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

For professional users and codec authors

MSU Graphics & Media Lab (Video Group)

Return to first H.264/AVC comparison home page!

Part 1. Introduction

Contents

  • Part1. Introduction
  • Part2. PSNR/Bitrate diagrams
  • Part3. Additional testing
  • Part4. Final part
  • Thanks

    We would like to thank Moonlight Cordless LTD, Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS and Ateme for kindly providing us their codecs for this test.

    Overview

    Codecs

    CODEC

    MANUFACTURER

    VERSION

    1. Mpegable AVC Codec

    dicas digital image coding GmbH

    0.10

    2. Moonlight H.264 Video Codec

    Moonlight Cordless LTD

    0.1.2546

    3. MainConcept H.264 Codec

    MainConcept AG

    1.04.02.00

    4. MPEG-4 / AVC Codec

    Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS

    Date 25.11.2004

    5. Ateme MPEG-4 AVC / H.264 Codec

    Ateme

    1.0.3.2

    6. Videosoft H.264 Codec main

    Videosoft, Inc

    2.1.0.2

    7. DivX Pro™ 5.1.1 Codec

    DivXNetworks, Inc

    5.1.1

    Video sequences

    Sequence

    Number of frames

    Number of frames per second

    Resolution and color space

    1. bankomatdi

    376

    30

    704x352(RGB)

    2. battle

    1599

    24

    704x288(RGB)

    3. bbc3di

    374

    25

    704x576(RGB)

    4. foreman

    300

    15

    352x288(RGB)

    5. susidi

    374

    25

    704x576(RGB)

    Goal and testing rules

    Goal of H.264 codecs comparison

    The main goal of this work was the comparative assessment of codecs quality in terms of consumer video compression. The video sequences used to perform this assessment were processed with a simple prevalent deinterlacing filter. The codecs were used with their default options.

    Testing rules

    • PSNR was measured using luv_avi program.
    • Frame size was calculated as the ratio of the sequence size to the number of frames.
    • Y-axis values on the Delta diagram were calculated as the difference between PSNR of the tested codecs and PSNR of the DivX codec.
    • To test the codecs that place their logo on the frames of the compressed sequence a black rectangle was placed in its position on the both source and compressed sequences before their comparison.
    • Compression with VfW (Video for Windows) codecs was performed using VirtualDub 1.5.4 video processing tool.
    • Compression with DirectShow codecs was performed using GraphEdit (build 011008) tool.
    • Compression with the codecs that had been installed as the separate applications was performed using these applications.
    • For those codecs that compress video into their own internal format instead of avi the resulting compressed sequences were transformed into avi using GraphEdit (build 011008) and decoder given with the codec.
    • MainConcept codec inserted extra frames into decoded sequences. These frames were deleted using VirtualDub 1.5.4 to perform per frames comparison. If the last frame in the corrected sequence differed visually from the last frame in the source uncompressed sequence comparison was not performed for this sequence.

    Sequences

    Bankomatdi

    Sequence title

    bankomatdi

    Resolution

    704x352

    Number of frames

    376

    Color space

    RGB

    Frames per second

    30

    Source

    MPEG-2 (DVD), Smart Deinterlace

    Picture 1.    Frame 168 from bankomatdi sequence

    This sequence is a fragment of the "Terminator-2" movie, which represents the scene near the cash dispenser. The sequence is characterized by slow motion, very little change of background (in the second part of the sequence camera slowly goes to the right) and comparatively high resolution.

    Battle

    Sequence title

    battle

    Resolution

    704x288

    Number of frames

    1599

    Color space

    RGB

    Frames per second

    24

    Source

    MPEG-2 (DVD), FlaskMPEG deinterlace

    Picture 2.    Frame 839 from battle sequence

    This sequence is also a fragment of the "Terminator-2" movie, which represents the very beginning of the film. In the terms of compression this sequence is the most difficult one among all other sequences that took part in the testing. It is caused by three main reasons: constant changing of brightness because of the explosions and laser flashes, very quick motion and frequent changes of the scene that make codecs often compress frames as I-frames.

    Bbc3di

    Sequence title

    bbc3di

    Resolution

    704x576

    Number of frames

    374

    Color space

    RGB

    Frames per second

    25

    Source

    Original (standard sequence), Smart Deinterlace

    Picture 3.    Frame 185 from bbc3di sequence

    Picture 4.    Frame 258 from bbc3di sequence

    This sequence is characterized by pronounced rotary motion. It contains a rotating striped drum with different pictures and photos on it. Quality of the compressed sequence can be estimated by the details on these images.

