Comparison of H.264 and VP8 for use in video conferencing

    Leading specialists from SPIRIT, a world leader in voice and video over IP networks, are confident that the H.264 codec remains the ideal choice when encoding a video stream in video conferencing solutions .

    Despite the fact that the VP8 codec showed good results in the quality of encoding of recorded videos, it should be noted that the transmission of streaming video in real time is the subject of separate studies, and such studies were conducted at SPIRIT.

    According to their results, we can say that the VP8 codec is generally good, but so far only as a free add-on. For high-quality video communications, and especially for video conferencing, its functionality is not enough. VP8 will not be able to cope with real-time 30FPS video encoding in HD quality even on a computer equipped with an Intel Core2Duo 3 GHz processor. In turn, SPIRIT's H.264 codec implementation is 5 times faster than VP8 in performanceand encodes a picture in HD quality on such a computer without any problems.
    vp8 vs h264
    Moreover, SPIRIT is not the only company who in practice has proved a significant lag of VP8 in speed. In July 2010, comparative tests of VP8 and H.264 codecs were performed at the Laboratory of Computer Graphics and Multimedia at Moscow State University, which showed that VP8 is on average 5-25 times slower than H.264 in encoding mode.

    Even Google’s specialists, the developer of the VP8 codec, admitted that the codec is not fast enough, since the optimization work is at the very beginning:

    [B] WebM video encoding [container containing the VP8 codec] seems really slow. How do you solve this problem?

    [О] We just started optimizing the VP8 codec and believe that we will soon be able to achieve a significant increase in its speed.


    It should also be borne in mind that the final quality of the video that the user sees depends on the codec only partially. The fact is that in online communications the video is not shown to the user “as is” (as it was encoded), but is first transmitted over IP networks, where there are always losses, delays and errors in the delivery of data packets. Only effective control of their consequences ensures the good quality of the video that end users see. SPIRIT has developed and delivers, in conjunction with the codec, special algorithms to combat losses and delays in the network, which allows to ensure high quality video even after it is transmitted over packet networks, that is, in real-life online video conferences. This is especially important in the context of Russian networks, where the quality of Internet access sometimes leaves much to be desired.

    In addition, unlike VP8, the H.264 SVC codec as part of a comprehensive software solution can quickly adapt to the communication channel. H.264 SVC is capable of changing bitrate without re-encoding on the fly, decreasing or increasing it, as well as varying parameters such as the number of transmitted frames per second (fps), video resolution and real-time encoding quality. This allows you to "smooth" the video on the receiving side. When using H.264 SVC encoding technology, the user practically does not notice artifacts in the video stream. The video does not freeze, does not fall apart and always remains dynamic.

    SPIRIT technologies provide high quality communication even in difficult network conditions, which allows you to instantly adapt to the channel and deliver high-quality sound and video to each user. These technologies are embodied, in particular, in the solution for the online video conferencing VideoMost.

    From our point of view, the desire to launch a product based on third-party technology on the market, in many respects contributes to savings on the development and rapid advancement in the wake of the success of the new solution, but at the same time does not benefit from the independent progressive development of the company in its industry.

    Company VideoMostHe values ​​first of all the stability and quality of work of his video conferencing systems, and does not try to use fashionable untested novelties. Therefore, VideoMost is built on the basis of SPIRIT software solutions, appreciated by companies such as Adobe, Microsoft, Oracle, Polycom, Skype, as well as 250 other world leaders in the field of software development and communication equipment that have successfully implemented SPIRIT software in their products and Services.

    This is the only cross post from our official blog

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