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    Go Back   Doom9's Forum > Video Encoding > High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC)

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    Old 11th April 2019, 12:38   #1  |  Link
    Herr
     
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    VMAF-comparison: x265 vs other encoders

    I found this quite new article which got a nice VFMA-comparison,
    https://unrealaussies.com/tech/nvenc...sions-for-x265

    Does anyone else here got to the same conclusions?
    I'm most interested in HD-encoding at high-quality (like CRF [email protected]) for offline use, so I'd like some more data for it.
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    Old 11th April 2019, 13:22   #2  |  Link
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Forteen88 View Post
    I found this quite new article which got a nice VFMA-comparison,
    https://unrealaussies.com/tech/nvenc...sions-for-x265

    Does anyone else here got to the same conclusions?
    I'm most interested in HD-encoding at high-quality (like CRF [email protected]) for offline use, so I'd like some more data for it.
    Note that the test is on gaming material in 1440p 60fps. Not even sure that the used VMAF algorithm is suitable for assessing that material. Also, I woudlnt think that x265 is tuned for that kind of material either, while NVENC most definitely is since they use gaming in their marketing material when they do comparisons. Even though nvenc has imroved alot, espcially the new turing version, I wouldnt base any conclusions regarding HD "film" offline encoding from those results.

    But on a more generell topic, I dont think x265 is that useable at crf18 veryslow for offline encoding for personal use; when reaching near visuall lossless quality, the bitrate saving isnt enough to justify the speed @ something like veryslow, compared to x264 for most film material. For me x265 makes the most sense for HDR, UHD, Streaming services and other bitrate starved scenarios.

    Last edited by excellentswordfight; 11th April 2019 at 13:38.
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    Old 11th April 2019, 13:26   #3  |  Link
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    @excellentswordfight. Thanks, I didn't look up what kind of source it was. I assumed it was a standard movie.
    And yeah, I was surprised that Turing (H.265 hardware encoding) got even better result than x265 at same bitrate.

    EDIT: I've seen that many people uses like CRF 16 with x264 for HD-videos, so I thought that I'd save some bitrate by setting it to CRF 18 and use x265 instead. Also, using 10-bit encode-setting on x264 isn't GPU-decodable, while x265 at 10-bit is.

    Last edited by Forteen88; 11th April 2019 at 23:27.
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    Old 12th April 2019, 11:13   #4  |  Link
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Forteen88 View Post
    EDIT: I've seen that many people uses like CRF 16 with x264 for HD-videos, so I thought that I'd save some bitrate by setting it to CRF 18 and use x265 instead. Also, using 10-bit encode-setting on x264 isn't GPU-decodable, while x265 at 10-bit is.
    If you wanna replace an encoding workflow that uses something like crf16 with x264, you are definitely aiming towards visually lossless compression. And when keeping that ammount a fidelity you will not get that big of an bitrate reduction, and it will be 15x slower (x265 veryslow vs x264 veryslow). The tradeoff is imo not worth it.

    Preset slow and accepting a bit of quality reduction, then it starting to makes more sense. Dont get me wrong, there are plenty of use cases for x265, and its up to each one to say if the compute time is worth the bitrate reduction. But I whouldnt compress a 1080p SDR library using x265.

    Last edited by excellentswordfight; 12th April 2019 at 11:24.
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    Old 12th April 2019, 18:31   #5  |  Link
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    Yeah if you want absolutely transparent quality you're probably better off using x264 still unless time is of no object.

    For the "almost transparent" use case, x265 absolutely crushes. You'll get very nice bitrate savings as long as you can spend a fair bit more compute.

    Typical web delivery is a few pegs below this - it tends to cap out at the "very good at a distance" level, and stay well above the "good enough" level (below which you start getting customer complaints).

    FWIW, I think VMAF is trained mostly for just below "almost transparent". I've seen things that have VMAF scores of ~99 but I would just barely call "almost transparent". This really makes sense, since streaming ABR ladders are not designed for archiving, or for critical viewing by me / other videophiles. They're designed for normal people, to prevent rebuffering, and offer a good experience under normal viewing conditions - not transparency.

    That's why streaming providers cap out between 15 and 25 Mbps for 2160p and why UHD BluRay averages easily double that.

    Last edited by Blue_MiSfit; 13th April 2019 at 05:38.
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    Old 12th April 2019, 18:38   #6  |  Link
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    People seem to forget that the CRF from x264 isn't the same as x265's. Tune the value to the point where you think the quality is right on the edge of not acceptable, and then take some margin. Then do the same for the other codec and see if the smaller file size (if any ) is worth the encoding time.
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    Old 14th April 2019, 21:16   #7  |  Link
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blue_MiSfit View Post
    Yeah if you want absolutely transparent quality you're probably better off using x264 still unless time is of no object.

