Youtube : All New Videos are transcoded into WebM


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Andre S.

Mp4 is a container, not a codec. What matters here is that Youtube is switching from h264 (using x264 as an encoder) to VP8 (WebM's video codec). Whether mp4 is used or not as the container is irrelevant.

Youtube has never exactly been a paragon of good quality video. I highly doubt the vast majority of people would notice any difference if all the videos were webm.
It's precisely because of the low bitrate of youtube videos that using the highest quality codec matters, and VP8 is simply inferior to H264. So it's bad news for viewers and producers.

See for instance

285264702t.jpg

Source

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Andre S.

For a good technical discussion of VP8 vs H264, see here. Of course it's written by an x264 developer so it's probably somewhat biased, but interesting nonetheless.

All YouTube uploads now in open-source WebM codec
I just uploaded a small test video to verify this and it came out as h264/aac.
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Gaffney

Mp4 is a container, not a codec. What matters here is that Youtube is switching from h264 (using x264 as an encoder) to VP8 (WebM's video codec). Whether mp4 is used or not as the container is irrelevant.

It's precisely because of the low bitrate of youtube videos that using the highest quality codec matters, and VP8 is simply inferior to H264. So it's bad news for viewers and producers.

See for instance

285264702t.jpg

Source

It seems that H.264 does better at under 1000kbps, once you get over that there isn't a massive difference. Google is the biggest single force on the internet and they own ON2 which has got better over the years. So google aren't going to ditch WebM.

I've not dealt with VP8 but I have done a lot with H.264. There is a cost and a benefit to H264, it has a lot of options and plugins for different video applications but it's also very complex. A setting can look good for one video and bad for another video so often it needs tweaking.

H.264 would be the easier one for people because it's already heavily supported, WebM is easier for big corporations.

I can produce H.264 video through hardware acceleration for webm, I will need new hardware to get hardware acceleration.

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ichi

It's precisely because of the low bitrate of youtube videos that using the highest quality codec matters, and VP8 is simply inferior to H264. So it's bad news for viewers and producers.

See for instance

285264702t.jpg

Source

While it might still hold true, that's a one year old quick dirt comparison.

I might be wrong, but AFAIK while overall the h264 has higher quality, with the h264 profile being used in Youtube videos the quality is roughly the same as with WebM.

You sure should be able to find h264 videos that look better than their WebM counterparts, but what matters here is if h264 Youtube videos look better than the WebM Youtube videos.

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Dusco25

Don't think there will be support for Safari as Apple is pushing H-264.

youtube being one of the most visited sites on the net they will put a plug-in out, trust me.

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Andre S.
what matters here is if h264 Youtube videos look better than the WebM Youtube videos.
This is from something I uploaded to youtube about 15 minutes ago. Lots of motion, obviously I've just been startled by that demon trying to vaporize my face.

VP8:

post-138285-0-15807000-1303432305.png

H264:

post-138285-0-66028200-1303432327.png

It's not even close.

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Prince781

How do you mean? The HTML5 spec doesn't specify any particular codecs.

Actually, if you look at the HTML5 video specifications page on the W3's website, they mention practically every other codec implementation for HTML5 video other than WebM.

http://www.w3.org/TR/html5/video.html#audio

Personally, I'm a fan of WebM, as I think that it has a lot of potential. However, I am also a fan of Ogg-Theora video, and an occasional usage of MP4.

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Dusco25

I have a feeling youtube will do some major tweaking if not then this is a major fail for them

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Growled

Personally, I'm a fan of WebM, as I think that it has a lot of potential. However, I am also a fan of Ogg-Theora video, and an occasional usage of MP4.

Yeah, me too, although I'll admit it does have a way to go yet.

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Udedenkz

YouTube 1080p information,

Video
ID                               : 1
Format                           : AVC
Format/Info                      : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile                   : High@L4.0
Format settings, CABAC           : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames        : 1 frame
Format settings, GOP             : M=1, N=50
Codec ID                         : avc1
Codec ID/Info                    : Advanced Video Coding
Duration                         : 5mn 47s
Bit rate mode                    : Variable
Bit rate                         : 4 406 Kbps
Maximum bit rate                 : 16.5 Mbps
Width                            : 1 920 pixels
Height                           : 1 080 pixels
Display aspect ratio             : 16:9
Frame rate mode                  : Constant
Frame rate                       : 25.000 fps
Color space                      : YUV
Chroma subsampling               : 4:2:0
Bit depth                        : 8 bits
Scan type                        : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame)               : 0.085
Stream size                      : 183 MiB (97%)
Tagged date                      : UTC 2011-01-08 10:34:20

1. Youtube doesn't support 30-50Mbit, that I know of, plus most people have slow cable or DSL lines so it's pointless.

2. WebM will also improve, no guarantee that mp4 will be the better format in say 5 years.

3. If you want the best video quality today that only leaves BluRay. Plenty of movies plus Dolby True HD surround sound.

1. I am talking about the future. An alternative to h264 needs to be future-capable. WebM, on the other hand, is a joke.

2. MP4 is a container, not a format. Please know the basics before voicing an opinion on the issue. WebM may improve, sure, but h264 is already improved.

