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HEVC Video Codecs Comparison 2017
(Twelfth MSU Video Codecs Comparison)

MSU Graphics & Media Lab (Video Group)

We are sorry for the mistake with x265 codec version in our report.
It happened due to partly change of the version from previous 2016 report. Actually, the results are represented for the newest version that was available during our measurements (2.3+23-97435a0870befe35).
Now the version is corrected in all parts of the report.
UPDATE 22/01/2018
High-quality encoders (inc. VP9, AV1) comparison is released
UPDATE 11/01/2018
High-speed encoders comparison is released
UPDATE 01/12/2017
4K video encoders comparison is released
Subjective video encoders comparison is released

Video group head: Dr. Dmitriy Vatolin

Project head: Dr. Dmitriy Kulikov

Measurements, analysis: Dr. Mikhail Erofeev,
Stanislav Dolganov,
Sergey Zvezdakov

Part 1: FullHD content, objective comparison.
Free Version
Part 2: 4K content,
objective comparison.
Free Version
Part 3: FullHD content, subjective comparison.
Free Version
Part 4: High-speed encoders (GPU and software), objective comparison.
Free Version
Part 5: High-quality encoders (inc. VP9, AV1), objective comparison.
Free Version
Pro Version (Enterprise).
Part1, Part2, Part3, Part4 and Part5
Objective Metrics and color-planes Only integral YUV-SSIM None Only integral YUV-SSIM SSIM and PSNR, 3 color planes (Y,U,V) and intgegral YUV
Subjective comparison None YES YES YES
Different types of analysis
Encoding quality, encoding speed, bitrate handling, speed/quality analysis etc. (some graphs) Encoding quality and speed/quality analysis for subjective comparison Encoding quality, encoding speed, bitrate handling, speed/quality analysis etc. (some graphs) Encoding quality, encoding speed, bitrate handling, speed/quality analysis, subjective comparison etc.
Graphs Some graphs All the graphs for all the sequences, codecs and presets
Test video sequences 31 HD video (only description) 10 4K video (only description) 4 video (only description) 31 HD video (only description) 31 HD video + 10 4K video (available for download)
Tested uses-cases 3 different use cases:
Fast Transcoding, Universal and Ripping (some graphs)
1 use case:
4K preset(some graphs)
1 use case:
1 use case:
Fast Transcoding
1 use case:
4 different use cases:
Fast Transcoding, Universal, Ripping and 4K
Number of figures 33 37 5000+
Price Free $950
Purchase Download Download Download Download Download Buy
Hint: You can remove "Extended download" service while purchasing to save money.
We can help you to analyze your codec

Pro version of comparison will be available immediately after report purchasing.

Report Overview

Video Codecs that Were Tested

  • HEVC
  • AVS2
  • Kingsoft HEVC Encoder
  • nj265
  • x265
  • Non HEVC
  • nj264
  • x264
  • SIF encoder

  • Overview

    Objectives and Testing Tools

    HEVC Codec Testing Objectives

    The main goal of this report is the presentation of a comparative evaluation of the quality of new HEVC codecs and codecs of other standards using objective measures of assessment. The comparison was done using settings provided by the developers of each codec. Nevertheless, we required all presets to satisfy minimum speed requirement on the particular use case. The main task of the comparison is to analyze different encoders for the task of transcoding video—e.g., compressing video for personal use.

    HEVC Codec Testing Rools

    The comparison was performed on Corei7 6700K (Skylake) @4Ghz, RAM 8GB, Windows8.1. For this platform we considered three key use cases with different speed requirements.

    Video sequences selection

    In “MSU Video Codecs Comparison 2016” we introduced a new technique for test dataset sequences’ selection. This technique was designed to create dataset containing representative set of sequences that encoders are facing in everyday life. In this report we use the same methodology for video sequences selection, but we have dramatically updated video database from which we sample videos for encoders’ comparison. We analyzed over 512,000 videos hosted at Vimeo looking for 4K and FullHD videos with high bitrates (50 Mbps was selected as a lower bitrate boundary). This enabled us to find and download, 662 new 4K videos and 1993 new FullHD videos.

    Video sequecnes selection

    Overall Conclusions

    Overall, the leaders in this comparison are Kingsoft HEVC encoder and x265! Here are some graphs from report:
    Speed/Quality trade-off for Fast use-case (YUV-SSIM metric)
    Average bitrate for Universal use-case (YUV-SSIM metric)
    Average bitrate for all use-cases (YUV-SSIM metric)

    Professional Versions of Comparison Report

    HEVC Comparison Report Pro 2017 version contains:
  • Additional objective metrics (PSNR, SSIM)
  • All metrics results for all colorplanes (Y,U,V and overall)
  • Results for all the sequences, codecs and presets used in comparison
  • Much more figures
  • etc.

  • Acknowledgments

    The Graphics & Media Lab Video Group would like to express its gratitude to the following companies for providing the codecs and settings used in this report:
  • SIF developer team
  • AVS2 developer team
  • Nanjing Yunyan
  • Kingsoft
  • The Video Group would also like to thank these companies for their help and technical support during the tests.


    Special thanks to the following contributors of our previous comparisons

    Google Intel AMD NVidia
    ATI Adobe ISPhone dicas
    KDDI R&D labs Dolby Tata Elxsi Octasic
    Qualcomm Voceweb Elgato

    Codec Analysis and Tuning for Codec Developers and Codec Users

    Computer Graphics and Multimedia Laboratory of Moscow State University:

  • 12 years working in the area of video codec analysis and tuning using objective quality metrics and subjective comparisons.
  • 27+ reports of video codec comparisons and analysis (H.264, MPEG-4 MPEG-2, decoders’ error recovery).
  • Methods and algorithms for codec comparison and analysis development, separate codec’s features and codec’s options analysis.
  • We could perform next task for codec developers and codec users.

    Strong and Weak Points of Your Codec

  • Deep encoder parts analysis (ME, RC on GOP, mode decision, etc).
  • Weak and strong points for your encoder and complete information about encoding quality on different content types.
  • Encoding Quality improvement by the pre and post filtering (including technologies licensing).
  • Independent Codec Estimation Comparing to Other Codecs for Different Use-cases

  • Comparative analysis of your encoder and other encoders.
  • We have direct contact with many codec developers.
  • You will know place of your encoder between other newest well-known encoders (compare encoding quality, speed, bitrate handling, etc.).
  • Encoder Features Implementation Optimality Analysis

    We perform encoder features effectiveness (speed/quality trade-off) analysis that could lead up to 30% increase in the speed/quality characteristics of your codec. We can help you to tune your codec and find best encoding parameters.

    Contact Information

    Call for HEVC codecs 2018
    See all MSU Video Codec Comparisons

    MSU video codecs comparisons resources:

    Other Materials

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    Last updated: 08-March-2018

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    Server Team and MSU Video Group

    Project sponsored by YUVsoft Corp.

    Project supported by MSU Graphics & Media Lab