H.265 (HEVC) editing on the Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Mark Booth, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Mark Booth macrumors 65816

    Mark Booth

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #1
    I recently updated our home video surveillance system to a Q-See 4K NVR with 4MP IP cameras. The system compresses everything in H.265 (HEVC). Recorded segments can be output from the NVR as either DAV or AVI files, but both are H.265. Q-See provides a "Smart Player" application for Mac OS that will playback either file format. In addition, the AVI files can be played back with VLC. As far as saving any recorded segments I wish to save for later viewing, everything is fine. If I need to supply video to law enforcement (such as when someone stole a package from our front porch), I can still do that. But what I cannot do is EDIT any of the video segments.

    We live in a somewhat rural area. Raccoons, opossums, coyotes, skunks and other critters are regularly on our property. Over the years, I've had some fun sharing some of these animals' antics with our friends. With our previous system (analog cameras and H.264 compression), I could edit together views from various cameras to create a little video story. Upgrading to a H.265 system has eliminated that capability on my Mac.

    The DAV files can only be opened in the "Smart Player" app that is provided by Q-See. The AVI files can be opened in "Smart Player" or also opened by VLC. QuickTime and Final Cut Pro both refuse to open the H.265 AVI files. VLC has an mp4 export feature and I tried it out (converting H.265 AVI to mp4). The resulting file was a mess. It wouldn't open in QuickTime or Final Cut Pro. It would open in VLC, but playback was scrambled for part of the video. I suspect the file was still H.265.

    I've found conversion utility apps for the Mac on the web that claim they will convert H.265 (HVEC) to H.264 mp4. But all of the sites for these files look kind of spammy and I'm concerned I'll end up installing malware with the utility program.

    I am running Yosemite on a high-end iMac. I use Aperture daily and Yosemite is the last Mac OS that is 100% compatible with Aperture. Besides, I don't think Sierra supports H.265 yet either (but looks like H.265 will be coming to High Sierra).

    I know Adobe Premiere would probably allow me to import and edit H.265 files. But $240/year to be able to occasionally edit some critter videos is just crazy.

    My best bet is probably a converter utility. Convert the H.265 AVI files to H.264 mp4 files and then I can edit them in Final Cut Pro. Does anyone have any recommendations for a SAFE and malware/adware=free H.265 to H.264 conversion utility for Mac OS?

    Thanks!

    Mark
     
  2. Mark Booth thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mark Booth

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #2
    I did a little research and discovered that the Aperture metadata bug that was happening under Sierra got fixed at version 10.12.2. There are still a few minor bugs being reported, but fixing the metadata bug was a big one. So, I backed up my boot drive (SuperDuper) and installed Sierra. I've already found 2 minor bugs in Aperture 3.6 under Sierra but I can live with what I've found so far.

    I also updated Final Cut Pro to 10.3.4 but, alas, it still cannot handle H.265 files.

    Anyone else remember when Apple was the company that LEAD everyone else in adopting new technology? I sure do miss Steve Jobs.

    Mark
     
  3. Ritsuka macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2006
    #3
    HEVC has been and is still a patent mess.
    Anyway, HEVC will be supported in High Sierra, but not in avi. Putting h.264 and h.265 in avi is such a complete mess I wonder why they are still doing it. It's 2017 and people are still using avi which was obsolete already in 2000.
     
  4. Mark Booth thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mark Booth

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #4
    I couldn't agree more. Our previous Q-See DVR output recorded video segments in H.264 mp4 files. I was surprised to discover that the new one only does DAV and AVI. I am already lobbying Q-See to update the NVR's firmware to output H.265 mp4.

    I can change all of the IP cameras to output H.264 but that would probably double the amount of hard drive space needed for the recorded video.

    Mark
     

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