HandBrake 1.6 Released with AV1 Video Encoding Support

A major update to HandBrake, a popular, cross-platform and open-source video transcoder (and then some), has been released.

HandBrake 1.6.0 is a notable release as it is the first version of the app to support AV1 video encoding. AV1 is a new, open-source video codec that allows for more efficient streaming of high-quality video content. AV1 could replace H.264 as the default video standard.

Also new in this release is high bit depth and color depth support for many of HandBrake’s existing encoders and filters. Additionally, there are new 4K AV1 General, QSV, and MKV presets; renamed web presets; and VP8 presets removed (as VP8 is RIP).

Handbrake 1.6.0 with AV1 support on the Fedora desktop
AV1 in action on Fedora Workstation

A new Bwdif deinterlace filter is present, and devs say the Autocrop filter algorithm now delivers higher accuracy when tackling content with mixed aspect-ratios. Plus, users can expect better multithreaded performance using Comb Detect, Decomb, and Denoise filters.

  • SVT-AV1 (software) & Intel QSV AV1 (hardware) encoders
  • VP9 10-bit encoder
  • NVENC HEVC 10-bit encoder
  • Support for NVDEC decoder
  • VCN HEVC 10-bit encoder
  • H.264 levels 6, 6.1, and 6.2 for the x264 encoder
  • H.264/H.265 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 profiles for the x264 and x265 encoders
  • H.265 4:2:2 profile for VideoToolbox encoder on Apple Silicon
  • Intel Deep Link Hyper Encode support

Finally, HandBrake’s Linux client benefits from a collection of “quality of life improvements”, per the release notes, and offers interface parity with the GUIs of HandBrake‘s macOS and Windows builds.

Download HandBrake 1.6.0

HandBrake 1.6.0 is free, open source software available for Windows, macOS, and Linux. You can download it from the project website, or from the HandBrake GitHub page.

The recommended way to install HandBrake on Linux is using the Flatpak build on Flathub, or available to download from the download page on the HandBrake website.

Older versions of the app may be available in your distribution’s repositories, and third-party packaging may be available through community-supported archives/PPAs/etc.