libde265 HEVC performance on PC hardware for 720p/1080p and 4K video

With HEVC/H.265 video decoding the computational complexity is of interest for 1K (1080p) video streaming on mobile phones and set-top boxes and for 4K UHD resolution on smart TVs and PCs.

As a reference video for decoding/playback measurements the Bender foundation Ian Hubert film ‘Tears of Steel’ was chosen. The short film ‘Tears of Steel’ is publicly available in raw 4K video and H.265 (HM Reference Encoder) encoding with video resolutions of up to 4K. In addition, the film is also available in H.264 format. libde265 HEVC performance was timed on a standard PC using ‘timehevc’. The open source tool plays short film Tears Of Steel out of a Matroska media container (.mkv) and measures the libde265 HEVC frame rate and CPU usage.

libde265 HEVC video decoding performance

Resolution avg. fps CPU usage
720p [1] 259 fps 37 %
1080p [2] 135 fps 42 %
4K [3] 31 fps 49 %
Testing environment
  • Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2700K CPU @ 3.50GHz (4 physical CPU cores)
  • Ubuntu 12.04, 64bit
  • GStreamer 0.10.36


According to divx, “The Tears of Steel streams were encoded with HM-11.0 Reference Encoder using the encoder_randomaccess_main.cfg with Sample Adaptive Offset (SAO) disabled and WaveFrontSynchro enabled.”.


Tears of Steel short film


  1. Srivani
    September 30th

    But the hevc mkv streams downloaded from divx site are having problem of flickering video. What is the solution for it.

    • team
      September 30th

      Which player are you using (VLC, Windows Codec pack, …) ? What do you exactly mean by “flickering”? Are there corrupted frames, does the image flash between content and black, or is the playback correct, but stuttering?
      Note that some videos from the divx site have bitstream errors and will show decoding errors. If you only experience problems with the divx videos, I guess that it is because of the faulty bitstreams.

      • Srivani
        October 1st

        While running on android (odroid xu board Arm platform) the audio is playing normally but the video was not smooth means 2 to 3 frames are being displayed two times. The stream is playing well with divx player and vlc latest player.