I would like to know if the Raspberry Pi 4 can do H265/HEVC Encoding at all. I am not bothered if it can't do it in real time as I would like to run jobs for encoding the video in the background, store and then play. Is this possible? I am aware that a similar question has been asked but does not seem to be very clear.

If the answer is no to this question, is it possible to plug in an external USB GPU to the Pi 4 and use this to do the encoding?

  • Can't find a reference, but I know I've read it can do it in software. As for external USB GPU I have no knowledge such a thing existed :p
    – Bravo
    Commented Mar 10, 2022 at 4:24
  • 1
    Does this answer your question? HEVC playback on RPi 4. The hardware decoder is there, but encoding is only possible in SW. The external GPU will have to be supported by the SW you plan to use. Commented Mar 10, 2022 at 12:50

2 Answers 2


Unless there are memory constraints, anything with a cpu can encode to any known binary format.

The only limitations to this (and the only thing that would make this question Pi specific) is if it can do it in real time or not and if it has hardware to accelerate that. But since you specifically said you don't care about real time, the answer is yes.

For example, you might use the ffmpeg command to encode a video. You can use ffmpeg -codecs to get a list of all formats that are supported for read or write.


is it possible to plug in an external USB GPU to the Pi 4 and use this to do the encoding?

Another option might be to use a hardware H.265 encoder to encode/stream across the network, then use the rpi to save the stream rather than playing it back.


If you don't need all the features, there are cheaper models from other makers starting at around $100. This one is provides multiple streams that can be accessed simultaneously from different computers/devices.

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