group of writers greatly interested in multimedia. We would like to recommend the best programs and solutions of video conversion. We also follow multimedia technology news and happily share with you.

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