The EBU has commissioned the University of Applied Sciences Wiesbaden to perform a subjective evaluation of the quality and practicality of competing video codecs. For media companies, the choice of codec is important, as it has an impact not only on the speed of workflows and the time spent encoding or decoding content, but also on the cost of equipment, license fees, the bitrates required, and of course the picture quality provided to the audience.

AV1 and JEM

Several codecs are currently being worked on as alternatives to the now common HEVC standard. The two most important ones are the Alliance for Open Media's AV1 codec, and JEM, which is developed by ISO and the ITU. Both codecs promise specific benefits: JEM claims a substantial increase in coding efficiency of >25% over HEVC, while AV1 promises a license-free solution that may compete with HEVC's quality. But do these claims stand up in practice? What kind of gain can broadcasters realistically expect? And how much more processing power do the new codecs require?

Quality & speed

The subjective evaluation of AV1, JEM and HEVC, which includes a comparison of the speed of the encoding/decoding, aims to help EBU Members choose the best codec for their individual needs. The results of this evaluation will be presented by professor Narroschke (University of Applied Sciences Wiesbaden) at the EBU Production Technology Seminar 2018.

For more information on video formats, codecs, and all related topics, join the EBU Strategic Programme on Video Systems.

Latest news