Performance comparison among popular implementations of H.264 encoders

Document Type : Original Article


Dept. of Computer Engineering, Military Technical College, Cairo, Egypt, 11766.



Remote sensing videos captured by Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) air-born highresolution cameras require an ecient compression scheme that preserves the details of the visual contents of the videos while reducing the total size of the data to be managed in real-time. This paper presents a detailed comparison between di erent open-source implementations for the H.264 video compression scheme. While the high-resolution videos allow analysts to extract more
descriptive interpretations and draw more conclusive results, the increase in the consequent data size consumes more storage, resulting in more channel bandwidth, more power, and encounters an extra delay in transmission time. An ecient implementation of video compression can alleviate these large data size e ects. In this paper, we analyze and compare the JM-encoder, the X264, the FFmpeg, and Cisco's OpenH264 open-source implementations in terms of compression eciency, video quality, and computational load. Moreover, we present the rate-distortion curves in terms of PSNR as a quality metric against the bit-rate for a combination of 20 videos with various resolutions and dynamic contents. Albeit H.64 is superseded by H.265, till now H.264 is used in more than 65% of video coding applications. For example, YouTube only allows H.264 for live streaming.