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Video Area Home >> Video-Codec Comparisons >> HEVC/AV1 Video Codecs Comparison 2019

HEVC/AV1 Video Codecs Comparison 2019

Fourteen Annual Video-Codecs Comparison by MSU

Video group head: Dr. Dmitriy Vatolin
Project head: Dr. Dmitriy Kulikov
Measurements, analysis: Dr. Mikhail Erofeev,
Anastasia Antsiferova,
Sergey Zvezdakov,
Denis Kondranin,
Stanislav Grokholskiy

This year 100 videos were used for FullHD comparison!
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General results

Fast encoding Universal encoding Ripping encoding Overall
Best objective quality (SSIM) HW265
Best objective quality (VMAF) Tencent V265 Encoder
Best bitrate handling x264 HW265 HW265 HW265
Best bitrate - objective quality trade-off HW265 (SSIM) Tencent V265 Encoder (SSIM) SIF and x264 (SSIM) Tencent V265 Encoder (SSIM)
Best subjective quality 1st place: WZAurora AV1 Encoder (Visionular)

2nd place: Tencent V265 Encoder (Tencent)

3rd place: arowana xvc (Divideon)


Main report (Objective comparison, FullHD videos)
Three encoding use cases measured on 100 FullHD videos
Released on October, 21
Free version Enterprise version
Use cases Universal (partially) Fast, Universal, Ripping
Per-sequence-results 2 of 100 sequences (only Universal use case) All 100 sequences for all use cases (in interactive charts)
Description of video sequences YES YES
Codec info (developer, version number, website link) YES YES
Other objective metrics (in addition to YUV-SSIM) None YES
Y-VMAF(0.6.1), Y-VMAF(0.6.2), Y-VMAF(0.6.3), Y-VMAF(0.6.1, Phone), Y-VMAF(0.6.2, Phone), Y-VMAF(0.6.3, Phone), Y-SSIM, U-SSIM, V-SSIM, YUV-PSNR, Y-PSNR, U-PSNR, V-PSNR
Per-frame metrics results (in HTML version of the report) None YES
All metrics for all sequences and use cases (10000+ charts)
Relative quality analysis None YES
Download links for video sequences None YES
Encoders presets description None YES
PDF report 58 pages 83 pages
HTML report 28 interactive charts 14000+ interactive charts
Price Free $950
Download PDF & HTML

Descriptions of 100 used videos can be found on this page or in separate PDF (41 MB)

You will receive enterprise versions of all reports (FullHD, Subjective, 4K and High Quality)

Subjective Report
Subjective comparison conducted on platform
Released on November, 1
11 codecs
Bytedance, sz265, Tencent V265 Encoder, UC265, x265, xin265, arowana xvc, SIF Encoder, VP9, WZAurora AV1 Encoder, x264
Free version

Enterprise version


You will receive enterprise versions of all reports (FullHD, Subjective, 4K and High Quality)
Contact us if you want to buy only Enterprise Subjective Report
732 unique observers
25784 valid answers
5 video sequences
Short fragments from Crowd Run, Kayak Trip, Making Alcohol, Tractor, Wedding Party
Special Subjective Encoding Use Case
At least 1 FPS
6 metrics
Subjective score and 5 objective: YUV-SSIM, Y-SSIM, YUV-PSNR, Y-PSNR, Y-VMAF(v.0.6.1)
HTML and PDF documents
118 interactive charts and 33 pages

4K Report
Comparison conducted on 4K (UHD) videos
Released on March, 6
12 codecs
Bytedance V265 Encoder, HW265, MainConcept HEVC, SVT-HEVC, sz265, x265, SIF Encoder, SVT-AV1, SVT-VP9, VP9, WZAurora AV1 Encoder, x264
Free version

PDF report

HTML report

Download all in one archive (zip)

Enterprise version


You will receive enterprise versions of all reports (FullHD, Subjective, 4K and High Quality)
Contact us if you want to buy only Enterprise 4K Report
11 4K video sequences
From 24 to 60 FPS
Two Encoding Use Cases
4K Universal (1fps) and 4K Fast (20fps)
9 metrics
HTML and PDF documents
710 interactive charts and 71 pages

High Quality comparison
Comparison on FullHD videos with ultra slow/high quality encoding
February, 2020

