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Ogg Theora vs. H.264: head to head comparisons

Feb 26, 2010, 06:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ryan Paul)

"Although the h264 codec has gained dominance due to its excellent compression and broad support in the consumer electronics ecosystem, it is covered by patents that preclude broad royalty-free usage. Several browser vendors, including Opera and Mozilla, favor the Ogg Theora media codec, which is believed to be unencumbered by patents. Ogg may offer advantages from a licensing standpoint, but there are still many unanswered questions about its quality and suitability for Internet video streaming services.

"Streaming media consultant Jan Ozer conducted a hands-on comparison of Ogg and h264 in order to shed some light on the relative difference in encoding quality and performance. He has published the results of his comparison, including screen captures and sample clips, in a report at the Streaming Learning Center.

"In the videos and still images that he provides for comparison purposes, the h264 content has better color quality and higher detail than the Ogg Theora content. Comparing 468 kbps clips, one can detect a very noticeable difference in quality between the two codecs. Even the 1mbps Ogg Theora clips are not on par with the 468 kbps h264 clips. Based on the results, Ozer concludes that h264 will have the upper hand in many Internet streaming scenarios."

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