Eighth MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 Video Codecs Comparison - Standard Version

MSU Graphics & Media Lab (Video Group)

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Video group head: Dr. Dmitriy Vatolin

Project head: Dr. Dmitriy Kulikov

Measurements, analysis: Marat Arsaev

Now it contains Appendixes with GPU encoders comparsion and Very High Speed Encoders comparison.

Different Versions of Report

There are two different versions of H.264 Comparison 2012 report:
  • MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 Video Codecs Comparison - Standard (Free) Version (this report)
  • MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 Video Codecs Comparison - Pro Version (Enterprise Edition)
    This is a pack of all the graphs with user-friendly systems for switching the graphs
  • Here is the comparison of the versions:

    Standard Version Pro Version (Enterprise)
    Objective Metrics (Y-SSIM) YES YES
    Additional Metrics (Y-PSNR) NO
    Only few graphs
    Objective Metrics (3-SSIM, MS-SSIM) NO YES
    ColorPlanes Only Y from YUV Y, U, V and overall
    Graphs Only some typical graphs All the graphs for all the metrcis, codecds and presets
    Number of figures 207 2092
    Prices Free $895
    Purchase Download pdf Buy
    Hint: You can remove "Extended download" service while purchasing to save money.
    We can help you to analyze your codec

    Pro version of comparison will be available immediately after report purchasing.

    Report Overview

    Video Codecs that Were Tested

  • H.264
  • DivX H.264
  • Elecard H.264
  • Intel Ivy Bridge QuickSync (GPU encoder)
  • MainConcept H.264 (software)
  • MainConcept H.264 (CUDA based encoder)
  • MainConcept H.264 (OpenCL based encoder)
  • DiscretePhoton
  • x264
  • Non H.264
  • XviD (MPEG-4 ASP codec)

  • Overview


    Table 1. Summary of video sequences
    Sequence Number of frames Frame rate Resolution
    VideoConference (5 sequences)
    Deadline 1374 30 352x288
    Developers 4CIF 3600 30 640x480
    Developers 720p 1500 30 1280x720
    Presentation 548 30 720x480
    Business 493 30 1920x1080
    Movies (10 SD sequences)
    Ice Age 2014 24 720x480
    City 600 60 704x576
    Crew 600 60 704x576
    Indiana Jones 5000 30 704x288
    Harbour 600 60 704x576
    Ice Skating 480 60 704x576
    Soccer 600 60 704x576
    Race Horses 300 30 832x480
    State Enemy 6500 24 720x304
    Party Scene 500 50 832x480
    HDTV sequences (16 sequences)
    Park Joy 500 50 1280x720
    Riverbed 250 25 1920x1080
    Rush Hour 500 25 1920x1080
    Blue Sky 217 25 1920x1080
    Station 313 25 1920x1080
    Stockholm 604 50 1280x720
    Sunflower 500 25 1920x1080
    Tractor 690 25 1920x1080
    Bunny 600 24 1920x1080
    Dream 600 24 1920x1080
    Troy 300 24 1920x1072
    Water Drops 535 30 1920x1080
    Capitol 600 30 1920x1080
    Parrots 600 30 1920x1080
    Citybus 600 30 1920x1080
    Underwater 600 30 1920x1080

    Objectives and Testing Tools

    H.264 Codec Testing Objectives

    The main goal of this report is the presentation of a comparative evaluation of the quality of new H.264 codecs using objective measures of assessment. The comparison was done using settings provided by the developers of each codec. The main task of the comparison is to analyze different H.264 encoders for the task of transcoding video—e.g., compressing video for personal use. Speed requirements are given for a sufficiently fast PC; fast presets are analogous to real-time encoding for a typical home-use PC.

    H.264 Codec Testing Tools

  • For all measurements the PRO version of the YUVsoft Video Codec Scoring System was used
  • The following computer configuration was used for the main tests:
  • Sugar Bay platform, 3rd Generation Core i7 3xxx(IVB), 4 Cores CPU @3.4 GHz,
  • Integrated GPU: Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580
  • HDD: SSD160G
  • Total Physical Memory: 2x2 Gb RAM (1600 MHz)
  • OS Name: Microsoft Windows 7
  • Overall Conclusions

    Overall, the leader in this comparison for software encoders is x264, followed by MainConcept, DivX H.264 and Elecard.
    Average bitrate for Movies and HDTV for all presets

    The overall ranking of the software codecs tested in this comparison is as follows:

    1. x264
    2. MainConcept
    3. DivX H.264
    4. Elecard
    5. Intel Ivy Bridge QuickSync
    6. XviD
    7. DiscretePhoton
    8. MainConcept CUDA

    This rank is based only on the encoders’ quality results. Encoding speed is not considered here.

    Professional Versions of Comparison Report

    H.264 Comparison Report Pro 2012 version contains:
  • Additional objective metrics (PSNR, 3-SSIM, MS-SSIM)
  • All metrics results for all colorplanes (Y,U,V and overall)
  • Results for all the sequences, codecs and presets used in comparison
  • Much more figures
  • etc.

  • Acknowledgments

    The Graphics & Media Lab Video Group would like to express its gratitude to the following companies for providing the codecs and settings used in this report:
  • DiscretePhoton team
  • Elecard Ltd
  • Intel Corporation
  • MainConcept GmbH
  • x264 Development Team
  • The Video Group would also like to thank these companies for their help and technical support during the tests.


    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

    Codec Analysis and Tuning for Codec Developers and Codec Users

    Computer Graphics and Multimedia Laboratory of Moscow State University:

  • 10 years working in the area of video codec analysis and tuning using objective quality metrics and subjective comparisons.
  • 20+ reports of video codec comparisons and analysis (H.264, MPEG-4 MPEG-2, decoders’ error recovery).
  • Methods and algorithms for codec comparison and analysis development, separate codec’s features and codec’s options analysis.
  • We could perform next task for codec developers and codec users.

    Strong and Weak Points of Your Codec

  • Deep encoder parts analysis (ME, RC on GOP, mode decision, etc).
  • Weak and strong points for your encoder and complete information about encoding quality on different content types.
  • Encoding Quality improvement by the pre and post filtering (including technologies licensing).
  • Independent Codec Estimation Comparing to Other Codecs for Different Use-cases

  • Comparative analysis of your encoder and other encoders.
  • We have direct contact with many codec developers.
  • You will know place of your encoder between other newest well-known encoders (compare encoding quality, speed, bitrate handling, etc.).
  • 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.

    Contact Information

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    Last updated: 12-May-2022

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

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    Project sponsored by YUVsoft Corp.

    Project supported by MSU Graphics & Media Lab