HEVC Video Codecs Comparison 2018

Thirteen MSU Video Codecs Comparison

Welcome to 2018 HEVC video codecs comparison page!
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2018 report parts

Video codecs that were tested in 2018

Objectives and testing rules

Codec analysis and tuning for codec developers and codec users

Thanks

Contact information

2018 Report Parts

High Quality (AV1) Report
Comparison on FullHD video sequences with ultra slow/high quality presets
Released on April, 4
7 codecs
AV1, VP9, SIF, sz265, x265, sz264, x264
Free version




Enterprise version

You will receive all Enterprise Reports
(High Quality, 4K, Subjective and FullHD)


Alternative payment method
5 FullHD video sequences
Special Use Case
120 seconds per frame, encoding presets determined by codecs developers
10 objective metrics
YUV-SSIM, Y-SSIM, U-SSIM, V-SSIM, YUV-PSNR, Y-PSNR, U-PSNR, V-PSNR, Y-VMAF(v0.6.1), Y-VMAF(v0.6.1 Phone)
HTML and PDF documents
150+ interactive charts and 48 pages
4K Report
Comparison on high-resolution video sequences
Released on January, 15
6 codecs
HW265, sz265, Tencent Shannon Encoder, x265, sz264, x264
Free version



Enterprise version

You will receive all Enterprise Reports
(High Quality, 4K, Subjective and FullHD)


Alternative payment method
10 4K video sequences
Special Use Case
25 fps, encoding presets determined by codecs developers
5 objective metrics
YUV-SSIM, Y-SSIM, YUV-PSNR, Y-PSNR, Y-VMAF(v.0.6.1)
HTML and PDF documents
535 interactive charts and 46 pages
Subjective Report
Subjective comparison conducted on Subjectify.us platform
Released on November, 19
10 codecs
Kingsoft HEVC Encoder, SIF Encoder, sz264, sz265, Tencent Shannon Encoder, UC265, VITEC HEVC GEN2+ Encoder, VP9, x264, x265
Free version







Enterprise version

You will receive all Enterprise Reports
(High Quality, 4K, Subjective and FullHD)


Alternative payment method
473 unique observers
22542 valid answers
5 video sequences
Short fragments from Crowd run, Ducks Take Off, Mountain bike, Playground, Red Kayak
Ripping Use Case
At least 1 FPS
6 metrics
Subjective score and 5 objective: YUV-SSIM, Y-SSIM, YUV-PSNR, Y-PSNR, Y-VMAF(v.0.6.1)
HTML and PDF documents
118 interactive charts and 34 pages

Video Codecs that were Tested in 2018

Codec name Use cases HEVC Hardware/GA
1 AV1
Alliance for Open Media
Ripping (in Ultra-ripping report)
(AV1)
2 HW265
Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.
Fast, Universal, Ripping
3 Intel MFX (GA)
Intel Corporation
Fast, Universal
4 Intel MFX (SW)
Intel Corporation
Fast, Universal, Ripping
5 Kingsoft HEVC Encoder
Kingsoft
Fast, Universal, Ripping
6 SIF encoder
SIF Encoder Team
Ripping
(SIF)
7 sz264
Nanjing Yunyan
Fast, Universal, Ripping
(H.264)
8 sz265
Nanjing Yunyan
Fast, Universal, Ripping
9 Tencent Shannon Encoder
Tencent
Fast, Universal, Ripping
10 UC265
Ucodec Inc.
Fast, Universal, Ripping
11 VITEC HEVC GEN2+
Vitec
Fast
12 VP9
The WebM Project (Google)
Ripping
(VP9)
13 x264
x264 Developer Team
Fast, Universal, Ripping
(H.264)
14 x265
MulticoreWare, Inc.
Fast, Universal, Ripping

High Quality (AV1) Report

The leaders of high quality comparison:

4K Report

The leaders of comparison on 4K videos:

Below is a short summary with 3 of 535 graphs from general report.

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Rate-distortion results of the competitors at House Demolition sequence:

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At Ducks Take Off sequence, four encoders show Pareto-optimal results: sz264, sz265, HW265 and Tencent Shannon Encoder.

