Performance Comparison of HEVC, VP9, and H.264 Encoders

This work presents a performance comparison of the two latest video coding standards H.264/MPEG-AVC and H.265/MPEG-HEVC (High-Efficiency Video Coding) as well as the recently published proprietary video coding scheme VP9.

According to the experimental results, which were obtained for a whole test set of video sequences by using similar encoding configurations for all three examined representative encoders, H.265/MPEG-HEVC provides significant average bit-rate savings of 43.3% and 39.3% relative to VP9 and H.264/MPEG-AVC, respectively.

As a particular aspect of the conducted experiments, it turned out that the VP9 encoder produces an average bit-rate overhead of 8.4% at the same objective quality, when compared to an open H.264/MPEG-AVC encoder implementation – the x264 encoder. On the other hand, the typical encoding times of the VP9 encoder are more than 100 times higher than those measured for the x264 encoder.

When compared to the full-fledged H.265/MPEG-HEVC reference software encoder implementation, the VP9 encoding times are lower by a factor of 7.35, on average.