Participated codecs

Codec name Use cases HEVC
1 arowana xvc
Ripping, Subjective None
2 Bytedance
ByteDance Inc.
Fast, Universal, Subjective YES
3 HW265
Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.
Fast, Universal, Ripping YES
4 SIF Encoder
SIF Encoder Team
Ripping, Subjective None
5 sz265
Nanjing Yunyan
Fast, Universal, Ripping, Subjective YES
6 Tencent V265 Encoder
Fast, Universal, Ripping, Subjective YES
7 UC265
Ucodec Inc.
Ripping, Subjective YES
8 VP9
The WebM Project (Google)
Ripping, Subjective None
9 WZAurora AV1 Encoder
Ripping, Subjective None
10 x264
x264 Developer Team
Fast, Universal, Ripping, Subjective None
11 x265
MulticoreWare, Inc.
Fast, Universal, Ripping, Subjective YES
12 xin265
Fast, Universal, Ripping, Subjective YES

Ovarall Conclusions

Main report (Objective comparison, FullHD videos) summary

According to just quality scores (YUV-SSIM), the best codecs among our competitors evaluated for all three use cases are the following:

The biggest number of codecs took part in comparison with high-quality encoding presets (Ripping use case). The winners for only high-quality encoding are the following:

We tested three encoded use cases (see the description in section Test Hardware Characteristics). Here is one of the rate-distortions charts for universal encoding (Cion video sequence):

The universal-encoding use case has two Pareto optimal encoders in terms of mean speed and quality: HW265 and Tencent V265 Encoder. Nevertheless, the differences emerge for particular sequences and use cases.

Free version contains the results for 2 of 100 video sequences, while full results are available in enterprise version.

Subjective report summary

According to subjective quality scores, the best codecs among our competitors evaluated for all three use cases are the following:

There is no absolute winner in the comparison, since different encoders take first place at different test video sequences: for example, on Crowd Run (short) three encoders show Pareto-optimal results: SIF Encoder, Bytedance, WZAurora AV1 Encoder, arowana xvc.
All graphs are available in enterprise version, which is free for all buyers of enterprise main report, and enterprise main report is also free for all buyers of enterprise subjective report.

4K report summary

According to SSIM quality scores, the best codecs among our competitors evaluated for two use cases are the following:

The results slightly differ for other objective quality metrics. For example, Mainconcept HEVC shows the best result according to VMAF.

Mean overall quality (SSIM):

Overall quality for universal use case (1fps, SSIM):

In this comparison, the results for universal 4K encoding (1fps) differ from overall scores. The following encoders showed the best performance results:

The above plots show only quality gain, hovewer, all encoders slightly differ in encoding speed. The following speed-quality chart shows the picture for Duck Take Off video sequence.

All graphs, including speed-quality trade-off for all videos, are available in enterprise version (which is free for all buyers of enterprise main and subjective reports).

Comparison Rules

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 2019 page


Videos for testing set were chosen from MSU video collection via a voting among comparison participants, organizers and an independend expert. In this year, the collection was enlarged up to 18418 sequences which were chosen from 700000+ user-generated videos posted on Vimeo website. All videos have 4K or FullHD resolution and high bitrate (50 Mbps was selected as a lower bitrate boundary).

Number of videos in MSU video collection
Year # FullHD videos # FullHD samples # 4K videos # 4K samples Total # of videos Total # of samples
2016 3 7 882 2902 885 2909
2017 1996 4638 1544 4561 3540 9299
2018 4342 10330 1946 5503 6288 15833
2019 4945 12402 2091 6016 7036 18418

Bitrate distribution of videos in MSU video collection Videos bitrate distribution

Final video set consists of 100 sequences: 8 from the old data set and 92 new ones from Vimeo and derf's collection. The average bitrate for all sequences in the final set is 218.9 Mbps, median - 143.2 Mbps. City walk (61.5 Mbps), Nancy (67.6 Mbps) and Oman museum (69.7 Mbps) sequences have minimal bitrates.

Descriptions of all test videos are presented on this page and in a separate PDF provided with our reports.

Video sequences selection

Codec Analysis and Tuning for Codec Developers and Codec Users

Computer Graphics and Multimedia Laboratory of Moscow State University:

We could perform next tasks for codec developers and codec users.

Strong and Weak Points of Your Codec

Independent Codec Estimation Comparing to Other Codecs for Different Use-cases

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 Telecast
Huawei MainConcept Vitec Tencent

Share with us your opinion about comparison

Contact Information
in cooperation
Lomonosov MSU
Graphics & Media Lab
(Video Group)
Dubna State University
Institute for Information
Transmission Problems RAS

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Materials about MSU Codec Comparison

Call for cloud encoding comparison participation 2020
See all MSU Video Codecs Comparisons

MSU video codecs comparisons resources:

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Last updated: 26-March-2020

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Project supported by MSU Graphics & Media Lab