Why should you convert MP4 to H.264?
H.264 (aka MPEG-4 AVC) is a predominant codec used in storing, editing, streaming, and broadcasting videos. When you can't import an MP4 file to Premiere Pro, open it with the default player, or upload it to social media platforms, it's always considered prior to its codec (which is legacy or newly-developed). Now H.264 is the best target codec. What's more, H.264 codec is efficient to reduce the size of HD videos while maintaining the best quality.
At the very beginning, we should make it clear that MP4 and H.264 are different. The former is a file container format while the latter refers to a video compression standard. So it's not a straight conversion from one to another. It involves three different situations:
- Re-encoding MP4 with H.264 codec, such as MP4 HEVC to H.264, MP4 MPEG-4 to H.264.
- Converting MP4 to H.264 codec with another container, such as MP4 to MOV H.264, MP4 to MKV H.264.
- Converting .mp4 to .264, a file with raw video stream only.
Keep this in mind, and you can convert MP4 to H.264 according to your needs with the best video converter below.
1. Convert MP4 to H.264 with VideoProc Converter AI
First and foremost, make the right call on the video converting software. It determines whether you can quickly solve compatibility issues of MP4 files while retaining the original video quality.
VideoProc Converter AI, an easy yet powerful video converter on Windows and Mac, would be your best assistant. It's super-fast and simple to convert and transcode video/audio files. Even beginners can get the hang of how to convert MP4 to H.264 in minutes. Apart from converting 370+ types of video files, VideoProc Converter AI is also competent to compress, quick edit, download online videos, rip DVDs, and record computer screen. And powered by advanced AI training models, it can enhance video quality by upscaling, increasing FPS, stabilizing, and deinterlacing.
VideoProc Converter AI – The Best MP4 to H.264 Converter
- Easily handle all kinds of MP4 videos – 4K, HEVC, MPEG-4, 3D, 360-degree, DVD, etc.
- Preset H.264 profiles for general use, iPhone, Android, Sony, TV, YouTube, Facebook...
- 1:1 auto copy and two-pass encoding to convert MP4 to H.264 without losing quality.
- Customizable settings for frame rate, resolution, bitrate, subtitles, and video tag.
- Full GPU acceleration quickens batch video conversion without lags.
- AI upscaling, frame interpolation, slow motion, stabilization, and deinterlacing.
Free Download VideoProc Converter AI and Convert MP4 to H.264 without Fuss!
Note: The Windows version now supports AI-powered Super Resolution, Frame Interpolation, and Stabilization to enhance video and image quality. These AI features are not yet available in the Mac version but will be coming soon.
Step 1. Import Your MP4 Video(s) to VideoProc Converter AI
After downloading and installing this software, launch it on your Windows or Mac. Click "Video Converter" > "+Video" to load the MP4 file that you want to convert to H.264.
Step 2. Set H.264 as the Target Format
Head to the bottom bar. Click "Video" > "MP4 H.264" to convert MP4 to H.264.
For more H.264 formats, click "Target Format". Type "h264" in the search box, and you can find QuickTime H.264, M4V H.264, MKV H.264, and so forth.
Tips: Open "Codec Option", then you can adjust the video quality, frame rate, bitrate, resolution, and aspect ratio in a sub panel.
Step 3. Export the H.264 File
Click "Browse" to choose a folder to save the converted file on your computer. Enable Hardware Acceleration and hit "RUN" to import the H.264 video.
2. How to Convert MP4 to H.264 Online
ConvertFiles is an online file converter that supports conversion between videos, images, audio files, and documents. Meanwhile, it's the minority in online converters that can convert .mp4 to .264 for free.
Please note that the H.264 in its output format refers to raw H.264. It's a single video stream with a .264 extension, so you will find no sound, no softcode subtitles, and frames out of sync in the converted video. Try this method only if you need to extract video data and repurpose it into other formats.
- It's available on both computer and mobile with internet connections.
- It's free and simple to convert MP4 to H.264 for everyone.
