Hot news:

If you find a spelling error, please select an incorrect text and press Ctrl+Enter. Thank you!

Compression project >> Video Area Home

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

For professional users and codec authors

MSU Graphics & Media Lab (Video Group)

Second H.264/AVC comparison home page!

Part 1. Introduction

Contents

  • Part1. Introduction
  • Part2. "Best quality" preset
  • Part3. "Best speed" preset
  • Part4. Additional information and conclusions
  • Thanks

    We would like to express our gratitude to the following companies for providing us with codecs and settings:

  • ArcSoft, Inc.

  • Ateme

  • ATI Technologies Inc.

  • Elecard LTD

  • Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits

  • Vanguard Software Solutions, Inc.

  • x264 Development Team

  • We would also like to thank these companies for their technical support and help during our tests.

     

    Overview

    Codecs

    Codec

    Developer

    Version

    1.       DivX

    DivXNetworks, Inc

    6.0

    2.       ArcSoft H.264

    ArcSoft, Inc.

    dev. version for 19.09.05

    3.       Ateme H.264

    Ateme

    1.2.1.6

    4.       ATI H.264

    ATI Technologies Inc.

    3.1.2

    5.       Elecard H.264

    Elecard LTD

    dev. version for 09.09.05

    6.       Franhofer IIS H.264

    Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits

    dev. version for 20.09.05

    7.       VSS H.264

    Vanguard Software Solutions, Inc.

    3.0.2.7

    8.       x264

    Development group x264

    revision 293

     

    Note: DivX 6.0 is not H.264 codec. It is MPEG-4 ASP codec, it takes part in this testing only as one of the best representative of previous video codec standard MPEG-4

    Sequences

    Sequence

    Number of frames

    Frames per second

    Spatial dimension and color space

    1.       foreman

    300

    30

    352x288(YV12)

    2.       susi

    374

    25

    704x576(YV12)

    3.       bbc

    374

    25

    704x576(YV12)

    4.       battle

    1599

    24

    704x288(YV12)

    5.       simpsons

    365

    24

    720x480(YV12)

    6.       matrix

    239

    25

    720x416(YV12)

    7.       concert

    390

    25

    1664x1088(YV12)

    Goal and testing rules

    H.264 Codecs Testing Objectives

    The main goal of this document is an evaluation of the quality of new H.264 codecs, using objective metrics for comparison. The comparison was done using the settings provided by the developers for each codec.

    Testing rules

  • Every codecs developers provided settings for both "Best Quality" (high quality compression) and "Best Speed" (better processing speed) presets, except DivX.

  • Codec restrictions: Only codecs that supported MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 Main profile and single pass encoding were tested.

  • Each codec was tested for speed 3 times, after this the median score (the middle value of the three measurements) was used as the resulting time.

  • The following 10 bitrates were used (in Kilobits per second) 100, 225, 340, 460, 700, 938, 1140, 1340, 1840, 2340.

  • During the testing three types of video sequences were used:

  • Source sequences (.yuv extension) in the YUV 4:2:0 format.

  • (.avi extension) sequences in the YUV 4:2:0 format.

    These sequences were made in the following way:
    Sequence was opened in VirtualDub using AviSynth script and, after that, it was saved in AVI file format. VirtualDub parameters "Color depth - Decompression Format" and "Color depth - Output format for compressor" were set to "Autoselect" and "Same as decompression format" respectively.
    AviSynth script for sequence opening:

    RawSource("<source_file>.yuv", <wigth>, <height>, "I420")
    AssumeFPS(<source_fps*1000>, 1000)

    After that in obtained YUV file fourcc was manually changed from "DIB " to "YV12" using HexEditor from VirtualDub. This was required for correct work of Ateme codec.

  • *.yuv sequences with duplicated last frame. These sequences were used for testing x264 codec (see its description). Written for this case, special utility was used for generating such sequences.

  • In this testing VirtualDub version 1.6.10 was used.

  • In this testing AviSynth version 2.55 was used.

  • For all metrics' measurements in this test special build of MSU Video Quality Measure was used.

