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Comparing Codecs for 2004

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the CGA-is-all-anyone-should-ever-need dept.

Graphics 233

MunchMunch writes "Popular encoding/guide/news site doom9.org has just put up its codec shoot-out for 2004, comparing 3ivx 5.0, Divx Fusion 5.9 (prerelease 6.0), Nero Digital Main Profile and High Profile, RealVideo 10, On2 VP6, VideoSoft's VSS, Xvid 1.0, MS's WMV9 and, last, newcomer Jomingo's HDX4. The comparison covers the speed, accuracy, target-file-size-adherence and other aspects of the codecs -- but also lets you compare yourself via high- and low-bandwidth framegrabs of each codec with a nice zoomable image-swap script."

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Winner (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237546)

Nero Digital won on quality, but for both speed and quality, doom9.org concludes XviD is currently the best solution.

Re:Winner (3, Interesting)

Hackeron (704093) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237786)

What about libavcodec (mencoder's default)? I ran some xvid vs lavc myself and found lavc to be of better quality vs size. Isnt it ironic the best codec isnt even in the comparison?

Reminds me of those sound codec tests where vorbis wasnt present :)

Re:Winner (2, Informative)

Hackeron (704093) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237797)

libavcodec (lavc) is part of the ffmpeg project: http://ffmpeg.sourceforge.net/

Re:Winner (5, Informative)

dsparil (844576) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237938)

NeroDigital was declared the overall winner, not XviD. XviD had the best quality versus encoding speed. TFA specically says

Finally, XviD, one year after taking the crown, had to give it back. It would've won again, if it were not for ateme's AVC codecs. So, if you make DVD backups now that need to work on a standalone or slower machine, XviD is still a very good option, but I guess we'll see AVC capable decoder chips in 2005.

and

Looking at the encoding speed table, this was an easy pick: XviD clearly delivers the best quality per FPS and shows that high speed is not detrimental to quality at all. Also, ateme's Main Profile encoder delivered a good 31.40 fps, which is very respectable for an AVC codec, and thus it earned the 2nd place in this category.

Re:Winner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237997)

Gotta love the slashdot editors.

I submitted the doom9 codec comparison for an article about 5 days ago and it was rejected (probably by michael) and now here it is on the front page, courtesy of michael.

Not that I need the karma anyway, but what a bunch of dickheads.

best image (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237547)

does it matter, as long as you get first post?

Re:best image (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237567)

it does, and you didn't (ha-ha) j00 f4iL 17!

H.264 (4, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237551)

I realize it's not available yet, but it's coming [apple.com] ...and frankly, it's pretty amazing. Scales from 3G handheld devices to HD content, already part of the forthcoming HD-DVD and Bluray Disc formats, not to mention being an ITU and MPEG standard, etc.

Re:H.264 (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237561)

H.264 is MPEG-4 Advanced Codec (AVC). Some AVC codecs are included in the article, the Nero Digital and HP4X one's in particular.

Re:H.264 (4, Informative)

Bulln-Bulln (659072) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237817)

I don't see a codec called HP4X in the article and if you actually read the article (yeah, I know... this is /.) you'll see that the simmilar named HDX4 codec is an ASP (not AVC) codec.

(HP4X has something to do with calculators from HP.)

Re:H.264 (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237566)

The Nero Digital codec is a working implementation of H.246 AVC. It is indeed good.

Re:H.264 (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237571)

It's coming ? It's already here !
Nero Digital IS a H.264 (MPEG 4 AVC) codec !

Re:H.264 (2, Informative)

msh104 (620136) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237841)

the "just released" mplayer version (www.mplayerhq.hu) also supports it.

Re:H.264 (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237616)

I realize it's not available yet, Huh? You can get source code [iphome.hhi.de] of the reference hode, or zillions of commercial implementations [google.com]

Re:H.264 (-1, Flamebait)

AaronLawrence (600990) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237649)

Thank you for today's example of naive Apple fanboyishness.

Re:H.264 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237736)

Eh? He just posted an explanatory link to the technology that just happened to reside on the Apple website.

Get the chip off your shoulder. It's bigger than your head.

