What's the Difference Between AVCHD and H.264?

Containers? Codecs? Formats? We give you all the technical background you need to know to finally arrive at a simple answer to the question. "What is the difference between avchd and h264?"

Video Formats Explained (article)

The Current State of Codecs (article)


Very poor explanation...

ProPhotog1's picture

More than 2/3 of the video had nothing to do with the real differences between the two. This needs to be done over. This topic is far too complicated to have such a shallow video.

I think it was spot on

I'm not sure what 2/3rds you might be referring to, maybe the discussion about what a container is. But virtually all the students at the non-profit film school where I work get codecs confused with containers and have found this video very helpful. When preparing a program for the film festival students can be heard telling each other "be sure to render your video in Apple Quicktime .MOV format." Then the explanation comes out about the three parts of a video, format, codec, & container. This is critical because we deliver the videos on an external hard drive and if one of the students used a codec that the theater didn't happen to have on their computer their video wouldn't play.

Difference Between AVCHD and H.264?

subbull's picture

Thanks for the update, I certainly learnt from the video and realized that I need to do a lot more reading on the subject.

A quick question: I have a Samsung NX1 which uses the H.265 codec and although it was still relatively unique at launch in 3rd Q 2014, we are at the end of 3rd Q 2015 and uptake for the H.265 codec seems slow. Not quite sure why as the compression ratio is superb and no obvious negatives. As an example, H.265 coding give a bandwidth saving of 40-45% over H.264 encoded content (tested at same fps) with similar quality. This benefit cannot be understated - particularly when working with 4k video.

Any thoughts on this?

Probably hardware limitations

I'm guessing some of the challenges are that HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) or H.265 cannot be reasonably processed through software alone. It requires a hardware decoder somewhere along the line. More compression isn't the same thing as better compression. The Superb quality you mention takes heavy processing decisions. We should start to see these hardware chips in BluRay players and televisions in the near future. If current players could handle it with a bios update it would've taken off by now.