    For the "almost transparent" use case, x265 absolutely crushes. You'll get very nice bitrate savings as long as you can spend a fair bit more compute.
    ...
    I'm good with "almost transparent" quality. Isn't x265 CRF [email protected] usually that?! Sometimes I use [email protected] 19 --slower too.
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    Old 15th April 2019, 01:25   #8  |  Link
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    That's up to you to decide.
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    Old 16th April 2019, 19:39   #9  |  Link
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blue_MiSfit View Post
    That's up to you to decide.
    I was just wondering at which CRF-numbers that x265 "crushes" when encoding "almost transparent" HD-video (I assume that "crushes" means where x265 is great?! my native language isn't English).
    I thought about this comment of yours,
    Quote:
    For the "almost transparent" use case, x265 absolutely crushes.
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    Old 17th April 2019, 03:53   #10  |  Link
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    Yep, I mean x265 is great for sure

    To me, most 1080p content around 5-8 Mbps is "almost transparent", though it does depend. Really grainy content requires more, plus usually a grain tuning. In this area, x265 can excel.

    Going up closer to BluRay levels, the benefits of HEVC at 1080p start to melt away. Heck, eventually even MPEG-2 (or MPEG-1) look just fine
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    Old 17th April 2019, 10:00   #11  |  Link
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Forteen88 View Post
    I was just wondering at which CRF-numbers that x265 "crushes" when encoding "almost transparent" HD-video (I assume that "crushes" means where x265 is great?! my native language isn't English).
    I thought about this comment of yours,
    CRF values between presets/settings are not comparable, so it cant really be answered without encoder settings as well.

    Just go ahead and try some presets and different CRF values and see what fits your need the best. And what I was trying to say earlier is that preset veryslow, is imo to slow if your not encoding at a bitrate starved level (which crf18 isnt), cause the speed penalty will imo not outweight the gains, but crf18 could still be absolutly perfect for preset medium etc. My "baseline" for x265 is preset slow and crf19, I then go from there depending on the resultats on the content. Cause if you are closer to say 10Mbps, then 5Mbps, for a normal blurayrip, there is a pretty high chance that x264 would give very comparable resaults much faster.

    Last edited by excellentswordfight; 17th April 2019 at 10:06.
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    Old 17th April 2019, 14:43   #12  |  Link
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by excellentswordfight View Post
    CRF values between presets/settings are not comparable, so it cant really be answered without encoder settings as well.
    I meant my settings that I wrote earlier in this thread:
    Quote:
    x265 CRF [email protected] usually that?! Sometimes I use [email protected] 19 --slower too.
    But I should've written it again there. I also set --no-sao and other minor settings too.
    Maybe I should set CRF 19 more often then.
    Thanks

    Last edited by Forteen88; 17th April 2019 at 15:03.
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    Old 18th April 2019, 16:43   #13  |  Link
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by excellentswordfight View Post
    Note that the test is on gaming material in 1440p 60fps. Not even sure that the used VMAF algorithm is suitable for assessing that material.
    VMAF was definitely not tested with 1440p, and had little to any game content in it. Game content is Weird, with a combination of continuous tone elements and super-sharp UHD, and often some aliasing.

    VMAF probably means SOMETHING with this kind of content, but I imagine the correlation with subjective quality is a lot weaker, and it's far from 100% even for movie content. VMAF is the least-bad objective metric we've had to date, and it's getting better, but like all machine learning systems, it's limited by what content it was trained against.

    VMAF's subjective correlation is also dropping as more an more encoders tune for VMAF instead of pure subjective quality. Once a metric becomes popular, it gets heavily optimized for. Optimizing for VMAF will make for a much better encoder than PSNR, but still will be inferior to pure subjective quality tuning. But that's super expensive, so VMAF is very helpful for early-stage iteration.

    Quote:
    Also, I woudlnt think that x265 is tuned for that kind of material either, while NVENC most definitely is since they use gaming in their marketing material when they do comparisons. Even though nvenc has imroved alot, espcially the new turing version, I wouldnt base any conclusions regarding HD "film" offline encoding from those results.
    I know that x265 got at least some game content for tuning (Twitch has a good library of test sources). But yeah, NVENC is almost certainly the #1 encoder for game streaming. I would still anticipate that x265 would outperform it at higher presets, though, because it uses lots of codec features NVEnc doesn't.

    using --tskip would probably help disproportionately with gaming content.

    Quote:
    But on a more generell topic, I dont think x265 is that useable at crf18 veryslow for offline encoding for personal use; when reaching near visuall lossless quality, the bitrate saving isnt enough to justify the speed @ something like veryslow, compared to x264 for most film material. For me x265 makes the most sense for HDR, UHD, Streaming services and other bitrate starved scenarios.
    The right test is quality @ speed, so perhaps x265 --preset slow versus x264 --preset veryslow?
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