Re:H.264 (5, Insightful)

michaeldot (751590) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237806)

Thank you for today's example of Apple fanboy hating curmudgeonliness.

Fanboy or not, he gave useful information: H.264 does indeed have more industry credibility than the list of toy codecs who main use is to swap pirated TV shows on the eDonkey network.

And the fact that you've started to get modded up informative is what gives Slashdot a bad taste in the mouth.

Seriously, this place is looking more like comp.sys.advocacy.* every day...

Re:H.264 (1)

big tex (15917) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237847)

Seriously, this place is looking more like comp.sys.advocacy.* every day...

Oh, it always has.
Now, it looks like more than just comp.sys.advocacy.linux and comp.sys.advocacy.bsd-is-dead.

Variety is the spice of life, even if the spice is ass-flavored.

Re:H.264 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237769)

See, I know it's a useful karma whoring technique to post something vaguely informative, making it sound vaguely technical, but sometimes you just shoot yourself in the foot.

Wow (3, Funny)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237553)

but also lets you compare yourself via high- and low-bandwidth framegrabs of each codec with a nice zoomable image-swap script
If ever there was a summary that said "slashdotting", that was it.

Ultra high bandwidth PNG? (3, Informative)

eggspurt (845109) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237855)

It's important to understand that most default PNG exporters are not very good. You should use a PNG optimizer, such as Ken Silverman's PNGOUT [advsys.net] or Cosmin Truta's OptiPNG [toronto.edu] . Let us focus on the matrix3-3ivx-6364.png image:
  • Default: 129,002 bytes
  • OptiPNG: 121,967 bytes
  • PNGOUT: 113,759 bytes
It may not seem much, but it adds up. Sometimes you can reduce the bit depth (for gray scale), make a palette (for drawings and charts that don't need 64 bits of color depth), and reduce resolution. Some more tricks are at Baseline JPEG and JPEG2000 Artifacts Illustrated [ailab.si] .

sweet (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237554)

first?

Re:sweet (0, Offtopic)

BladeMelbourne (518866) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237586)

failed?

What no FLC? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237558)

I'm an Amiga user, where is FLC you incensitive clod?

Re:What no FLC? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237672)

I'm a clod and I find this post highly offensive!!!!

Re:What no FLC? (2, Informative)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237684)

Wasn't FLC an animation format used mostly on DOS? Amiga users had CDXL, one of the first codecs capable of streaming video from a cd, and playable on a 1x drive with a 7mhz cpu.. Obviously the quality is nothing compared to modern formats, but for it's time it was amazing.. It predates mpeg by several years for instance.

Re:What no FLC? (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237730)

Screw CDXL, I watch all my movies on an Amiga A500 encoded as IFF animations.

And they'd damned well better fit on an 880K floppy!

Re:What no FLC? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237816)

IFF is a container format, so it's like saying you're watching an AVI. What type of IFF animation? IFF ANIM, IFF ANIM+SLA, IFF ANIM+ANFI?

What about Ogg Vorbis? (0, Troll)

Junichiro Koizumi (803690) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237564)

How come Ogg Vorbis wasn't included in this shootout? In my experience it gets about 27.23 fps compared to 27.21 fps for MP3 encoding a 269.43 MB anime dick-girl video, and is therefore clearly superior.

Re:What about Ogg Vorbis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237570)

Wow, I'm impressed, most of my Ogg and MP3 encodings only get 0 fps.

Re:What about Ogg Vorbis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237584)

that sucks. WMA gives me 15 when the pop ups show up.

http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/12/31/1 55 3231&tid=95&tid=97&tid=172&tid=17

Re:What about Ogg Vorbis? (3, Informative)

BladeMelbourne (518866) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237614)

Wow, most of your MP3 files must be 0 kbps or 0 KB in size.

MP3 files most definately have frames:
http://www.id3.org/mp3frame.html [id3.org]
http://www.dv.co.yu/mpgscript/mpeghdr.htm [dv.co.yu]

Re:What about Ogg Vorbis? (2, Informative)

Calroth (310516) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237843)

MP3 files most definately have frames

Ever wondered why MP3 files aren't "gapless" and there are short gaps of silence between tracks that should otherwise run together? This is why. It's not a problem with your player; it's the way the MP3 spec works... it pads your sound file out to be a multiple of x samples.

