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CODECs evaluation with VirtualDUB (Windows 98se)

To evaluate capture CODECs, I carried out captures of the same sequence (approximately 40 seconds) then I extracted and examined two pictures through the magnifying glass.

Notes from capture

Codec Video rate (KB/s) Size (MB) Quality Comment
Indeo 5.11 700 35 Very good grains (disappear after encoding MPEG)
PICVideo MJPEG 2370 106 Very good scratches
PCLEPIXL 2475 107 Very good scratches (burst drop unacceptable)
miro-XL 2475 105 Zero drops
Darim failure     Darim VideoOffice required
DivX-Low (6000Kbs Key/3s) 290 17 Good neither scratch nor grain but of fuzzy areas
Uncompressed (theory) 4950 230   possible with good disc (ATA66 10,000rpm)
Uncompressed 5fps 990 46    

The captures were carried out with VirtualDUB 1.4c (build 11759/release). The codecs were configured with their maximum quality.

In short: PCLEPIXL seems to be a MJPEG codec homemade from Pinnacle Systems, the results are rather close (but of worse quality as we'll see below) to PICVideo. DivX will be appropriate for long movies or for a not powerful hard drive (mode PIO3).

A picture with the magnifying glass x5

The original image is rather classified in the close shots, it's enlarged 5x (the cut out zone is 38x36 pixels) PICVideo is very close to maximum quality as PCLEPIXL but this last shows more sharpen squares. Indeo is well below and DivX makes the image a little fuzzy (like a compression in blurred JPEG).

Notice for encoding MPEG-1: although the pixellization of the Indeo codec is very visible, conversion into MPEG-1 is as good (even better) as with the PICVideo codec. After several hours of tests encoding to MPEG-1, it remains very difficult to decide between the four codecs : Indeo is most accurate for colors and contrast, PICVideo and PCLEPIXL soften picture and DivX makes it a little too fuzzy (too much softened).

Another picture with the magnifying glass x3

The original image is very detailed, the enlarged zone 3x is 70x70 pixels. The distortions (blur) of DivX are too much visible for a picture which requires detail but DivX could be good enough for some close shots. Indeo artifacts are again very visible whereas PICVideo and PCLEPIXL are very close to the maximum, PCLEPIXL seems here to be the best.

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Version of the document: 1.0EN
Created: January 3 - 2001
Updated: January 4 - 2001
Author: Leon