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MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 Video Codecs Comparison 2010 - Appendixes

MSU Graphics & Media Lab (Video Group)

Project head: Dr. Dmitriy Vatolin

Measurements, analysis: Dr. Dmitriy Kulikov,
Alexander Parshin

Return to H.264 Video Codec Comparison Report

VP8, x264 and XviD comparison

This appendix includes results for VP8 encoder comparison with x264 and XviD.
VP8 encoder does not meet our speed requirements for this comparison, but we have included this codec due to many user requests. We would like to express our gratitude to VP8 developers for providing codec and presets and their help with presets tuning.




Bitrate handling


Bitrate handling for VP8 encoder for movies is very good. Here are the results for Movies.


Bitrate handling for VP8 encoder for HDTV is quite good, except Troy sequence at low bitrates. Here are the results for HDTV.

Speed/Quality trade-off


Comparing VP8 to XviD, VP8 is 5-25 times slower with 10-30% better quality (lower bitrate for the same quality). When comparing VP8 and x264, VP8 also shows 5-25 lower encoding speed with 20-30% lower quality at average. For example x264 High-Speed preset is faster and has higher quality than any of VP8 presets at average.


Comparing VP8 to XviD, VP8 is 5-20 times slower with 10-20% better quality (lower bitrate for the same quality). When comapring VP8 and x264 VP8 shows 5-20 lower encoding speed with almost the same quality, excluding x264 High-Quality preset. The results for HDTV


Name Encoding parameters
good1 First pass:
-p 2 --pass=1 --fpf=tmp.fpf --threads=4 --good --cpu-used=1 --end-usage=0 --auto-alt-ref=1 -v --minsection-pct=5 --maxsection-pct=800 --lag-in-frames=16 --kf-min-dist=0 --kf-max-dist=999999 --token-parts=2 --static-thresh=0 --min-q=0 --max-q=63

Second pass:
-p 2 --pass=2 --fpf=tmp.fpf --threads=4 --good --cpu-used=1 --end-usage=0 --auto-alt-ref=1 -v --minsection-pct=5 --maxsection-pct=800 --lag-in-frames=16 --kf-min-dist=0 --kf-max-dist=999999 --token-parts=2 --static-thresh=0 --min-q=0 --max-q=63

good2 The same as good1, but --cpu-used=2
good3 --cpu-used=3
good4 --cpu-used=5
good5 --cpu-used=5
best The same as good1, but --best instead of --good and without --cpu-used

Comments from VP8 Developers

We've been following the MSU tests since they began and respect the group's work. One issue we noticed in the test is that most input sequences were previously compressed using other codecs. These sequences have an inherent bias against VP8 in recompression tests. As pointed out by other developers, H.264 and MPEG-like encoders have slight advantages in reproducing some of their own typical artifacts, which helps their objective measurement numbers but not necessarily visual quality. This is reflected by relatively better results for VP8 on the only uncompressed input sequence, "mobile calendar."

Even with this limitation, VP8 delivered respectable results against other encoders, especially considering this is the first time VP8 has been included in the test and VP8 has not been specifically optimized for SSIM as some other codecs have.

To date, WebM developers have focused on the VP8 decoder performance and are only starting to optimize the encoder for speed. The WebM project has only been underway for three weeks, and we believe that our encoder speed will improve significantly in the near future.

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Last updated: 10-March-2011

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