Open Source video converter Handbrake 1.4.0 released with many changes

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 18, 2021
Music and Video

The developers of the open source cross-platform video converter Handbrake have released Handbrake 1.4.0 just a moment ago (if you are reading this on July 18, 2021). The new version updates many included third-party libraries, adds support for 10bit and 12bit, new filters, hardware encoding improvements and more.

Windows users face several compatibility changes. Handbrake is available as a portable version and installer, but the new graphical user interface version of Handbrake requires the Microsoft .NET 5.0 Desktop Runtime. If it is not installed, users are prompted to install it before the program can be run. The prompt opens the download page of the runtime on Microsoft's website (make sure you download the desktop version of the runtime).

Another compatibility change is that Windows 10 is the only version of the software that is supported officially by the application when it comes to the Windows platform. Handbrake 1.4.0 will run on Windows 7 and 8.1 devices, but a message is displayed twice that the app is no longer support. The developers note in the changelog that some features may not work on older versions of Windows.

As far as new features and improvements are concerned, a lot has changed since the release of Handbrake 1.3.0 in November 2019.  Besides the already mentioned support for 10bit and 12bit, Handbrake supports passing HDR10 metadata if present in the source file. The static previews that the program generates during file scans are stored as compressed jpeg and no longer as YUV420, which reduces disk space usage and disk writes significantly.

In the hardware encoding department, Media Foundation is available as a new encoder for arm64 powered Windows devices. The AMD VCN and the Intel QuickSync encoder received updates, which include optimizations and performance improvements.

Handbrake 1.4.0 introduces support for the three new filters Chroma Smooth, Colourspace Selection, and Crop/Scale, which benefits from QuickSync hardware acceleration. The new version supports Mp2 Audio Passthru and new general purpose subtitle decoders.

All version of Handbrake 1.4.0 come with a redesigned Dimensions tab; rotate and flip have been moved to the filters tab, and support for padding, resolution limits and upscaling were added.

Most operating system specific changes are found in the Mac and Linux versions. The Mac version supports Apple Silicon hardware and running multiple simultaneous jobs. UI navigation has been improved and eyetv packages with .ts enclosed media files are now also supported.

Windows users benefit from a number of changes as well. Users may enable process isolation, which runs encoding jobs in their own process. The separation protects the main user interface from crashes caused by the file processing and ensures that queued jobs can still be processed. Another benefit is that it is now possible to run multiple jobs simultaneously, which improves CPU utilization on systems with many cores.

You can check out the full changelog on the official site. There you find download links for all versions as well.

Now You: which video conversion tool or tools do you use?

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Author Rating
4 based on 5 votes
Software Name
Handbrake 1.4.0
Operating System
Windows, Linux, Mac OS
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  1. Gavin said on August 6, 2021 at 2:46 pm

    This version 1.4.0 doesn’t work. It tells me I need .net 5.0.0 which I have installed (5.0.8. and even the older 5.0,.0) and handbrake still insists I don’t have the correct .net installed. The easier solution is to remove Handbrake 1.4.0 and instead reinstalled the older version 1.3.8 which seems to work fine.

  2. Boo hoo said on July 20, 2021 at 5:50 am

    > I use Avidemux

    I don’t understand why Avidemux is not included in any of either Debian or Ubuntu repositories. It’s a very useful tool, what a shame. (and yes I know about the “unofficial” Debian repo with avidemux and many other programs and codecs but it’s not official so I won’t touch it – guess I have to build it myself, then, or try the Windows version in WINE.

    1. Kokoradesan said on July 20, 2021 at 3:20 pm

      There is an appimage of avidemux as well.

  3. poison dart said on July 20, 2021 at 12:04 am

    DVDFlick is an interesting and free program. I’ve used it for years. Development may have stopped a long time ago, but the program still does what it claims. I love it, even though it’s for Windows and not Linux. I haven’t tried it in WINE yet….

    1. DH20000 said on July 22, 2021 at 12:22 am

      I used DVDFlick back in the day. Much fun with that. Now most all the folks I know don’t want disks, as they have nothing to play them on.

      CDBurnerXP was another tool I used a lot, which is still around and free. Funny about that name “CDBurnerXP” as it was named when XP and CDs where the thing, with no DVDR disks yet. It now burns most everything and works on Window 10, but they still kept that name. Ha.

      This should be a lesson to devs and such: don’t name your software or site with a name that won’t make sense later, such as “ghacks”. Ha

  4. DH20000+ said on July 19, 2021 at 6:32 pm

    > which video conversion tool or tools do you use?

    I use Avidemux to convert large AVC video to x265 8 bit, as with 5GB files down to 2GB. I also use Avidemux to convert 5.1 audio and such down to 2 ch/stereo – AAC.

