MSU Video Codecs Comparisons 2021:
Call for Codecs

You can apply for participation in comparison of 2023-2024 ->>

#1 codecs comparisons in the world
Video group head: Dr. Dmitriy Vatolin
Project head: Dr. Dmitriy Kulikov
Measurements, analysis: Dr. Mikhail Erofeev,
Anastasia Antsiferova,
Egor Sklyarov,
Alexander Yakovenko,
Nickolay Safonov,
Alexander Gushin
Nikita Alutis Lomonosov
Moscow State University (MSU)
Graphics and Media Lab
Dubna International
State University
Institute for Information
Transmission Problems,
Russian Academy of Science

Important Dates

You can apply for participation using our form:
Or if you want you can contact us at


About Annual MSU Video Codecs Comparisons

We perform comparative unbiased analysis for

  • software implementations
  • hardware (GPU-based) implementations
  • cloud-based implementations
of different video coding standards (H.265/HEVC, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, AV1, VP9, VP8, MPEG-4 and other) using objective metrics (SSIM, VMAF, PSNR and other).

With MSU Codecs Comparison developers can verify the performance of their codec. We share test sequences, encoding parameters and codecs versions so all developers can reproduce the results of the comparison. Participation with publishing of all results is for FREE. Private participation is for fee (contact us for the details).

MSU codecs analysis team has been conducting video codec analysis, testing and optimization since 2004. Some facts about previous MSU Video Codecs Comparisons:
  • There were more than 400.000 downloads of previous H.264/MPEG-4 AVC and H.265/HEVC video codec comparisons reports
  • Many codecs' bugs were found and reported to developers
  • 210+ encoders were tested
  • More than 35 private reports for codec developers (description of codec's weak and strong points) after public report versions
Summary report topics:
  • Objective measurements
  • Subjective analysis
  • Encoding time
  • Bitrate keeping for evaluating rate-control mechanism
  • Speed/Quality trade-off analysis
  • Averaged objective results analysis
  • Leaders in different use cases

2021 Comparison parts and main points

FullHD Comparison 4K Comparison Subjective Comparison Ultra-fast (FPGA) Comparison Cloud Comparison
Use Cases Fast - 1080p@30fps
Slow - 1080p@1fps
Fast - UHD@30fps
Slow - UHD@1fps
Fast - 1080p@30fps
Slow - 1080p@1fps
Ultra-fast - 1080p@60fps No speed limits, offline encoding scenario, several resolutions
Videos 60 FullHD videos 10 4K videos 15 out of 60 FullHD videos 60 FullHD videos 15 out of 60 FullHD videos
Objective metrics Objective metrics: SSIM, PSNR, VMAF
3 color-planes - Y,U,V with different proportions: 4:11, 6:1:1, 8:11, 10:11
Powered by VQMT
Subjective metrics No No Yes, powered by: No No
Target Bitrate 1-12 Mbps 2-20 Mbps 1-12 Mbps 1-12 Mbps 1-12 Mbps
Hardware CPU: Intel Core i7 8700K (Coffee Lake)
Mainboard: ASRock Z370M Pro4
RAM: 2x16GB DDR4 2400MHz
OS: Windows 10 x64 and Linux (Ubuntu)
FPGA Xilinx Alveo U250
No hardware required
Download requirements
Will be released soon

New features in MSU Video Codecs Comparison

Since 2020
  • Automatic codecs submission system
  • Open to compare Linux-based solutions
  • Open to compare cloud-based solutions
  • Enlarging of video collection
Since 2019
  • Increasing the number of test videos up to 100+, adding UGC (user-generated) videos (vlogs, noise videos, etc.) and HDR videos
  • Open to compare cloud-based solutions
  • Enlarging of video collection
  • Going to use new no-reference metrics
Since 2018
  • Increased target bitrates for comparison on 4K videos
  • Started to use VMAF objective metric
  • Upgraded testing hardware to Coffee Lake
  • Enlarged video collection (15833 videos)

Comparison Rules and Methodology

Please pay attention that we will use multi-core CPU for encoding, so you can use multi-threading
  • Decoding is performed with reference decoder (H.264/AVC, H.265/HEVC, VP9, AV1). For other standards participants should provide decoder
  • We don't limit GOP size and intra-period
  • We don't limit number of passes in the encoding. Total encoding time should fulfill use case speed requirements
Full Rules
Applying for participating, you agree with comparison rules.

Codec Requirements
  • Presets for different speed requirements should be provided by the developers
  • Codec should allow to set arbitrary bitrate of resulting stream in constant quality mode
  • Preferable codec interface - console codec version (with batch processing support — bitrate and file names must be possible to assign from the command line)
  • Encoder should be compatible with reference decoder

Developers Deliverables The following deliverables should be provided by each developer:
  • Codec files (CLI executable file is preferable)
  • Codec's presets

Full comparison methodology

If you have any more questions about rules or methodology please refer to FAQ or contact us at

Take part in 2021 Video Codecs Comparison!

Deepest codecs review: 5 reports, including subjective with 1000+ viewers and 7000+ charts

General process of your codec testing:
  1. We send you instructions for choosing presets for this year use cases (there are limitations for speed) and login for submission system.
  2. You send us encoder and presets (our hardware characteristics can be found on the comparison page). Testing methodology is described in presentation.
  3. We test the speed of your encoder. We let you know if some speedup is needed or any bugs are found. Finally, when all requirements are satisfied, you confirm the usage of presets and encoder.
  4. We perform the main measurements on this year test video set and prepare a draft of the report. This will take about 1-3 months depending on the number of participants.
  5. We send you a draft report with your results and the results of other public participants. You can double-check the results. If you participate privately, in this step you will need to decide whether you will publish your results.
  6. After your confirmation, we prepare and publish the final report on the comparison page. We send you the Enterprise version of the report (with all sequences, charts, etc.).


Special thanks to the following contributors of our previous comparisons
Apple Google Intel NVidia
Huawei AMD Adobe Tencent
Zoom video communications Facebook Inc. Netflix Alibaba
KDDI R&D labs Dolby Tata Elxsi Octasic
Qualcomm Voceweb Elgato Telecast
ATI MainConcept Vitec dicas

Leave a feedback

Contact Information

See all MSU Video Codecs Comparisons

MSU video codecs comparisons resources:

Other Materials

Video resources:

Last updated: 12-May-2022

Server size: 8069 files, 1215Mb (Server statistics)

Project updated by
Server Team and MSU Video Group

Project sponsored by YUVsoft Corp.

Project supported by MSU Graphics & Media Lab