FAQ for MSU Video Codecs Comparison
MSU Graphics & Media Lab (Video Group)




  1. Q: About us?
    A: We are a group of researchers from Russian #1 university (Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU))

  2. Q: Why us?
    A: We have been analysing codecs since 2004. Our team examined more than 310 codecs, reported countless bugs and prepared more than 35 private reports for our clients. We perform unbiased analysis and our projects are not associated with any codecs developers. We offer in-depth codecs comparisons with detailed reports and clean visualizations. For more details please refer to our introduction page

  3. Q: What standard use cases do you suggest for evaluation?
    A: We have five main tracks you can participate in:
    • FullHD comparison
    • Subjective comparison
    • 4K comparison
    • Ultra-fast comparison
    • Cloud comparison

For participants

  1. Q: Why should we compare our codec to others?
    A: Unbiased analysis of your product by our experts will allow you to clarify the scope of its use, check for bugs, make quality corrections and verify the performance of their codec. And what is maybe the most important feature, all industry professionals will know about your codec success!

  2. Q: What is the comparison participation fee?
    A: There are two options:
    • Participation is for free, if you agree that all of the obtained codec results will be published, including ambiguous (various technical errors and weaknesses)
    • Participation is for fee, if you want to know your results before publication and decide whether you want to publish in whole or in part or to hide them. You can find out more about private participation in comparison rules
    Amount of payment depends on a number of use cases, tested codecs and presets.

  3. Q: In what form will I receive comparison results as a participant?
    A: Regardless of the participation type, you will be provided with the following materials:
    • Video sequences used in comparison
    • Binaries of all open-source encoders used in comparison to verify the results
    • All raw video quality metrics’ values and encoding speed data for your encoder and for all of open-source encoders used in comparison

  4. Q: Can I apply for more than one use case? Can I request a special one?
    A: Yes, you are free to participate in many tracks at once
    • Each year use cases list may include special cases (for example UGC case was included in 2020)
    • You can see current use cases
    • If the case you want is not on the list, you can contact us to request its inclusion

  5. Q: Is it possible to hide some of the information about my codec or its results?
    A: We can completely or partially delete information about your codec:
    • For public version of comparison — only in exceptional cases (e.g. critical errors in the codec)
    • For the private version we can hide some specific parts (use case, preset or codec version) or all results. Partial deletion of information (for example, deleting some frames from video or some of the metrics) is not possible

  6. Q: Is it possible to sign an NDA agreement?
    A: If you want to sign an NDA agreement, you should discuss it with our team in advance (because the bureaucracy involved in the agreement can take some time)

For readers

  1. Q: How do you compare codecs?
    A: We research the codecs sent to us and the most popular solutions on the market to provide an independent, consumer-focused comparison. Our analysis includes subjective and objective evaluation on high quality videos, which are updated and added to every year with new unique videos

  2. Q: How do you provide comparison results?
    A: The result depends on the type of report:
    • The results of the free comparison are published on the website and are available to everyone
    • The results of the paid comparison are automatically generated and sent to customers

  3. Q: What is the difference between the free and the enterprise versions of the report?
    A: Differenices can be seen in the table below:
    Free Enterprise
    Number of test sequences 3 40+
    Test video descriptions
    Basic codec info
    Objective metrics Only YUV-SSIM 10+ objective metrics
    Per frame metrics results
    Relative quality analysis
    Test videos download
    Encoders presets description
    PDF report 62 pages 119 pages
    HTML report 28 interactive charts 7000+ interacive charts
    Price Free 950 USD

  4. Q: Where to get codecs presets?
    A: It depends on the report version:
    • Free version does not include information on this topic
    • Enterprise version of the report includes detailed information on the codec presets and settings used in the comparison


  1. Q: How do you estimate encoding quality?
    A: We use PSNR, SSIM and VMAF metrics on different color components, implemented in MSU VQMT software, for objective quality assessment, and MSU resource for subjective comparison. For more details please refer to our methodology

  2. Q: What hardware do you use?
    A: Our hardware is updated on a yearly basis. For current configuration please refer to call for codecs page

  3. Q: Can I use modes other than VBR?
    A: Usage of other modes is discussed individually

  4. Q: Are there any speed requirements for codec?
    A: This information may change from year to year. For up-to-date requirements please refer to call for codecs page

Contact codec analysis team

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