Re:What about Ogg Vorbis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237591)

Beautiful. I thought you went too far when you mentioned anime porn, but apparently it is still going over heads...

snow is better and mplayer supports it now! (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237568)

from my experiences with what i've played with, snow far surpasses all these codecs. its the only currently realistic wavelet choice, and it hasnt even been optimized for speed. you need a good processor though. mplayer has support for snow now!

Re:snow is better and mplayer supports it now! (2, Funny)

Trillan (597339) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237588)

Man, when I was young, we used to twiddle the rabbit ears for hours to try to get rid of snow.

Re:snow is better and mplayer supports it now! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237637)

Michael Niedermayer is the author and afaik he works for fraunhofer. but i believe the snow video codec is based on wavelets, no more blocks, and is open source.

but i dont have an account so this will be buried at score 0.

i cant believe nobody on slashdot knows of this great codec. which as i said is supported by mencoder/mplayer now!

nobody seems to have heard of this codec (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237676)

http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?s=4601d4772d 9800343fc7098250f3ab2f&threadid=87317

iwod: "Where is the SNOW in Xmas?"

akupenguin: "The rules say: don't ask what's "best". There isn't an objective answer.

But I vote for Snow: very nice at low bitrates, and it doesn't need so much tweaking to get a compromise between resolution and quantizer. No blockiness at all (wavelets+obmc take care of that), though it has it's own set of artifacts. While it's slow for normal use, that shouldn't be a problem at 320x240..."

Tommy Carrot: "Well, Snow is very impressive indeed..."

Teegedeck: "'The best' indeed is a dangerous term when it comes to comparing codecs. But since in the 'ridiculously low bitrates' area wavelet codecs really don't seem to have a competition, my vote goes for Snow, too..."

Mug Funky: "...wavelet means you can encode broad slabs of flatness alongside detail like subs pretty nicely. it's so experimental though..."

ChronoReverse: "Frozen precipitation in the form of white or translucent hexagonal ice crystals that fall in soft, white flakes."

Anonymous Coward: "why doesnt anyone on slashdot know bout snow?"

Re:nobody seems to have heard of this codec (5, Interesting)

Elledan (582730) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237731)

Valid link to the thread about the Snow wavelet-based codec: Snow [doom9.org]

For those too lazy to click the above link, here's the content of the first post:

"I think a new thread is a more fitting place to discuss about the Snow codec. :) If someone wouldn't know what is it, it's an experimental wavelet codec made by the ffmpeg developers, which borrows a lot of tools from h.264, and while it's still early in the development, it's already giving very good results, far surpasses other wavelet codecs (rududu, dirac) and imho Xvid too, quality-wise. Unfortunately it's only usable with mplayer/mencoder right now, but i think the next ffdshow will include it, so the testing will be more easier. [Update: The latest ffdshow build provided by Celtic_druid have Snow support]

I've played with the settings, and so far this command-line gives the best result:

code:mencoder in.avi -o out.avi -ovc lavc -lavcopts vcodec=snow:vstrict=-1:vqscale=3:qpel:v4mv:cmp=1:s ubcmp=1:mbcmp=1:pred=1

This gives ~600-800 kbps, depending on the source, and the quality is excellent imo.

vqscale is the quantizer, if it's not included it in the command line, Snow will compress losslessly.

So far my opinion about the different settings: qpel always increases the quality - recommended v4mv - i would only recommended it at lower quantizers (max 4-5), above that the stronger artifacts it causes like ringing can hurt the quality xxxcmp=1 (using SSE comparison method instead of SAD) slows down the encoding, but prevents the color mismatches, which can occur otherwise (anyone who tried rududu codec can remember to that). using pred=1 or 2 (different wavelet functions instead of the default) can increase the quality, but these make the encoding (and pred=2 the decoding too) much slower."

Wavelet-based encoding definitely sounds like a great idea. It's only too bad that it isn't universally usable (it can't compress certain images well, either), and requires a fast CPU. At least it gives that Athlon 64 3500+ you just got something to do :)

Re:nobody seems to have heard of this codec (2, Interesting)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237996)

... except SNOW doesn't work on 64-bit cpus [at least my x86_64 with GCC 3.4.3].

