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MSU Lossless Video Codecs Comparison

MSU Graphics & Media Lab (Video Group)

Project head: Dr. Dmitriy Vatolin
Testing, charts, analysis: Sergey Grishin
Translating: Daria Kalinkina
Verification: Stas Soldatov

See new version of this comparison (March 2007)
Lossless Video Codec Comparison 2007

About comparison


  • Number of test sequences: 9
  • Number of color spaces considered: 3
    • RGB
    • YUY2
    • YV12
  • Number of codecs tested: 15
    1. Alpary v2.0
    2. AVIzlib v2.2.3
    3. CamStudio GZIP v1.0
    4. CorePNG v0.8.2
    5. FFV1 ffdshow 08/08/04
    6. GLZW v1.01
    7. HuffYUV v2.1.1
    8. Lagarith v1.0.0.1
    9. LEAD JPEG v1.0.0.1
    10. LOCO v0.2
    11. MindVid v1.0 beta 1
    12. MSUlab beta v0.2.4
    13. MSUlab v0.5.2
    14. PicVideo JPEG v.2.10.0.29
    15. VBLE beta
Download MSU Lossless Video Codecs Comparison (1.36MB, PDF)

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About the comparison of lossless codecs


The name of this video codec category declares full quality losses absence - the decompressed video stream should be completely identical to original. Output quality is same for all codecs. Absolute absence of losses is a very strong requirement, therefore it is often hard to achieve compression ratios above 3:1. Some of the tested codecs have an opportunity of work in "lossy" mode; it allows to reach considerably higher compression degree with rather small losses of quality. However, only "fully lossless" mode is considered in the current comparison. The only parameter of comparison is the compression level.

Many codecs give an opportunity to adjust the parameter speed/compression ratio; it allows to tune the codec for the specific task (real-time capture or the rendering requiring loss minimization). Only maximum compression ratio result is considered in current work.

Some codecs are capable to accept input data in several color spaces (RGB, YUY2, YV12, etc.), however, compression is not always "lossless". Some codecs "silently" perform the conversion of color spaces, thus, raising a degree of compression. Quality losses coming out of such conversions are not visible, but surely exist. In the given testing work codecs is compared separately for various color spaces, thus in each color space full absence of losses is guaranteed!

Main parts of the comparison:

  1. Information about codecs:
    • Vendor and version
    • Color space support
    • Logo presence in compressed video
    • Registration requirements
    and test sequences:
    • Sequence name
    • Resolution
    • Number of frames
  2. Brief codecs description with screenshots
  3. Codecs comparison with analysis of compression ratios for each sequence
  4. Codecs comparison with analysis of total compression ratios for each codec

Sequence - Compression ratio
Diagram from 3 part of comparison
Codec - Compression ratio
Compression ratios for codecs for RGB
Codec - Compression ratio
Compression ratios for codecs for YUY2
Codec - Compression ratio
Compression ratios for codecs for YV12


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Last updated: 02-July-2020


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Project sponsored by YUVsoft Corp.

Project supported by MSU Graphics & Media Lab