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RUSSIAN VERSION HERE!

Second 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!

See also Frequently Asked Questions. Second annual MPEG4-AVC/H.264 codecs comparison

Project head: Dr. Dmitriy Vatolin
Testing, charts, analysis: Dmitriy Kulikov, Alexander Parshin
Translation: Artem Titarenko
Verification: Stanislav Soldatov


Codecs that were tested


  • DivX 6.0 (Not H.264 video codec, tested as reference codec)
  • ArcSoft H.264
  • Ateme H.264
  • ATI H.264
  • Elecard H.264
  • Fraunhofer IIS H.264
  • VSS H.264
  • x264

  • Comparison content


  • 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)

  • Two codec presets will be compared:
  • Maximum quality
  • Balanced (speed)

  • Video sequences that were used in this comparison
  • foreman (standard sequence)
  • susi (standard sequence)
  • BBC (standard sequence)
  • battle (part from "Terminator-2" movie)
  • simpsons (part from "The Simpsons" movie)
  • Matrix (part from "The Matrix" movie)
  • Concert (part from HDTV movie)

  • Testing rules:
  • Restrictions of codecs operation: only codecs that can work in Main profile of H.264 and do not use two passes were tested.
  • Every codec was tested three times with separate speed measurements. After this median of these three values (middle value) was used as a resulting time.
  • Following 10 bitrates were used for codec testing (Kbps): 100, 225, 340, 460, 700, 938, 1140, 1340, 1840, 2340.
  • During testing three types of video sequences were used:
  • Source sequences *.yuv in YUV 4:2:0 format.
  • *.avi sequences in YUV 4:2:0 format with fourcc YV12.
  • *.yuv sequences with duplicated last frame. These sequences were used for testing x264 codec.
  • 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 Measurement Tool was used.
  • For each preset both speed and quality were measured

  • Comparison statistic


  • Total number of graphs in this comparison is 3796. Only 82 (2%) of them are in document;
  • The number of computer-days is more than 20;
  • Final document has 85 pages.

  • Content of HTML version


  • 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


  • Second Annual MSU H.264 Video Codec Comparison - PDF (3.81 Mb)
  • Second Annual MSU H.264 Video Codec Comparison - ZIP (3.0 Mb)

  • If you are interested in your codecs' testing or tuning, please write to us at

    Contact Information


    or

    Call for codecs 2013
    See all MSU Video Codec Comparisons

    MSU video codecs comparisons resources:


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    Last updated: 10-March-2011

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    Project sponsored by YUVsoft Corp.

    Project supported by MSU Graphics & Media Lab

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