  • Two computers with following configuration were used for encoding:

  • Processor: Pentium 4, 2.8 GHz with Hyper Threading

  • Operating system: Windows 2000 Pro, SP4

  • Memory: 1Gb

  • Video Accelerator: ATI Radeon 9600 Series

  • Hard Drives: ATA100 2x80Gb

  •  

    Metrics Used in Comparison

    During testing following metrics were measured:

  • PSNR (Y, U, V, L, R, G, B components)

  • SSIM (Y component)

  • VQM (Y component)

  • Blurring (Y, U, V components)

  • Blocking (Y, U, V components)

  • Detailed description of these metrics including VQM and SSIM algorithms could be found here:

    http://www.compression.ru/video/quality_measure/info_en.html

    Number of graphs

    Graph type

    Total number of graph

    Inserted into this document

    Average metric

    196

    24 (12%)

    Relative average

    196

    7 (3.5%)

    Per frame metric

    1414

    13 (0.9%)

    Bitrate Handling

    14

    14 (100%)

    Speed/Quality

    1960

    8 (0.4%)

    Speed

    16

    16 (100%)

    Total

    3796

    82 (2%)

    Sequences

    Foreman

    Sequence title

    foreman

    Resolution

    352x288

    Number of frames

    300

    Color space

    YV12

    Frames per second

    30

    Source

    Uncompressed (standard sequence), progressive

    Picture 1.                  Frame 77

    Picture 2.                  Frame 258

    This is one of the most famous sequences. It represents a face with very rich mimic. Motion is not very intensive here, but on the other hand it is disordered, not forward. Intricate character of motion creates problems for the motion compensation process. In addition camera is shaking that 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.


    Susi

    Sequence title

    susi

    Resolution

    704x576

    Number of frames

    374

    Color space

    YV12

    Frames per second

    25

    Source

    MPEG-2 (40Mbit), Smart Deinterlace

    Picture 3.                  Frame 193

    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.


    BBC

    Sequence title

    bbc

    Resolution

    704x576

    Number of frames

    374

    Color space

    YV12

    Frames per second

    25

    Source

    Uncompressed (standard sequence), Smart Deinterlace

    Picture 4.                  Frame 185

    Picture 5.                  Frame 258

     

    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 evaluated by observing details on these images.


    Battle

    Sequence title

    battle

    Resolution

    704x288

    Number of frames

    1599

    Color space

    YV12

    Frames per second

    24

    Source

    MPEG-2 (DVD), FlaskMPEG deinterlace

    Picture 6.                  Frame 839

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


    Simpsons

    Sequence title

    simpsons

    Resolution

    720x480

    Number of frames

    365

    Color space

    YV12

    Frames per second

    24

    Source

    MPEG-2 (DVD), progressive

    Picture 7.                  Frame 50

    This sequence is a fragment of "Simpsons" cartoon film. This is a classical representative of cartoon films: sketchy movement, great number of monochrome regions with abrupt junctions between them. Previously this sequence was compressed in MPEG-2 with rather low bitrate.


    Matrix

    Sequence title

    matrix

    Resolution

    720x416

    Number of frames

    239

    Color space

    YV12

    Frames per second

    25

    Source

    MPEG-2 (DVD), Smart Deinterlace

    Picture 8.                  Frame 226

    This sequence is a fragment of "Matrix" movie. Relatively simple movement, quite dim colors and small resolution allows codec to treat this sequence in rather simple way.


    Concert

    Sequence title

    concert

    Resolution

    1664x1088

    Number of frames

    390

    Color space

    YV12

    Frames per second

    25

    Source

    MPEG-2 (DVD), Smart Deinterlace

    Picture 9.                  Frame 128

    This sequence is a part of HDTV broadcast of symphonic orchestra concert. Sequence's spatial resolution is very high. At the same time motion is rather simple and sometimes it completely disappears. There are two scene changes in this sequence.

    Codecs

    DivX 6.0

  • DivX 6.0 is not H.264 codec. It is MPEG-4 ASP codec, it takes part in this testing only as one of the best representative of previous video codec standard MPEG-4

  • This is a VfW (Video for Windows) codec.