I was trying to encode the freedom downtime dvd with it [it was handy] and it segfaulted on the first frame.

In fact the mplayer crew largely ignore x86_64 alltogether which pisses me off as several months ago I offered shell accounts on my 64-bit box just so they could actually get to adding proper support.

For instance, the x86_64 has MMX, 3dNOW and SSE [1 and 2] NONE of which a stock build of mplayer [up to pre6] will use. It's not like they changed how they work, just now you get 16 SSE registers instead of 8. Even if they just stuck to the first 8 to keep it x86_{32|64} compatible that would be loads better than using C based routines for everything.

OSS is only as good as the developers. And well while mplayer is coming along it still lacks some proper support for x86_64 which is rather annoying.

Tom

Theora? (5, Interesting)

mano78 (571399) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237574)

From a quite-newbie point of view: is there a reason why Ogg Theora isn't included? Given the quality and increasing popularity of Vorbis, I would have expected at least a mention. And it would have been interesting to know its state relative to the others.

Re:Theora? (-1, Troll)

redswinglinestapler (841060) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237600)

It isn't there because its name sounds like my cat coughing up a furball.

Re:Theora? (1)

Mr Smidge (668120) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237601)

The bitstream format of Ogg Theora has been frozen, meaning that any Theora video now will still be a valid Theora video in the future.

Theora encoders are very likely nowhere near the level maturity held by some of the other codecs here (somebody who knows better back that up for me - I know nothing about Theora encoders) that have actually been around for ages. Still, it would have been nice to see Theora in action. Even if it was just as a comparison of how far they have to go really, it would have been useful to see.

Re:Theora? (5, Informative)

Weird O'Puns (749505) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237622)

Theora is still in alpha stages and still has many problems with it. Currently it doesn't stand a chance with the codecs in the shoot-out, especially with the bitrates they were using in the tests.

That being said, remember that Theora is already pretty useful for low bitrate Internet streams.

Theora works. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237635)

About five months ago I got the theora encoder compiling in OS X.. Encoded a test 5 minute short. It was TINY and playback (through VLC or MPlayer I think) was great. It should have been included in any comparison.

Re:Theora works. (2, Insightful)

Weird O'Puns (749505) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237779)

As I said, Theora is good at lower bitrates but with higher bitrates there's still some performance problems with the codec. The Doom9.net comparison focused on ripping movies and they used bitrates between 600 - 1000 kbps. At these rates the Theora codec still performs quite poorly.

If (or when) the developers manage to solve these problems Theora will become a viable codec, but if they had reviewed it now, it would have only gotten a bad publicity.

Re:Theora? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237690)

Despite what you say about Theora, it is stable enough to stream all of Guadec.

See www.theora.org for news/code/video samples.

An On2 derivative (4, Informative)

Hal XP (807364) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237747)

At this stage Theora [theora.org] is not much more than a mutation of the On2 VP3 codec, which On2 donated to the free software community.

A quote from the Theora faq [theora.org] :

Q. Is the Theora bitstream identical to VP3?

Yes and No. Theora is a superset of VP3, so VP3 streams (with minor syntactic modifications) can be made into Theora streams without recompression (but not vice versa).

Theora will be almost entirely based upon the VP3 codec designed by On2. However, Theora video data will be delivered inside of the Ogg container format (with Vorbis for audio), so Ogg Theora files will not be the same as VP3 files. There also may be quite a few performance advantages to using Theora when 1.0 is complete. While our focus is integration, there will certainly be a lot of optimization involved, as well.

So there! Theora is optimized VP3, which means there's a good chance it would turn out to be a faster codec. But as far as visual quality is concerned Theora is likely to be just as good or just as bad as VP3.

On2 itself is well represented in the survey by its VP6 codec, and judging from the pseudo version numbers on the codec names, it should be safe to assume that VP3 is inferior to VP6 (VP6 - VP3 = 3 generations of development).

Re:Theora? (4, Informative)

Inf0phreak (627499) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237720)

AFAIK, Theora doesn't fit into the toolchain that Doom9 uses with AviSynth because it doesn't have a DirectShow filter of VfW implementation (Please feel free to correct me though).