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Purchase Enterprise version to see all comparison results. Enterprise version is free for all buyers of Enterprise Main and Subjective reports.

Subjective Report

Below is a short summary with 3 of 118 graphs from general report.

According to the results of subjective comparison, the best codecs are the following:

Below we compare the results of subjective comparison with relative bitrate saving scores computed using SSIM for the set of five videos used in subjective comparison:

The winners determine from mean quality scores, but there is no absolute winner in the comparison, since different encoders take first place at different test video sequences: for example, on Crowd Run (short) three encoders show Pareto-optimal results: VITEC HEVC GEN2+ Encoder, x265 and VP9.

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Tencent Shannon Encoder shows the best quality option for Red Kayak (short) sequence.

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Purchase Enterprise version to see all comparison results. Enterprise version is free for all buyers of Enterprise Main Report, and Enterprise Main Report is also free for all buyers of Enterprise Subjective Report.
You can also download subjective comparison rules (PDF, 3.9 MB).

Main Report (objective)

According to just quality scores (YUV-SSIM), the best codecs (among those we evaluated for all three use cases) are the following:

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We tested three encoded use cases (see the description in section Test Hardware Characteristics). The universal-encoding use case has five Pareto optimal encoders in terms of mean speed and quality: UC265, Intel MSDK HEVC (SW), Intel MSDK HEVC (GA), Tencent Shannon Encoder and HW265. Nevertheless, the differences emerge for particular sequences and use cases.

Free report contains the results for two of 28 sequences, and results of all sequences and use cases are available in enterprise version.

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Hint: click on codec's name in the legend to add or remove it.

Here is one of the RD-charts:

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Hint: click on codec's name in the legend to add or remove it.

Download Free Report

Objectives and Testing Rules

HEVC codec testing objectives

The main goal of this report is the presentation of a comparative evaluation of the quality of new HEVC codecs and codecs of other standards using objective measures of assessment. The comparison was done using settings provided by the developers of each codec. Nevertheless, we required all presets to satisfy minimum speed requirement on the particular use case. The main task of the comparison is to analyze different encoders for the task of transcoding video — e.g., compressing video for personal use.

Test Hardware Characteristics

For this platform we considered three key use cases with different speed requirements:

See more on Call-for-codecs 2018 page

Video Sequences Selection

We have updated video database from which we choose sample videos for encoders’ comparison. In this year, we analyzed 539765 videos hosted at Vimeo looking for 4K and FullHD videos with high bitrates (50 Mbps was selected as a lower bitrate boundary). This enabled us to find and download 942 new 4K videos and 2346 new FullHD videos.

We also completed list of selected sequences with high-quality videos from media.xiph.org.

This year test data set consists of 28 sequences: 5 from the old data set, 16 new ones from Vimeo and 7 from xiph.org. 25 sequences from the old data set were excluded. The average bitrate for all sequences in the final set is 449.72 Mbps, median — 192.02 Mbps. “Hera” (90 Mbps), “Television studio” (92 Mbps) and “Foggy beach” (93 Mbps) sequences have minimal bitrates. The complete list of sequences and description of selection process appears in PDF report.

Video sequences selection

Codec Analysis and Tuning for Codec Developers and Codec Users

Computer Graphics and Multimedia Laboratory of Moscow State University:

We could perform next tasks for codec developers and codec users.

Strong and Weak Points of Your Codec

Independent Codec Estimation Comparing to Other Codecs for Different Use-cases

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.

Thanks

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 Telecast
Huawei MainConcept Vitec Tencent

Contacts

E-mail: videocodec-testing@graphics.cs.msu.ru

Subscribe to report updates

25 Jan 2019
See Also
Parallax range estimation in S3D video
Parallax determines the depth of S3D movies. The range of parallaxes should be both comfortable and entertaining for spectators.
Call for HEVC codecs 2019
Fourteen modern video codec comparison
HEVC Video Codecs Comparison 2017 (Twelfth MSU Video Codec Comparison)
12th MSU video codecs comparison
MSU Video Codec Comparisons (6 test of lossless, MPEG-4 and MPEG-4 AVC)
Call for HEVC codecs 2018
Effective Video Transcoding
Site structure