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HEVC Video Codecs Comparison 2018

Thirteen MSU Video Codecs Comparison

MSU Graphics & Media Lab (Video Group)

Video group head: Dr. Dmitriy Vatolin

Project head: Dr. Dmitriy Kulikov

Measurements, analysis: Dr. Mikhail Erofeev,
Anastasia Antsiferova,
Sergey Zvezdakov,
Denis Kondranin

Welcome to 2018 HEVC video codecs comparison page!
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2018 Report Parts

Express Report for NAB
HTML speed-quality charts for Fast and Universal use-cases on about 30% of test video sequences set.
Fast Use-Cases Report Full PDF report for Fast and Universal use-cases on all test video sequences
Main Report Fast use-cases report completed with Ripping use-case and new metrics
4K Report Comparison on high-resolution video sequences
Ultra Ripping + AV1, VP9 Comparison on extremely slow presets
Subjective Report Subjective comparison conducted on platform
Global Codecs Trends Re-comparison of previously participated codecs versions on one platform and set of video sequences

Video Codecs that are Tested in 2018

A total of 19 codecs are tested this year (9 codecs take part in private participation). The following 10 codecs will be represented in public reports:
  • HEVC
  • Kingsoft HEVC Encoder
  • sz265
  • UC265
  • x265
  • Non HEVC
  • AV1
  • Rithm (EUCLIDiq cloud transcoding service)
  • sz264
  • SIF encoder
  • VP9
  • x264

  • Express Report for NAB

    With a great respect for the participants who sent us the presets long before the deadline which is set for April, 25, we made an express comparison and now publish the first results of these codecs
    For the future comparisons, we are going to increase the number of tested codecs in this express report, by setting up earlier dates for submitting codecs and presets.

    List of disclaimers

    1. We have tested about a half of 2018 public competitors for which we have already received encoding settings. The other participating codecs will be analyzed after the end of April when we receive encoding settings from them.
    2. As our deadline for submitting encoding settings is set to the end of April the results in next reports may change from the current "express" comparison when all presets will satisfy the limitations for encoding speed.
    3. The current comparison was conducted on 11 video sequences, which is about 30% of this year test set. The remaining videos represent other specific video classes, so overall results might change when testing on the whole video set.
    4. For now, we publish Y-SSIM, Y-PSNR and Y-VMAF metrics.
    Hint: click on codec's name in the legend to add or remove it.

    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.

    Test Hardware Characteristics

    For this platform we considered three key use cases with different speed requirements: See more on Call-for-codecs 2018 page

    Video Sequences Selection

    We have updated video database from which we choose sample videos for encoders' comparison. In this year, we analyzed 539765 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 942 new 4K videos and 2346 new FullHD videos.

    We also completed list of selected sequences with high-quality videos from

    Codec Analysis and Tuning for Codec Developers and Codec Users

    Computer Graphics and Multimedia Laboratory of Moscow State University:

  • 14 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.265, H.264, AV1, VP9, 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.


    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

    Contact Information

    Subscribe to 2018 report updates

    Call for HEVC codecs 2018
    See all MSU Video Codec Comparisons

    MSU video codecs comparisons resources:

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    Last updated: 11-April-2018

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    Server Team and MSU Video Group

    Project sponsored by YUVsoft Corp.

    Project supported by MSU Graphics & Media Lab