I think you have to use a command line encoder that only accepts some weird raw picture format which by my (and most other persons', I presume) standards is just silly and in no way usable (*). Unless mencoder supports it, of course. But that still doesn't work with his usual toolchain.

(*): And don't come with that "oh, but it's alpha software. Things like that can wait!" because it won't get any use or testing at all if they keep it that way. So when 1.0 finally comes out they get bashed for its horrible quality and have to spend months tuning their encoder again, doing work they could have saved themselves had they had better testing from the start. That's how I guess it's going to be when 1.0 finally comes around.

PS: I still think it's a pretty cool project and with the java implementation for streaming, it would be very nice to see more wide-spread use of Theora, but I won't be holding my breath.

Re:Theora? (3, Informative)

Bulln-Bulln (659072) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237765)

Theora is based on On2's VP3 and this codec was removed from Doom9.org's codec comparisons long ago, because it's old and didn't have significant (if any) improvement in quality. The same thing happend with "DivX ;-) 3" (the hacked MS codec).
These codecs have not been removed, because the Doom9 guy hate them or something, but because the old test results still apply and testing them over and over again would just be a waste of time.

IIRC VP3 (and DivX 3) was removed in 2003. So check out a comparison from 2003 to see how it performs.

Re:Theora? (3, Insightful)

Bulln-Bulln (659072) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237785)

Argh, I don't like to reply to myself, but check out the first page:
"I've re-included Microsoft's WMV9 (...)"
This means that WMV9 was dropped in the past, too.

It contimiues: "(...) especially since it is part of the specification of HD DVD and Blu-ray. There have been some improvements in WMV9 (...)"

So this means that Theora is not dropped forever. When Theora hits a significant milestone (1.0?) and shows improvements in quality over VP3, it's likely to be tested again.

Theora is a victim of xiph's own anti-marketing (3, Insightful)

rseuhs (322520) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237968)

The sad truth is that as long as xiph is dominated by stubborn, arrogant technocrats, it will have a pretty hard time.

Ogg-Vorbis is the best audio-codec technically - but everybody calls it "ogg" and not "ogg-vorbis" because the file extension is .ogg

Effectively, xiph does everything possible to sabotage their own product: It doesn't have a good sounding name, it doesn't have a consistent name ("ogg" versus "ogg-vorbis"), they don't have any buttons/banners to put on products on xiph.org and there is lots of confusion about container format (ogg) and codec (vorbis), which is the "U"-part from FUD.

The only reason anybody uses ogg at all is because it is excellent technically and beats all other audio codecs by a longshot.

Unfortunately, the guys at xiph don't acknowledge that fact and insist of wanting to have videos with .ogg extension, too, which is doomed to fail because nobody wants to have audio and video to have the same file extension.

The users have created a pseudo standard file extension of .ogm for XVid/Vorbis streams which does quite well in the P2P-networks (= successful), but Ogg/Theora has the problem that it isn't as mature and even when they mature probably won't be *that* much better than the others. So even if the xiph guys manage to put out a competitive Theora codec, their own confusion and uncertainity (especially their stubborn and idiotic decision to have .ogg for both audio and video) will sabotage any hopes of success, the way I see it.

Which is really unfortunate.

Things would be much better if they would use .ogt or something for ogg/Theora, but the guys at xiph just refuse to :-(

No OGM? (2, Interesting)

metricmusic (766303) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237575)

..... Not only does ogg theora have great video quality but it has multiple subtitle support built in, which is great for up-coming unlicensed-yet anime and other foreign films.

Re:No OGM? (4, Informative)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237592)

OGM is only a file container, so it doesnt matter.
And ogg theora is a VERY outdated version of the vp codec. VP6.x was tested, theora is based on vp4.something, a more than 2 years outdated codebase.
draw you own conclusions

Re:No OGM? (-1, Redundant)

Rie Beam (632299) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237604)

Mod parent up.

Re:No OGM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237625)

Mod parent off-topic.
Mod this off-topic.

Re:No OGM? (0, Troll)

galaxy300 (111408) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237735)

STFU.

