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Doom9 2004 codec shootout: and the winner is…

Posted 29 December 2004 20:43 CET by DoMiN8ToR

nooby god used our news submit to tell us that Doom9.org has posted a codec shootout that compares the quality of3ivX D4. DivX Fusion 5.9, HDX4 1.4, Microsoft WMV9, NeroDigital AVC Main Profile, NeroDigital AVC High Profile, On2 VP6, RealNetworks RealVideo 10, Videosoft Codec Pro and XviD 1.1. All codecs were provided by the developers who also suggested the settings.The codecs were tested for encoding speed and playback. Part of conclusion:I was once again not impressed with the progress DivX has made. It's nice to have additional features available, but quality wise I just don't see one year of development. Plus, if you spend as much time using settings that are called insane by the codec, I'd expect to see something. Though, this time there were no problems with Futurama, something which was a problem in the last test.[..]Ateme's NeroDigital AVC codecs really impressed me. The Main Profile encoder is already available to every Recode user, and thus a very good AVC implementation is already publicly available. Considering that AVC was only ratified in spring 2003 (and only became an ISO standard in December 2003), and that 1.5 years later we already have a fast encoder that delivers good quality, that's quite a step ahead from how long it took MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 to make that step. The High Profile codec left a very slightly better impression, but I cannot shake the feeling that I just expected more. But, not all of the features of the High Profile have been integrated yet, and considering that the profile has just been ratified in November 04, I guess I cannot expect too much right now (though still, it's the best codec I've tested).[..] WMV9: With WMV9 being standardized as VC1, we'll probably not see more features in it, but having a standardized bitstream and featureset doesn't mean there cannot be any progress. It's just that I have not really seen it since the beta. But, detail wise some things have changed and I recall rating WMV9 in the "less details" area, which it no longer is (if you look beyond the problems that WMV9 had on my machine). But, if I were a broadcaster or potential user of HD DVD/ Blu-Ray, seeing the result of WMV9 and ateme's AVC codecs, I'd definitely go for the AVC standard. 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.Read the entire shootout here. Discuss this in our Transcoding Forum where we also have a special Nero Recode section which makes use of the NeroDigital codec. Source: Doom9.org

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