Handbrake Review-Free & Open-source Video Transcoding Software

In many cases, the video size is getting larger and larger whether you have HD movies from Blu-ray, or video recordings by your phone. So, it becomes extremely necessary to have free video compression software to convert and compress large videos to save space or better sharing or streaming on the Internet. In this post, I will have a review for Handbrake just in case you don’t have how to pick up a decent video converter as there are so many, paid or free.

After trying a good many video-converting software, I do believe Handbrake is the best that is open-source, free, and cross-platform. It’s a universal video converting tool that converts all videos, like MKV to MP4. What’s more important, it’s compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux! It’s a tool for anybody! Let’s go on the review for Handbrake, so you will learn more about it.

Handbrake-Free & Open-source Video Transcoding Software

Handbrake is a free open-source video processing software that is professional, powerful, and universal to convert different videos! It supports almost all the mainstream video formats, and it also supports the new web video formats very well. Whether you use Windows, macOS, or Linux, Handbrake is fully compatible. Undoubtedly, Handbrake is an artifact!

Handbrake supports English, German, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and Korean, meaning a majority of people can use it without any problem!

It’s very easy to use Handbrake for video transcoding, compressing video size, denoising or sharpening videos, etc. It supports MP4/M4V, WebM, or MKV, which are the most common video formats nowadays! At the same time, it can also support the functions of setting video cutting, setting video quality, adding subtitles, filters, video and audio codecs, chapters, and so on. There are many optional parameters, and it also supports “add to queue” for batch conversion.

Handbrake Full Specifications

Handbrake can process and convert almost all the common and mainstream video formats, and support reading DVD and Blu ray discs and can convert them to some common formats, such as:

Output Format: MP4 (.mp4 & .m4v), WebM and MKV

Video Encoders: H.264(x264),H.264 10-bit(x264),H.264(Intel QSV), MPEG-4, MPEG-2, Theora, H.265(x265),H.265 10-bit(x265),H.265 12-bit(x265),H.265(Intel QSV),H.265 10-bit(Intel QSV),VP8, VP9

Audio Encoders: AAC(avcodec), MP3, AC3, FLAC 16-bit, FLAC 24-bit, E-AC3, Vorbis

Audio Passthrough: AC3 Passthrough, E-AC3 Passthrough, DTS Passthrough, DTS-HD Passthrough, TrueHD Passthrough, AAC Passthrough, MP3 Passthrough, FLAC Passthrough, Opus(libopus)

Handbrake Audio Codec

Now handbrake only provides the 64-bit version and supports Windows 10, 8.1, and 7, however, Windows XP is no longer supported. If you want to run Handbrake on Windows XP, try the old releases here:

As for macOS, it runs on macOS 10.11 or later Intel Macs as well as the Silicon Macs. Linux, Ubuntu, and Flatpak are supported too.

In addition, it also provides a command-line version. For those who are tech-savvy, you can write scripts to complete more complex video processing tasks.

Handbrake Review: Compress and reduce Video Size with Ease

I personally use Handbrake to compress video size most, because it is often necessary to upload or share videos with others, while some network services will limit the file size or video length. So, they need to be compressed before they can be uploaded. At the same time, I’d also like to compress videos to save hard drive storage. The good news is, the quality is NOT bad.

Meanwhile, Handbrake is fast in converting and compressing, and it supports batch conversion and GPU acceleration. With Handbrake, your videos can be transferred very easily and quickly to YouTube, Facebook, Rumble, etc for streaming.

Handbrake VS Wondershare UniConverter

To be honest, the interface of Handbrake is not friendly to beginners, because it looks a little complicated for the first time you use it. But, it’s still very simple when you get used to it. If you have some experience in using video converting software, you should be able to use it in two minutes. 

Comparing with Wondershare UniConverter, Handbrake seems more complex. UniConverter is more straightforward. So, Wondershare is more recommended for the elders or those who are not very tech-savvy. 

Besides, Wondershare UniConverter comes with more functions that Handbrake does not support, like YouTube downloading, screen recording, DVD burning, VR converting, GIF-making, etc. For more details, please visit: 

How to Convert and Compress Videos with Handbrake

Handbrake is easy to use. Once we download and install it, we can get started.

Step 1. Load Videos

Drag and drop the video files or folders that you want to directly into the Handbrake interface to start.

Step 2. Presets

Of course, if you don’t want to understand or set too many complex parameters, Handbrake also provides a number of built-in quick “presets” to help you quickly compress/convert video.

For example, “Fast 1080p 30” as shown above means “convert to 1080p 30 frames”.

Step 3. Start Converting

Press the “Start Queue” button to quickly complete video transcoding according to the preset scheme.

Tips Using Handbrake

When I was doing the review for Handbrake, I found the below tips and I assume it would be useful for you all. 

  • Set Default Path

You’d better set a default path for converting, so you don’t have to set it every time. You can set it here in Tools- Preference-Output Files and click Browse to set:

  • GPU Acceleration

Handbrake supports GPU acceleration for encoding and decoding, but this depends on your GPU. You can set so in Tools-Preferences-Video. I myself would always like to enable all possible options. 

  • Web Optimized

With Handbrake, your videos can be more suitable for uploading to streaming video sites like YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, Rumble, etc for better sharing. Just enable Web Optimized after your video is loaded. 

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