Re:No OGM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237630)

Well he was talking about anime, and anime has what, 10 frames per second?

Re:No OGM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237642)

What are you watching? Anime from the 80s. its the 05s baby!

Re:No OGM? (4, Informative)

Bloater (12932) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237645)

Theora is based on VP3.2

Theora also has some changes that allow potentially much higher quality - although the reference encoder doesn't use them yet. Also the current reference encoder tries to encode noise very faithfully, and that causes noticeable quality issues (especially "beating" at low bitrates on noisy source data). Having said that, I normally find Theora to be noticeably better quality at the same bitrate than DivX.

NO I WANT TO SEE OGG THEORA compared as well (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237660)

The fact remains that Ogg Theora is FREE to use/compile codec that is ever growing in poularity and should have been included in this comparison. You can say what you like about VP6 but if its not the one they are using, they don't care. Ogg Theora has been heavily modified since VP4 came out. We want to know how THAT compares with the others. until that is done, YOU do not know for sure if VP6 is better than ogg theora.

Re:No OGM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237752)

draw you own conclusions I would MUCH rather they did it for me. The code for ogg-theora is heavily modified since they forked from VP3.

Re:No OGM? (1)

rseuhs (322520) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237979)

.ogm is usually an ogg-container with a XVid video track and an Vorbis audio track.

And XVid was the winner last year and second this time - Vorbis is the best audio codec in most listening tests.

What about ... (0, Redundant)

lasindi (770329) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237579)

What about Ogg Theora? Is it not developed enough yet or did they forget about the open source codec? lasindi

Re:What about ... (1)

boingyzain (739759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237609)

It is impractical to test every possible codec. Ogg Theora has not caught on. It is still an "enthusiast" codec. DivX et al are significantly more popular, even if they aren't as good as Ogg.

Re:What about ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237664)

XviD is under GPL license.

Are you happy now? :P

Re:What about ... (1)

Seft (659449) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237738)

You forgot Xvid

Progress (5, Insightful)

bigberk (547360) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237627)

Overall, the progress is just astounding. When I compare clips of say movies from 3 years ago to ones you can find now, the file sizes have remained the same but the quality of both video and audio have gone way up. I don't know much about video codecs but I do recall back then there still being MPEG 4 in the game, so maybe it's more about modern tweaks?

Re:Progress (4, Insightful)

bigberk (547360) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237632)

Also makes one snicker... I recall content producers saying that selling high quality television/video streaming over the Internet is not feasible (the amount of data that has to be shipped). Well, they were wrong it seems... instead of putting all that money in lawyers' pockets, they could have helped develop technologies to produce new revenue streams. As is, they sat idly by while others made the technologies that will probably obsolete TV/movie content producers.

you fail lit. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237629)

H264 and MPlayer : you can try x264 (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237634)

x264 is a free (GPL) implementation done by one of the French guys of the videolan team (who made the VLC player).
http://www.videolan.org/x264.html [videolan.org]
MPlayer-pre6 now supports it. You just need to compile the x264 codec, and compile MPlayer with the x264 libraries linked (see ./configure options).

I tried it, it is very promising.
Apparently it also works with transcode and has a Win32 version too.

See alsothis thread about using mencoder and x264:
http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?threadid=830 39 [doom9.org]

Re:you can try x264 : but also try snow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237933)

snow (part of libavcodec) is also in current mplayer release and is a wavelet based codec. Currently the code seems to me less mature than that of x264 but the quality of snow allready outperforms that of or x264 or any mpeg4 implementation I have tested.

Time to move on? (3, Insightful)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237648)

Erm, this may only apply to old codgers with failing faculties like myself, but I think that a level of acceptability has been reached.
Just as mp3(and similar) is good enough to listen to and jpg, bmp and gif are good enough for the various static images needs, divx(xvid) and mpeg2 fill the processing requirements for moving images.
With the cost of storage falling there is less need to build a higher compression video codec. If you want to do some good, come up with faster and higher quality ways to transcode things to an existing open codec standard.

Re:Time to move on? (1)

DebianDog (472284) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237656)

Well even with broadband. I am not fan of downloading 200 megs when I could just D/L 20.

