In this age of 4K, video files just keep growing larger, but our mass storage solutions and internet bandwidth can’t seem to always keep up. Whether you are ripping your Blu-rays to an external storage drive or just trying to share the Ultra HD videos from your hiking trip with friends and family over the cloud or social media services, sooner or later you would want them converted into smaller sizes.
Fortunately, 4K video converters allow users to reduce the file size of their videos without sacrificing too much of the quality. You can find plenty of them on the internet, but most require users to sign up for a subscription or pay a substantial sum for a one-time license fee. There are also free 4K video converters, but only a few of them are worth using.
WinX Video Converter is one of them– a free app that helps you convert 4K videos and higher-res media files down to reasonable sizes. But before we get into how you can use this free 4K video converter, we will first discuss the various use cases for such applications.
Why do you need a 4K Video Converter?
There can be several reasons why someone would want to convert 4K videos. Most of them are pretty common, such as:
- 4K Ultra HD Blu-Rays are known for their high resolution and lossless quality, but the file sizes are notoriously large. Once you rip them, the files can occupy somewhere between 60-100 GB uncompressed. Unless you are a data hoarder and have hundreds of terabytes of mass storage space, it’s really easy to fill up your personal disk drives with just a dozen of these video files.
By using a 4K converter, you can bring down the video file size to a fraction of the source material and make your ripped Blu-Ray collection easier to store and transfer.
- If you are into videography or use a 4K action camera to record your biking or airsoft sessions, you probably have a hard time sharing the moments with your friends and family via social media websites. For instance, Instagram doesn’t support video files larger than 4 GB. It’s more limited on Twitter with its 512 MB file size restriction. TikTok is even worse, where the maximum video file size is 285 MB on iOS and 72 MB on Android.
With a 4K video converter, you can effortlessly resize or compress the high-resolution videos to acceptable file sizes. It also helps to reduce bandwidth usage on a metered connection and significantly cut down the upload times on social media sites.
- There are generally two compression algorithms used for videos: H.264/AVC and H.265/HEVC. 4K videos that use the older H.264 standard have a relatively low compression rate, but they are easier to play on older devices.
On the other hand, 4K videos using the newer H.265 or HEVC standard have a much higher compression rate with no noticeable quality loss, but they play the best on processing chips with a built-in hardware decoder. On incompatible devices, software decoding is used to playback HEVC content. However, it requires hefty processing power and often causes slowdowns.
Many video streaming platforms have also started using AV1, the successor to Google’s open-source VP9 codec. It makes 4K and higher-res video files even smaller, but only the newest CPUs and GPUs are capable of AV1 hardware decoding.
If you have an older media device, it’s best to stick with the legacy H.264 standard. You can also use a 4K video converter to transcode your H.265/HEVC videos to H.264/AVC format so that you can play them on older PCs, smartphones, and streaming sticks.
Can’t I just use online video converters?
Dozens of websites offer video conversions online. Although you could use them, there are a few disadvantages and risks associated with online video converters.
- Firstly, they require a fast and stable internet connection. In case you don’t have internet access or have a slow connection, converting videos with online tools is either impossible or painfully slow.
- Uploading high-quality 4K videos can take a long time and consume a lot of bandwidth, especially if you are on a metered connection.
- Not only that, but online video converters also take several minutes to a few hours to complete the conversion process, depending on how big the source file is.
- Most of the “free” online video converters also set a file size limit for free-tier users. Even paid users are limited to smaller file sizes.
- Online video conversion services often store user-uploaded video files on an unknown server, so there’s no security guarantee if you upload your personal videos.
- Lastly, web-based video converters lack advanced settings, so you won’t have much control over the conversion.
Use WinX Video Converter instead
WinX Video Converter is one of the best free 4K video converters for Windows and Mac. Yes, you heard that right. It doesn’t cost a single penny, is free of malware, and works entirely in offline mode. Hundreds of thousands of satisfied users highly regard WinX Video Converter for its super-fast conversions and vast feature set.
You can use WinX to downscale your high-bitrate 4K videos to 1440p (QHD), 1080p (FHD), 720p (HD), etc. It uses an advanced algorithm to compress the video file sizes by up to 90% without noticeable quality loss. Additionally, this 4K converter lets you convert H.265 videos to H.264 and even the obsolete MPEG-4 standard to ensure smooth playback on older media devices.
You can also convert 4K videos to other mainstream video formats, including MKV, MP4, MOV, AVI, WMV, WebM, etc. If you want to convert your favorite music videos to audio files for some reason, WinX Video Converter can do that as well.
Before the conversion, you can even adjust the video frame rate, target bitrate, and the audio channel to your preference. Since WinX also features a lightweight video editor, you get the options to trim your videos, crop black borders or unnecessary parts of the videos, merge multiple clips into one, and flip or rotate the videos. In addition, you can add hard-coded or external SRT subtitles to your converted video files.
At the time of writing, WinX Video Converter supports GPU acceleration, significantly speeding up the conversion process. It works with NVIDIA NVENC and Intel Quick Sync Video technologies.
Steps to convert 4K videos using WinX Video Converter
WinX Video Converter features a straightforward and intuitive UI, so it’s very easy to use. The following steps will show you how to convert 4K videos using the software:
- After installing WinX Video Converter to your PC, double-click the desktop shortcut to launch it.
- Click the “+ Video” button in the above toolbar, then choose the video you want to convert from the File Explorer box. Alternatively, drag and drop the video file to the WinX Video Converter window.
If you wish to convert a 4K YouTube video, click the “YouTube URL” button instead and paste the video URL.
- Once the “Output Profile” window pops up, select the General Profiles tab in the left sidebar.
- Choose the MP4 Video profile for the best compatibility with both older and newer devices, then click OK.
Note that you can also set the slider to Fast or Slow depending on the video quality you wish to retain.
- If you want to change the video codec, resolution, frame rate, or adjust the audio settings, click the cogwheel icon next to the imported video to access the options.
Once you are done, click OK to apply the changes.
- After that, find the “Hardware Accelerator” option on the right side and tick the box next to Intel or NVIDIA to enable GPU acceleration.
If you want the best video quality, make sure to check the box next to the “Use High-Quality Engine” option.
- To change the default destination folder for the final output, click the Browse button below the window.
Finally, hit the RUN button and wait for WinX Video Converter to do its job.
WinX Video Converter is fast and efficient, but the conversion time depends on the file size and the hardware. When the conversion completes, the destination folder will pop up automatically.
In this guide, we have discussed the necessities of using video conversion tools and shown you how to convert 4K videos for free using WinX Video Converter. It’s available for both Windows and macOS and is 100% safe to use.
If you have more questions regarding free 4K video converters, let us know in the comments. We are here to sort out your queries and assist you to convert 4K videos effortlessly.