You've missed the point.
Posted Feb 3, 2010 21:56 UTC (Wed) by gmaxwell
In reply to: Theora does not produce quality comparable to H.264
Parent article: Blizzard: HTML5 video and H.264 - what history tells us and why we're standing with the web
I spent time in the article explaining the role of audio. I'd appreciate if you wouldn't make it out as though I were attempting to mislead anyone.
I'm also completely baffled regarding the mention of "raw quality" in your comment. Are you really attempting to say that there is some issue with raw quality? If you crank the bitrate sufficiently pretty much any codec should be transparent.
...and of course the comparison is saying something about the suitability of Theora for Youtube, the fact that they could possibly improve their H.264 processing chain doesn't change the fact that Theora was working OKAY compared to what they actually were using. If you're nitpicking about a couple of kbit/sec here or there, you're missing the point. It's intended to be an order of magnitude comparison to give some perspective. When people here codec ricers blather on with hyperbolic language about which codec is superior, they tend to think of enormous differences. But the differences are usually not enormous in a comparison unless you run it right up against the quality/bitrate knee.
Personally, I think it is insane to compare the files without container overhead. What else do you care about when transferring a file than the whole system? If one container has higher overhead than another, then thats a cost you're going to have to deal with in the real world.
I did also put up a strict buffer constrained rate controlled and lower bitrate file for people who emailed asking about that but since the screenshot looked the close enough to me I didn't think it was worth adding links to it and trying to explain the benefits that strict rate control has for streaming all post-publication.
You comment that "The Theora we have today is also the result of years of tuning on the encoders." is laughably, but sadly, wrong. The Theora encoder has had no more than one person working on it part-time at a time for the past two years, and had a number of years gulf of no active development. Go look at the SVN history. There simply haven't been the resources available to go work on it, and the overwhelming majority of the people working on "open source" video encoding have been contributing to the patent encumbered formats... they are more exciting because they are ahead and avoiding patents is nasty boring work.
With a bit of available funding and attention it made enormous progress in a short span of time and the ptalarbvorm development branch is already obviously improved vs 1.1 (about 2dB on SSIM on average, and casual subjective testing seems to suggest that much or somewhat more). There will be no miracles: After all, from a format perspective H.264 is nearly a superset of Theora, but there is clearly a decent amount of room for improvement.
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