If M$ does not screw up the AVC standard like they did with the first MPEG-4 one, we will all be happy campers in Mac and Linux land.

Re:Time to move on? (5, Insightful)

HFShadow (530449) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237662)

No, they don't meet the processing requirements. "Just as mp3(and similar) is good enough to listen" - Mp3 files are small enough that even when encoded at a high bitrate, you can download a file reasonably fast. Audio quality is also alot more subjective to the listener then video is. Anyone can take a video and pause it and point out all the things that don't look quite right, something that can't be done with an MP3. Also since you know what a video is "supposed" to look like, you notice the errors more. Those stairs aren't blurry in real life, why are they in the movie? Same for faces, rain and other objects. Video codec's will always be worked on and updated, as higher quality video is demanded, sizes get larger and larger and more unworkable. When you have a large HDTV, do you really want to watch a divx video with blocky motion artifacts?

Re:Video codec's will always be worked on (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237716)

Video codec's will always be worked on and updated, as higher quality video is demanded, sizes get larger and larger and more unworkable. When you have a large HDTV, do you really want to watch a divx video with blocky motion artifacts? Ever hear of diminishing returns?
divx is watchable and a good size/quality compromise. You can get a 90 minute film onto a cd, for instance. If, in the future, you can encode a 90 minute hdtv into 700mb with no quality loss, the hardware needed to decode and render the film will probably not use cds. The codec will probably run into Gb.
And, yes, those stairs, rain and especially faces ARE blurred in real life.

Re:Video codec's will always be worked on (4, Informative)

ambrosine10 (747895) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237793)

And, yes, those stairs, rain and especially faces ARE blurred in real life.

What, you have glaucoma? Are you near-sighted? Go buy some glasses.

The original picture WAS crisp, and there's no reason why the encoded version shouldn't be. We get most of our information from visual sources and so our demand for high-quality visuals will never go down. Normal people take time even distinguishing 64k AAC clips from the original sometimes. But with visuals it's easy to spot artifacts.

divx is watchable and a good size/quality compromise.

Yes, and maybe 64k MP3 is good enough for you. It's not for most people. Be happy, you have what you want. Let the developers develop for the rest of the human population who care.

You can get a 90 minute film onto a cd, for instance.

Yes and as development continues that same 90-minute film on the CD will look closer and closer to the original.

If, in the future, you can encode a 90 minute hdtv into 700mb with no quality loss

This is impossible to do losslessly - that's why we're developing lossy codecs. There will always be a tradeoff between quality and file-size, but it will continue to improve, barring people like you who claim everything is fine, fine. The point of technology is progress. If you're happy with your LPs and your black and white TV, fine, but don't go ruining it for the rest of us.

hardware needed to decode and render the film will probably not use cds.

Uh, what?

Re:Video codec's will always be worked on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11238024)

pwnt!

Re:Time to move on? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237665)

You kids and your divx and mpeg2, back in my day we used flip books made of papyrus and we liked it!

Re:Time to move on? (5, Insightful)

liangzai (837960) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237874)

What you are saying is that 640 kB should be enough for everyone, or that since we have Microsoft Word we have reached a level of acceptability...

This is not so, since new codecs do so much more than conserve bandwidth (which is in itself a good purpose, considering the Slashdot effect and other congestions that will always occur on tah intarweb). Some of them DO have better quality per se than MPEG-2, and some of them DO scale enormously much better. MPEG-4 was developed for these and other reasons, and there is a tremendous need for such a codec, not least from a wireless perspecive.

Furthermore, it would be desirable to have a codec that can handle as many things as possible, rather than relying on a bunch of different codecs for different purposes.

Finally, I believe in standards rather than proprietary formats and codecs. DivX is fine, but it is a bastardized version of MPEG-4, and there are also many different implementations. Most of them generate errors in VLC, whereas I have yet to see a failing MPEG-4 video.

There are also the aspects of cross platform implementation (forget WMV9), simplicity, scalability and ingenuity in the architecture (why Quicktime was chosen as the MPEG-4 file architecture), and industry support (everyone but Redmond City supports MPEG-4). There.

Considering 3ivx is only up to 4.5.1... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237652)

...I'm not trusting this at all.