    I also use MKVToolNix to add or remove video file tracks, such as with adding subtitles.

    I’ve been using Avidemux and MKVToolNix for many years now, with no problems to speak of. They do most of all I need.

    If I started coding to x265 10 bit, then perhaps I’d check out Handbrake, yet I’d likely check out VidCoder first.

  5. ULBoom said on July 19, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    It works and is faster than the previous version. Clicked link in installer, led to dotnet 5.0.8 desktop, which installed and everything works. Used zip portable version.

    I don’t use utilities like this much but do some video editing with Pinnacle Studio, these days. Mostly cam videos I take.

    The inner workings of ffmpeg are beyond my desire to comprehend; there are soooo many front ends, some attempt to be complete, some do specialized tasks. Would be nice if there were a GUI based front end that did almost everything and was kept up to date, a paid program is fine. Maybe there is, IDK.

  6. Anonymous said on July 19, 2021 at 4:50 pm

    Sorry but nothing beats Ripbot264.

  7. Jeff M.S. said on July 19, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    I wish by now it had basic things like adjusting audio delay/out of sync issues, using audio track from another source, VP9 hardware encoding (that Intel’s Tiger Lake and Ice Lake support). This version added none of those features. Feel a little disappointed at slow development and features not relevant to me (e.g. Arm) but may it’s useful to someone who do video encoding on ARM ? plus it’s open source and free so I guess I can’t complain.

  8. John said on July 19, 2021 at 11:15 am

    Handbrake has always felt kinda slow and bloated to me. It seems to continue this tradition, now with a new .Net dependency.

    Check out FFQueue if you want a no frills ffmpeg frontend. Xmedia Recode is another option, with more features, but it’s a bit more buggy.

  9. Coriy said on July 19, 2021 at 4:19 am

    I’m thinking of not upgrading. I’d have to add another .Net version for my windows box. The prior version does what I need the few times a year I use it.

    1. ilev said on July 19, 2021 at 7:52 am

      The app need Microsoft .NET 5.0 Desktop Runtime.
      It won’t run with Microsoft .NET 5.0.8 Desktop Runtime.

      Great app. I use it for years.

  10. JK said on July 19, 2021 at 1:01 am

    Very disappointed about NET 5 requirement.
    Anyway if you decide to update be careful on what it install.
    It needs .NET Desktop Runtime 5.0.8, not .NET Runtime 5.0.8, many people got confused.
    I will wait for HandBrake with FDK-AAC builds to update.
    FFMpeg’s AAC is still not that good and unfortunately they don’t support the usage of QAAC on Windows even if you have iTunes installed like they support it in the Mac version.

    1. giovinap said on July 29, 2021 at 10:17 am

      Thank you for this info. Handbrake directs you to Net Runtime and not the desktop version. Wasted so much time looking for this!

    2. dbareis said on July 20, 2021 at 8:54 am

      I can’t believe Handbrake is so stupid as to not tell you what it needs!

  11. Staxrip vs the world said on July 18, 2021 at 8:10 pm

    just one work in response to this: Staxrip, where you can even transcode and trim videos (in mkv) without having to convert and take 3 million hundred hours, it got so many open source tools integrated you can do anything and more of what Handbrake will ever do, but then, I just never understood why handbrake got so popular being so limited.

    1. Anonymous said on July 19, 2021 at 1:28 pm

      Handbrake is so popular because it’s a real encoder by itself… not a gui to launch hundred of other programs like MeGUI or StaxRip.
      That’s why the process of encoding a video is faster in Handbrake than in StaxRip.
      You encode directly from the source both video audio and add it to the container of it. Everything is one process.
      On StaxRip the video is demuxed, indexed, frameservered and encoded (4 processes). The audio is demuxed and encoded (2 processes). And 1 more process for adding both to a container.
      What you find as limited and a disadvantage is what others find as an advantage and that’s why it’s so popular. They just want to encode a video.
      Don’t get me wrong, I like StaxRip but I won’t use it again because there are no uninstallers for all these apps it includes.. I had to manually find all leftovers of hundred of programs in registry and appdata folders. A total nightmare for me.

      1. Anonymous said on July 21, 2021 at 1:05 am

        “Handbrake is so popular because it’s a real encoder by itself… not a gui to launch hundred of other programs like MeGUI or StaxRip.”

        I’m not sure if you understand what you said. All transcoders work like that. In simple terms, MeGUI/StaxRip shows Linux boot screen(with all details happened in background) while Handbrake shows Windows boot screen(with just logo and loading bar).

        What makes it fast is it uses fast settings/presets by default. Average user won’t care about video quality so they just use default settings.

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