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RUSSIAN VERSION HERE!

Third Annual MSU MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 Video Codec Comparison


For people, who make real research in field of high-end video compression and professionally use videocodecs

MSU Graphics & Media Lab (Video Group)

See NEW VERSION on Fourth Annual H.264/AVC comparison page!

Project head: Dr. Dmitriy Vatolin
Testing, charts, analysis: Dmitriy Kulikov, Alexander Parshin
Translating: Artem Titarenko
Verification: Dr. Maxim Smirnov


Codecs that Were Tested


  • DivX 6.2.5 (Is not H.264 codec, was taken only as reference)
  • MainConcept H.264
  • Intel H.264
  • VSS H.264
  • x264
  • Apple H.264 (partial tested)
  • Sorenson H.264 (partial tested)

  • Comparison Content


    There are two parts of the comparison - 2006 year results and over-years comparison. First part is comparison of modern codecs, provided by developers in this year. Second part is summarizing of H.264 codecs results over three previous years.
  • Following metrics were measured:
  • PSNR (Y, U, V components)
  • SSIM (Y component)
  • VQM (Y component)

  • Codecs were analyzed separately in the following types of application:
  • "Videoconferences"
  • "Movies"
  • "HDTV"
  • Individual codecs' settings were used for each of that types of application.
  • Video sequences that were used in this comparison:
  • "foreman" (standard sequence)
  • "akiyo" (standard sequence)
  • "carphone" (standard sequence)
  • "battle (part from "Terminator-2" movie)
  • "rancho" (part from "Terminator-2" movie)
  • "matrix" (part from "The Matrix" movie)
  • "futurama" (part from "Futurama" cartoon)
  • "concert" (part of HDTV translation)


  • Different Comparion Versions


    Short version of report is now available at website for free download (52 pages, 47 figures). Full version of report now available for free download too (157 pages, 185 charts). It includes following additional topics:
  • SSIM RD curves individually for each sequence from all sequences
  • All codecs presets
  • Differences between PSNR and SSIM results
  • Absolute encoding speed charts
  • Relative Bitrate/Relative Speed graphs individually for each sequence from test set
  • Relative bitrate for the same quality for all pairs of codecs
  • Bitrate handling graphs
  • Per-frame quality and dispersion graphs
  • Additional results for Apple and Sorenson codecs
  • More detailed testing results for DivX 6.2.5 codec (most presets of this codec)
  • All sequences, used in this comparison are provided with full version of report.
    You can download full version of report (PDF, 1.6 Mb) or support us purchasing full version using this link.

    Comparison Rules


  • All codecs options and presets were provided by codecs authors
  • An important restriction on a preset is encoding time for it. A few iterations of compliance testing and preset optimization were made to meet the requirements.
  • JM 9.8 reference decoder was used to decode all encoded streams.
  • All objective metrics measurements were performed with MSU Video Quality Measurement Tool (Pro Version)
  • For each preset both speed and quality were measured

  • Download


  • Third Annual MSU H.264 Video Codec Comparison - PDF (1.38 Mb)
  • Third Annual MSU H.264 Video Codec Comparison - ZIP (1.2 Mb)
  • Third Annual MSU H.264 Video Codec Comparison Full Version - PDF (1.6 Mb) (Free now!)
    Dear video codec professionals!
    You can support this comparison by buying the full version of our report.
    This contribution will help us:
  • To continue this comparison without any participation fees (this is important for x264 and XviD AVC next year)
  • To avoid comparison sponsorship by codecs' developers
  • To keep comparison detailed and useful
  • Thank you for your contribution in advance!
    The full report will be available immediately following this link.
    If you have a discount code please use this form (if you are a member of scientific/academic organization, please contact us).

  • Thanks


    Special thanks to the following big and small contributors

    Intel AMD Adobe KDDI R&D labs Tata Elxsi

    Contact Information


    Call for codecs 2013
    See all MSU Video Codec Comparisons

    MSU video codecs comparisons resources:


    Other Materials


    Video resources:

    Fifth Report on S3D quality assessment (5 films) is released!
    Appendix to Eighth MSU .264 codec comparison is released

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    Last updated: 10-March-2011

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