updated 04:00 pm EST, Mon February 27, 2006
Video codecs compared
StreamingMedia.com today announced publication of two new research reports, "Proprietary Streaming Codecs, 2006" and "Flash Codecs, 2006." The first report compares RealVideo and Windows Media with top Flash and Apple's H.264 codecs, while the second compares the quality of Flash video codecs and encoding tools. The company found that quality of the best Flash and H.264 codecs still trailed RealVideo, often by a significant margin. "While the progress of H.264 and Flash codecs has been impressive," quipped report author Jan Ozer, "rumors of the demise of all other codecs have been greatly exaggerated." To research the reports, Ozer produced a 6-minute test file composed of 38 scenes representing typical business, sports, and entertainment videos, along with several animations and still image pans and zooms.
The reports analyzed video quality in up to five configurations--modem, 3GPP, 100 Kbps, 300 Kbps and 500 Kbps--and compared frame quality, temporal and color quality, and playback smoothness. Buyers can download all videos and still image files used in the analysis, along with a convenient interface for viewing the video files and still images.
The report also compared the quality of prominent encoding tools such as Autodesk Cleaner XL, Canopus ProCoder, and Sorenson Squeeze, finding a significant disparity between the tools, according to the company. In addition to Real's superior quality, the report found that Windows Media had started to fall behind. "With Microsoft's recent success in standards bodies, we expected quality to be at or near the top," commented Ozer, "but usually it was at or near the bottom. Companies using or considering Windows Media really need to evaluate other technologies."