- Intrusive ads on the website might lead you to unsafe sites.
- It takes a long time to upload, convert, and download a video file.
- It cannot convert MP4 files larger than 250MB currently.
- It offers no option to keep the original video quality.
How to Convert MP4 to H.264 Using Online Converter
Step 1. Go to the website of ConvertFiles. Click Convert and choose Video.
Step 2. Click Browse to select an MP4 file on your computer.
Step 3. Select Raw H.264 Video File in the output format option. Hit the Convert button.
Step 4. Wait for it to upload the MP4 video and convert it to H.264. When it finishes the task, hit Download to save the final video on your computer.
3. Convert MP4 to H.264 with FFmpeg
FFmpeg is a cross-platform and open-source program working on Windows 10, Mac (64-bit), and Linux. For tech-savvy users, this is a powerful tool to convert, record, and stream video and audio for free. However, many people are deterred away by its complicated installation and command lines.
- It gives you full control over the final video quality and file size.
- It allows converting and transcoding many types of videos.
- It's too complicated for average users.
- It doesn't have an intuitive interface or a real-time preview area.
- Sometimes, it's hard to find reasons for the failure of the conversion.
How to Convert MP4 to H.264 Using FFmpeg
Step 1. Download the latest FFmpeg package from ffmpeg.org.
Step 2. Unzip the package after downloading.
Step 3. Create a new folder for the program and name it FFmpeg under the system directory.
Step 4. Move the unzipped FFmpeg file to the newly-created folder.
Step 5. Open Run on your Windows computer and input cmd.
Step 6. Input cd\FFmpeg to open ffmpeg.exe.
Step 7. To convert MP4 to H.264 codec, you need to input the command line: ffmpeg -i yourvideoname.mp4 -c:v libx264 outputfilename.mp4.
Note: The step above is about re-encoding the MP4 file with H.264/AVC while keeping the same format container. If you want to convert MP4 to H.264 in other format containers, just change .mp4 to other extensions after the output profile name.
4. Convert MP4 to H.264 with HandBrake
HandBrake is a capable transcoder that supports a broad range of input formats including MP4, MOV, MKV, TS, WebM, FLV, etc. It allows you to re-encode MP4 with H.264 codec and convert MP4 to MKV H.264. Since it's open-sourced, you can use it for free on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
- Advanced customizable settings of video, audio, subtitles, and chapters.
- Free and clean to download.
- Categorized output presets for web, different devices, and general use.
- You can't preview the video until it finishes exporting.
- It only outputs H.264/AVC videos in MP4 or MKV.
How to Convert MP4 to H.264 Using HandBrake
Step 1. Open HandBrake and load your MP4 file to it.
Step 2. Choose a format container for the H.264 file, MP4 or MKV in Summary.
Step 3. Open the Video option, and choose H.264 in Video Codec.
Step 4. Go to Save As to select an output folder and give the file a name.
Step 5. Hit Start Encode on the upper toolbar. Then wait for it to convert your MP4 to an H.264 file.
Frequently Asked Questions About MP4 and H.264
Is MP4 the same as H.264?
No. MP4 is a format container holding video, audio, images, and subtitles, while H.264/AVC is a video compression codec used to encode video data.
Video streams in MP4 files can be encoded with H.264 or other standards. Likewise, video data compressed with H.264 can be incorporated into MP4 and other container formats like MOV, MKV, AVI…
Is H.264 good quality?
H.264 has achieved technical innovations in coding schemes when it was born. It supports high-definition videos including 1080p and 4K @60fps while consuming less storage than its predecessors. But specifically, the reasons for video quality include codec, bitrate, frame rate, and resolution.
How do I open H264 files on Windows 10?
Double-click on the H.264 video, and you'll see it opened with the default media player on your Windows. If failed, right-click on it and click Open with to choose another video player.
Does Windows Media Player support H.264?
Yes. The latest Windows Media Player 12 supports H.264 natively. If errors happen after updating, try another video player, for example, VLC.