HDTV Contribution Codecs Compared

EBU Technical has published a Technical Report on the first HDTV contribution codecs tests that were performed by the EBU, IRT, RTVE and RAI in the context of the former N/HDCC Group (now ECV - HDCC). The aim of the study was to evaluate the coding gain of new JPEG2000 and H.264/AVC technology versus legacy MPEG-2. The subjective evaluations were performed according to the EBU TSCES assesment method and compared the new compression schemes against the current contribution standard, MPEG-2.

MPEG-4: Up to 40-50% Gain
The results show that H.264/AVC can provide bit-rate savings of up to 40-50% (for the best of the tested implementations) while still providing equivalent quality to MPEG-2 at the first and second generation. The performance is GOP structure dependent. The gain for I-farme only mode was shown to be 'only' around 10% for example. An additional safety margin of minus 5 to minus 10% should be applied, to cater for the range of encoder implementations and criticality of the material.

JPEG2000: For High-Bit Rate Applications
JPEG2000 provided 'stunning picture quality' for content known for its high motion criticality for DCT-systems. For bitrates below 60 Mbit/s, it was about 20% less efficient than MPEG-2, but for higher bandwidths (above 80 Mbit/s) there was significant coding gain, suggesting JPEG2000 would be more suitable for high quality contribution of high motion content such as sport, as long as the additional transmission capacity is available.

Read the Details
For more information, see teh full EBU Technical Report 008. If you are interested to join this type of work or learn more about the video-related topics the EBU is addressing, see the new EBU Expert Community on Video (ECV).

Source: EBU Technical