Summary: Here is a roundup of 9 best 4K video converters given their performance, features, availability, and ease of use. Depending on your goal when seeking a 4K video converter, these tools can help you to convert video to 4K, fix 4K playback errors, solve editing hiccups, swap containers without re-encoding, resizing, or compressing while maintaining the best quality.
With iPhone shooting 4K 30fps/60fps, GoPro and DJI capture 4K UHD videos, Cinema 4K, 4K 4:3, and platforms streaming 4K content, consumers have more access to 4K videos than ever. But when people try to work with 4K videos, exporting from iPhone to TV and computers, playing back on Windows/Mac, editing in Premiere, iMovie, DaVinci Resolve, things become complicated.
Below are some of the issues that a dedicated 4K video converter can help you with. You can also skip these, find the detailed description of each tool below and pick one that caters to your needs.
4K video converter solves these issues and beyond:
- Compatibility concerns: Dealing with playback errors on TV, Windows/Mac, upload correct 4K format to YouTube and edit smoothly in DaVinci Resolve, etc. Converting 4K MKV to MP4, MOV for playback, or to ProRes (intermediate codec) for video editing.
- 4K video stuttering or lagging: Some devices fall short on 4K HEVC, 4K 10bit, or 4K HDR videos. Plus, iPhone that shoots VBR (variable frame rate) 4K video can be problematic for editing software. 4K converter can change codec, convert VFR to CFR, and manage other codec settings.
- Convert 4K to 1080p: Downscaling 4K videos to lower resolution to save storage space, go for quick sharing where quality is less a matter.
- Convert video to 4K: Using a 4K converter to upscale 720p/1080p videos to 4K in certain scenarios. Some users are trying to do so not because they want to fake a 4K video. Instead, the specific use case can be, you are editing on a 4K timeline with footage from various resources, and you prefer to convert a video to 4K to streamline the process.
- Convert 4K to the best quality at smaller size: This is handy for 4K files from iPhone, GoPro videos, DJI, and DLSR cameras. Depending on your settings when recording the video, the file size can be unnecessarily large. With a dedicated video processing tool, you can convert 4K video and make it smaller – no matter you decide to keep the original resolution or downscale – without losing quality.
When choosing a 4K video converter, there are several factors to consider. Besides the issues mentioned above, you will also want to pay attention to the 4K resolution of your original video, and check whether the converter supports the 4K video resolutions at various aspect ratios (4K 16:9, 1.9:1, 4:3 etc).
1. VideoProc Converter
VideoProc Converter (former name: VideoProc) is the overall best choice to handle 4K videos. It supports 420+ output formats and 370+ input formats, including 1080p, 4K HDR, HEVC, 10bit videos, long-GOP from DJI, GoPro, variable frame rate (VFR) videos from iPhone, 4K MTS/M2TS and MXF from camcorders, and other demanding video files.
If you are experiencing the "playback error", you can use VideoProc Converter to remux the 4K container or transcode to a device-compatible format. If you prefer to save storage space and relieve CPU overheat, you can downscale 4K to 1080p without quality loss (using the high-quality engine in this tool). For editing in FCP, Premiere, iMovie, Sony Vegas, DaVinci Resolve, etc., VideoProc Converter supports process 4K video to ProRes (editing-friendly codec).
Unique Tech Tailored for 4K Videos:
- Level-3 hardware acceleration: this helps to relieve CPU software acceleration, and boosts the performances up to 47x by utilizing NVIDIA, Intel and AMD, and Apple Silicon M1.
- Auto-copy feature: or commonly known as the remux feature, which switches the container (MKV to MP4 for instance), without transcoding, thus maintaining the original quality.
- Manage codec settings easily: even non-techie person can easily adjust codec settings thanks to the concise UI, be it codec, resolution (convert video to 4K, or 4K to 1080p/720p/etc.), bitrate, or audio-specific options.
- HEVC/H265 to AVC/H264: computers without extension for HEVC code support may not be able to playback 4K HEVC. You can either install HEVC codec or transcode it to H264.
How to Convert 4K Videos with VideoProc Converter
Step 1: Download and install VideoProc Converter on your computer.
Step 2: Once the installation is done, fire up VideoProc Converter and select Video on the main interface.
Step 3: Click +Video at the top to import a single video or hit the +Video Folder to import videos in bulk.
Step 4: Convert 4K videos.
- Scenario 1 – Convert videos to 4K: choose the 4K H264 profile as the target format. You can also go to codec settings (gear-icon), and change resolution to 3840x2160 or 4096x2160 according to your specific needs. If you want to use H265, you can change H264 to H265 also.
- Scenario 2 – Convert 4K videos to 1080p: similar as above steps, you simply go to the codec settings and switch the resolution to 1920x1080. 720p/480p and many more are also supported.
- Scenario 3 – Convert 4K videos format: if you simply want to change file extension, for instance from MKV to MP4, click the target format. You can also use profiles for many devices (TV, iPhone, Xbox, PlayStation, online sites, etc.)
- Scenario 4 – Convert 4K video to fix "codec not supported" error: in this case, you can check the code information by clicking the info icon – and most likely it is HEVC that are not supported by your media player or computer – then use H264/AVC codec in the target format.
- Scenario 5 – Convert 4K video for smooth editing: click the target format and use ProRes profile for the output. You can also use H264 MP4/MOV as they are widely supported in mainstream video editors.
- Other situations: as VideoProc Converter supports all the popular and rare video formats, you can trust it to convert 4K videos easily.
Step 5: Choose an output path and hit the RUN button to start processing the videos.
Powerful and highly approachable, HandBrake is a free video transcoder that is capable of handling 4K video files from your hard drive.