  • Compression was performed using VirtualDub 1.6.10 video processing program.

  • Evaluation version of codec works for 6 months.

  • There were no presets from developers. All tests were performed using "Home Theater Profile". For different test presets only Codec Performance settings were changed:

  • For "Best Quality" mode preset "Insane quality" was used

  • For "Best Speed" mode preset "Balanced" was used

  • Picture 10.               DivX 6.0

    Remarks:

    Codec shifts source video sequence by one frame while using its own decoder. With other decoders (specifically, XviD) this effect disappears. For removing such shift next AviSynth script was used:

    clip = AVISource("source.avi")

    clip = clip.DeleteFrame(0)

    clip = clip.DuplicateFrame(clip.FrameCount()-1)

    return clip

    Codec generates an error on "concert" sequence's compression.

    However, despite these drawbacks, codec significantly improved compression quality in comparison with previous version. On the next graph there is a comparison between different versions of DivX (metric is Y-PSNR):

    Picture 11.               DivX 6.0, DivX 5.21 and DivX 3.22 comparison

     

    ArcSoft H.264

  • Console encoding program.

  • DirectShow filters were used for decoding.

  • Codec (encoder and decoder) and presets were provided by ArcSoft, Inc company specially for this test.

  • Remarks:

    Codec works without remarks.

     

    Ateme H.264

    Picture 12.               Ateme H.264

  • Console encoding program.

  • Reference decoder JM9.8 was used for decoding.

  • Codec and presets were provided by Ateme company specially for testing.

  • Remarks:

    Codec stores compressed sequence in MPEG4 container. Program mp4box version 0.4.0 was used for extracting H.264 stream from it.

     

    ATI H.264

  • Console encoding program.

  • Reference decoder JM9.8 was used for decoding.

  • Codec and presets were provided by ATI Technologies Inc. company specially for this test.

  • Remarks:

    Codec has only "Best Speed" preset.

     

    Elecard H.264

  • Console encoding program.

  • Console decoder provided by developers was used for decoding.

  • Codec (encoder and decoder) and presets were provided by Elecard LTD company specially for this test.

  • Remarks:

    Codec works without remarks.

     

    Fraunhofer IIS H.264

    Picture 13.               Fraunhofer IIS H.264

  • Console encoding program.

  • Reference decoder JM9.8 was used for decoding.

  • Codec and presets were provided by Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS specially for this test.

  • Remarks:

    Codec works without remarks.

     

    VSS H.264

    Picture 14.               VSS H.264

  • Console encoding program.

  • Console decoder was used for decoding.

  • Codec (encoder and decoder) and presets were provided by Vanguard Software Solutions, Inc. company specially for this test.

  • Remarks:

    Codec generates an error while compressing "foreman" sequence.

     

    x264

    Picture 15.               x264

  • Console encoding program.

  • Program ffmpeg 2005.09.09 was used for decoding.

  • This codec is an Open Source project.

  • Optimal settings were provided by codec's Development Team.

  • Remarks:

    During decoding ffmpeg program does not write last frame of video sequence. Therefore we used sequences with duplicated last frame for this codec.

    Contents

  • Introduction
  • Thanks
  • Overview
  • Goal and testing rules
  • Sequences
  • Codecs
  • "Best quality" preset
  • Y-PSNR
  • U-PSNR, V-PSNR
  • SSIM, VQM
  • Blurring measure, blocking measure
  • Bitrate handling
  • Time
  • "Best speed" preset
  • Y-PSNR
  • Speed/Quality Tradeoff
  • Bitrate handling
  • Time
  • Final part
  • 2-pass mode and High profile
  • Per frame comparison
  • Visual comparison
  • Informal codec comparison
  • General conclusions

  • Download



    Contact Information



    Additional information


    Call for HEVC codecs 2018
    See all MSU Video Codec Comparisons

    MSU video codecs comparisons resources:


    Other materials


    Video resources:

    Bookmark this page:   Add to Del.icio.us Add to Del.icio.us     Digg It Digg It     reddit reddit

     
    Last updated: 10-March-2011

    Search (Russian):
    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