Re:Considering 3ivx is only up to 4.5.1... (1)

nightweaver (453060) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237900)

From the codec shoot-out article itself:

3ivX's progress has been rather slow throughout the year. Just in time for the comparison, I got a prerelease of the upcoming 3ivX 5.0 release. It now has a quality / speed slider that allows you a tradeoff between quality and speed, and B-frames are also supported. In addition, 3ivX has been working on an AVC codec, but which was not ready to be included in the comparison.

Coralized link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237681)

Bandwidth-saving link here [nyud.net] .

Mission option! (2, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237695)

What about the mpeg4 codec from ffmpeg?

Re:Mission option! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237704)

I can't understand it's not in the test.
Are they blind at doom9? ;-)

Re:Mission option! (1)

julie-h (530222) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237802)

libavcodec isn't very good when it comes to quality. xviD looks better.

So if xviD is in the test there is no reason for libavcodec to be there too.

libavcodec makes blocky artifacts where xviD makes blury artifacts. To a human brain a blury image looks better than a blocky image.

MODDERS HAVE NO BALLS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237697)

and are known homosexuals who love it up the ass

Re:MODDERS HAVE NO BALLS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237910)

Are you referring to case-modders? Or folks who work on their Civics by adding a couple of spoilers?

Please respond.

The Problem with WMV9 video (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237714)

...is that MS has a pretty stranglehold on it (although they've been moving to lessen its grip so as to not get completely rejected entirely by the industry). No open source player has source code for decoding it, and on the Mac, the only player that supports it (Windows Media Player for Mac OS X) lacks so many features such as drag-n-drop support, displayal of the file's name during playback, AVI, MPEG, and MP3 support, etc.

Re:The Problem with WMV9 video (4, Funny)

Space Coyote (413320) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237749)

on the Mac, the only player that supports it (Windows Media Player for Mac OS X) lacks so many features such as drag-n-drop support, displayal of the file's name during playback, AVI, MPEG, and MP3 support, etc.

I'd just like to say that "displayal" is the greatest made-up word ever.

Re:The Problem with WMV9 video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237777)

I don't know, I think I prefer the word "boughten."

As in, "If I knew this damn Xbox was going to physically scratch my DVDs, I wouldn't have boughten it."

Re:The Problem with WMV9 video (1)

RichardX (457979) | more than 9 years ago | (#11238081)

Made up? It's a perfectly cromulent word!
I vote that we embiggen it's use immediately

Is WM9 part of AVC? (3, Informative)

NeMon'ess (160583) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237717)

Googling for "What is AVC?" bring up this. [modulusvideo.com] I'm confused as to if they're saying AVC will be stardard in HD-DVD? Is WM9 an AVC? If not, will both be options for HD-DVD content providers? I ask because in the shootout WM9 didn't look very good. Relatively it blurs more of the scene than xvid.

FFMPEG? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237734)

Where is FFMPEG? Its quality is at the level of XVid (excellent), but it's a lot faster (50 %) to encode.

IT "standards" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237826)

Ahhh, thats the wonderful thing about IT "standards" - there are so many to choose from!

BBC's Dirac ? (2, Interesting)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 9 years ago | (#11237830)

I was hoping to get some insight as to how well dirac [bbc.co.uk] performs ...

Codec & Flexor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237844)

Their sampling rate [emperornorton.com] is pretty decent.

Re:Codec & Flexor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11238046)

Hey, how would you classify Codec & Flexor? Electroclash? Does anyone still use that goddamn term?

Similar Audio Shootout? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237944)

Does anyone know where you can get a similar comprehensive and up-to-date analysis of codecs for audio, such as mp3 or ogg or whatever?
Thanks,

best codec is one I can use in a $60 DVD player (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11237969)

I love my $60 Philips DVP 642 Divx/Xvid stand-alone DVD Player:
http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=20465 [theinquirer.net]
http://walmart.com/catalog/product.gsp?product_id= 2598455 [walmart.com]
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000 204SWE [amazon.com]

When they make a $60 DVD player for other codecs than MPEG2/MPEG4 I'll be interested. Until then, why bother if something is a little bit better? A WMV9 DVD player would probably be another $50 and not worth it (not that they even exist right now).
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