macOS High Sierra includes support for H.265 video, but Final Cut Pro users are still waiting
The iPhone 8 shoots H.265 4K video, and macOS High Sierra can view it, but editors who rely on Final Cut Pro X cannot yet utilize the codec until Apple issues a highly anticipated update.
H.265 video, also known as High Efficiency Video Encoding, includes better motion compensation for fast-moving scenes, larger computational errors for difference-coding, and other improvements designed to keep file sizes small. HEVC can compress video up to 40 percent more than the current standard technology, H.264.
Monday's release of High Sierra means HEVC H.265 is now compatible with the Mac. Systems with a sixth-generation Intel Core processor or newer can play 4K HEVC content, including videos shot on the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and upcoming iPhone X.
But while H.265 video can be viewed in High Sierra, editing it in Apple's own Final Cut Pro X is not yet possible. Users who import such videos into the software will find that the thumbnails are displayed as black.
For now, users must take steps to convert HEVC H.265 videos to the Apple ProRes format.
HEVC updates are also necessary for Apple's Motion and Compressor apps. No timetable for release has been given.
HEVC support is hardware accelerated on Apple's recent Macs with Intel Kaby Lake processors, starting with the 2015 27-inch iMac, the early 2016 MacBook, and the 2016 MacBook Pro. The AMD Radeon Pro chipset included in the 2016 MacBook Pro also includes HEVC decoding support. Some Nvidia GPUs such as the GTX 9 and 10 series cards do as well.