3. ...

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The_Decryptor

...

1. I am talking about the future. An alternative to h264 needs to be future-capable. WebM, on the other hand, is a joke.

...

WebM isn't "an alternative" to H.264, it's just being used for web video at the moment (and it's actually the only codec along with Theora that ever has a chance of being written into the HTML spec)

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HawkMan

I did a spectrogram analysis on the new audio codec used.

Old videos had a cutoff shelf at 11 Khz, the new codec drops at about 17 Khz. Youtube music fans rejoice!

Now there's an oxymoron.

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HawkMan

This is from something I uploaded to youtube about 15 minutes ago. Lots of motion, obviously I've just been startled by that demon trying to vaporize my face.

VP8:

H264:

It's not even close.

The VP8 one is terrible.

How was the CPU usage on them ?

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Andre S.

The VP8 one is terrible.

How was the CPU usage on them ?

Quite a bit lower for WebM, although I guess that has more to do with the standard player being flash-based and the webm player being html5. When playing using VLC (ffmpeg), CPU usage is slightly lower for WebM but not as much. Both are very complex codecs with relatively long decoding, I don't think that's really a particular issue for either.

Keep in mind I used the WebM videos you get from opting in on youtube.com/html5, I don't know if that's really what Youtube wants to replace h264 with, but if it is, it sucks.

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HawkMan

flash videos should be hw accelerated now to,

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Miuku.

flash videos should be hw accelerated now to,

Unless you happen to be running on a device that doesn't have Flash HW accel in which case you can literally hear slurp slurp from the machine as it drains the battery or je.. je.. jerky.. O... OS..

The faster Flash is gone, the better. It has its place but it isn't as a video transmit medium.

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HawkMan

Unless you happen to be running on a device that doesn't have Flash HW accel in which case you can literally hear slurp slurp from the machine as it drains the battery or je.. je.. jerky.. O... OS..

The faster Flash is gone, the better. It has its place but it isn't as a video transmit medium.

Any device that canplay flashtoday can pretty much do it accelerated, even mobiles, at least they will be in a few months.

There's no reason for flash to go away, not when the alternative in HTML5 is substandard anyway. and outside of videos use just as much and usually more cpu and gpu than flash. you don't need to use flash for mp4 with h264 though.

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Pupik

This is from something I uploaded to youtube about 15 minutes ago. Lots of motion, obviously I've just been startled by that demon trying to vaporize my face.

VP8:

H264:

It's not even close.

Damn, that's terrible.

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lalalawawawa

Damn, that's terrible.

+1

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ViperAFK

flash videos should be hw accelerated now to,

The acceleration only works well on windows (not sure about osx) On linux only nvidia cards have acceleration and I hear it has some issues too.

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PL_

Actually, if you look at the HTML5 video specifications page on the W3's website, they mention practically every other codec implementation for HTML5 video other than WebM.

http://www.w3.org/TR/html5/video.html#audio

Sounds more like they've just given possible examples.

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ichi

I just did a quick test with a random frame from a random 720p Youtube video:

h264

http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/6969/028mp4.png

WebM

http://img811.imageshack.us/img811/3798/028webm.png

Some details look better in the h264 video, but overall textures look sharper and more detailed in the WebM video.

CPU wise, I played both videos on my desktop/htpc (Intel E2220, Nvidia Gforce GO 7300... no hardware acceleration, obviously) and it was about the same for both videos. WebM sometimes droped to 49% but for the most part both stayed between 50 and 51%.

YMMV *shrugs*

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HawkMan

The video codec doesn't know what a texture is, the textures as far as it cares, IS details, and they are sharper and better in h.264. that was a horrible example to use though as the whole frame has no details, the whole thing is blurry from the source

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lalalawawawa

I just did a quick test with a random frame from a random 720p Youtube video:

That is not 'sharper'. That is 'pixelized'.

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Udedenkz

(Intel E2220, Nvidia Gforce GO 7300... no hardware acceleration, obviously) and it was about the same for both videos. WebM sometimes droped to 49% but for the most part both stayed between 50 and 51%.

That seems like really high CPU usage, were you using an external player of Adobe Flash and browser's built in WebM thru HTML5 support? Those are performance-bad solutions for a NV 7300.

An Atom N270 without hardware acceleration and without CoreAVC will play 720p YT h264 just fine.

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