Converting 4K video files in HandBrake is quite straightforward. It offers an excellent selection of ready-made profiles, all of which include universal profiles of standard quality or high-definition, profiles for uploading online, profiles optimized for different devices, and other options. After that, you will select a location and add the conversion to the queue.
But the real fun of HanbBrake lies in the customization, which lets you customize every aspect of your video, from video codec, frame rate, bitrate, audio setups to resolution, subtitles and more.
- Smart and intuitive user interface;
- Batching encoding supported;
- Ripping DVD or Blu-ray sources that don't have copyright-protections.
- Excessively complicated for beginners.
3. VLC media player
VLC media player may not a household name, but this versatile tool has certainly carved a name for itself with a wide array of features, including file conversion, file playback, video recording, video trimming, etc.
Though it's a free and open source program, that doesn't say it should be overlooked. Mostly, you don't have to download third-party plugins for opening a file and transcoding, because it has many decoding and encoding libraries developed by its project. And it can convert batches of 4K videos with accurate output options easily.
- Excellent format support;
- File format quick preset that automatically configures all the output parameters;
- Advanced controls let you make different format combinations.
- 4K video bulk converting may be intensive and take time.
4. Any Video Converter
Any Video Converter comes with both a free version and a Pro version. The free version allows you to convert videos, including 4K videos encoded in AVC/HEVC to other video formats. It supports hundreds of input formats, with the ability to transcode them into 160+ outputs. As a toolkit bundle, it also supports basic editing to trim videos, adjust colors and add watermarks.
Using this 4K video converter, you can make smaller size video, and have a queue for batch conversion tasks. The pro version comes with additional features for DVD burning and screen recording. If your only goal is to convert 4K, the free version is enough to go. However, there will be a notification that nags you to upgrade to the pro version upon every task.
- Support converting with pre-configured profiles for devices;
- Option to disable audio upon conversion.
- Constant popup that asks you to upgrade to the pro version;
- No native support for Apple M1.
5. Acrok Video Converter
Acrok Video Converter offers a free trial for users with 4K video and other demanding formats. It readily accepts popular and rare formats such as MKV, AVI, MOV, MP4, DAT, MXF, VOB, etc. For the editing crowd, Acrok helps to convert 4K video into formats supported by Sony Vegas, Premiere and other programs.
If the hardware of your computer supports GPU acceleration, Acrok Video Converter can access that feature to boost the 4K conversion up to 10x faster, and it also supports multi-core CPUs for batch tasks. Though Acrok is pricier than software with the same feature set, it lessens the learning curve for non-techies.
- Support converting 4K to MP4, MOV, WMV, etc.;
- Features to convert 2D to 3D videos and edit videos.
- It puts a watermark on exported video in the free version.
6. MacX Video Converter
If you are looking for a dedicated 4K video converter for Mac, then look no further than MacX Video Converter. It is designed to convert videos to fit in the Mac OS ecosystem, making the footage easy to playback or being edited. This 4K video converter offers the option to compress large 4K videos into smaller MP4, MOV, and over 200 formats.
Besides 4K videos, you can also import 4K photos and convert them into 4K videos inside this converter. Please note that if your video exceeds 5 minutes, the free version will not be working, and the editing feature will be disabled. Aside from this limitation, other features work nicely for high-resolution videos.
- Convert MKV to MP4/MOV and other Mac-friendly formats;
- Bundled with editing tools, webcam recording, and screen capture tools.
- The free version has restrictions on video length.
7. Aiseesoft Video Converter Ultimate
If you value simplicity and seamlessness, Aiseesoft Video Converter Ultimate would be the best solution for you to wrestle with 4K video files. It prides itself on being easy for everyone to get started, because it features full tutorials on its website and adopts a simple operation philosophy. What you need to do is to drag and drop your 4K video files onto the program, select the format and the directory, then hit the Convert All to get the 4K conversion started.
What makes this tool different is that it features creating MV. You can load your video clips onto the MV page, select a template and do simple editing, export your work at last.
- Take seconds to grasp;
- Boost up the conversion speed with hardware encoding;
- Simple editing kit for creating MVs.
- Ads will get in the way during the trial period.
8. XiliSoft Video Converter Ultimate
XiliSoft doesn't have the catchiest of names, but this video converter does a lot of things well. It's particularly adept at processing 4K videos, offering a wide range of controls for upgrading, downscaling, changing bitrate, frame rate and more.
You can also find support for over 160 video and audio formats, including quick presets for different devices, and basic editing options such as trimming, merging, cropping, etc. If you want to go creative, you can go for 3D conversion and video effect to achieve a unique look.
- Support more than 160 video and audio formats;
- Basic editing features for newbies;
- Batch conversion.
- The user interface is a bit of mess.
HDconvert is a web-based video converter that allows you to deal with 4K videos without installing any plugins or software. The only drawback is that the trial version limits output files to 720p unless you upgrade to the premium version. It has a small set of output options to choose from, MP4, MOV, AVI, FLV, MKV, MP3, FLAC, AIFF, etc.
Another benefit to online HDconvert is that it works with cloud storage services. Once you have signed into the online tool, all your uploaded and converted files will be automatically saved in cloud at least 24 hours.
- No need to download extra applications;
- No file size limit;
- Support for cloud storage service.
- If your internet is spotty, the conversion speed is spotty.
For most, VideoProc Converter ranks on top as it's a perfect balance between power and ease of use. VLC and HandBrake are free and open source, but both of them have some drawbacks. Aiseesoft and XiliSoft are less famous, while they do just fine in the field of video conversion. HDconvert is a web-based video converter, which can be used on any system.