    Foreman

    Sequence title

    foreman

    Resolution

    352x288

    Number of frames

    300

    Color space

    RGB

    Frames per second

    15

    Source

    Original (standard sequence), progressive

    Picture 5.    Frame 77 from foreman sequence

    Picture 6.    Frame 258 from foreman sequence

    This is another standard sequence. It represents a face with very rich mimic. On the one hand motion here is not very intensive, but on the other it is disordered, not forward. Intricate character of motion creates problems for the motion compensation process. In addition camera is shaking which makes the image unsteady. In the end of the sequence camera suddenly turns to the building site and there follows an almost motionless scene. So this sequence also shows codec's behavior on a static scene after intensive motion.

    Susidi

    Sequence title

    susidi

    Resolution

    704x576

    Number of frames

    374

    Color space

    RGB

    Frames per second

    25

    Source

    MPEG-2 (40Mbit), Smart Deinterlace

    Picture 7.    Frame 193 from susidi sequence

    This sequence is characterized by high-level noise and slow motion. In its first part the scene is almost static (the girl only blinks), then there is some motion (she abruptly moves her head) and then the scene becomes almost static again. Noise is suppressed on every second frame due to the B-frames option in MPEG-2 codec.

    Codecs

    Mpegable AVC Codec

    • This is a VfW (Video for Windows) codec.
    • Compression was performed using VirtualDub 1.5.4 video processing tool.
    • The codec is freeware.

    Picture 8.    Mpegable AVC

    Remarks:

    VirtualDub jobs support contains an error on different bit rates. When trying to create several jobs only the last one is performed. Possible source is that codec might not save its settings during job creation.

    Moonlight H.264 Video Codec

    • This is a DirectShow codec.
    • Compression was performed using GraphEdit (build 011008) tool.
    • The version of the codec used in the testing was kindly provided by Moonlight Cordless LTD company.

    Picture 9.    Moonlight

    Remarks:

    Codec was tested without problems.

    MainConcept H.264 Codec

    • This codec is provided a separate application for video compression.
    • The codec installs its decoder to the system therefore the compressed video can be played with the standard player.
    • The codec is freeware.
    • GraphEdit (build 011008) tool was used for decoding.

    Picture 10.    MainConcept

    Remarks:

    • The codec compresses only sequences with 30fps(NTSC) and 25fps(PAL) frame rates.
    • The codec doesn't compress with bit rate lower than 200 (settings lower than that are simply replaced by 200 without informing a user about it).
    • Extra frames were added to the sequence while decoding the compressed sequences. Generally the less the bit rate was the more often extra frames were inserted. At the same time we could not treat these frames as drop-frames, because the resulting sequence length was increased. They had to be removed manually in order to perform per frame comparison.

    Fraunhofer IIS Codec

    • This codec is provided as a two separate applications for video compression and playback.
    • The version of the codec used in the testing was kindly provided by Fraunhofer IIS company. This version works in command line.

    Picture 11.    Fraunhofer



    Picture 12.    Fraunhofer command-line

    Remarks:

    • Only YUV format is acceptable as an input of console version, AVI format is acceptable for GUI version.

    Ateme MPEG-4 AVC / H.264 Codec

    • The version of the codec used in the testing was kindly provided by Ateme company
    • This codec works with command line.
    • The codec uses drop-frames to produce low bit rates.
    • Input file should have YV12 format.

    Picture 13.    Ateme command-line

    Remarks:

    Codec was tested without problems.


    Videosoft H.264 Codec

    • This is a VfW (Video for Windows) codec.
    • Compression was performed using VirtualDub 1.5.4 video processing tool.
    • The codec is shareware with 5 days of trial use.

    Picture 14.    VSS

    Remarks:

    Codec was tested without problems.


    DivX Pro™ 5.1.1 Codec

    • This is a VfW (Video for Windows) codec.
    • Compression was performed using VirtualDub 1.5.4 video processing tool.

    Picture 15.    DivX Pro™ 5.1.1

    Remarks:

    Codec was tested without problems.

    Contents

  • Introduction
  • Thanks
  • Overview
  • Goal and testing rules
  • Sequences
  • Codecs
  • PSNR/Bitrate diagrams
  • Y-PSNR/Bitrate diagrams
  • Delta-Y-PSNR/Bitrate diagrams
  • UV-PSNR/Bitrate diagrams
  • Additional testing
  • Average brightness shift diagrams
  • Bitrate handling diagrams
  • Per frame sequences comparison
  • Visual comparison of H.264 and DivX codecs
  • Final part
  • Informal codecs comparison
  • Common conclusion

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