[theora] Thusnelda Video Quality

Jason Self jason.self at gmail.com
Mon Mar 30 12:06:55 PDT 2009

On Mon, Mar 30, 2009 at 11:23 AM, Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell at gmail.com> wrote:
> I think we can comfortably say that the new behaviour doesn't suck.
> But lets not allow our enthusiasm to make us sloppy: There is still
> significant room for improvement.  If it is now as good as H.264 it
> is likely that Theora only compares so well at particular (lower)
> bitrates or against particular H.264 encoders.
> Full H.264 is a more modern, more complex, more CPU hungry format. If
> it doesn't edge out against Theora then there is a flaw in the H264 encoder.
> *However* that edge isn't necessarily a big one. Most users don't care
> about and won't notice a small difference in quality. (I'd suggest
> your claim that Theora is as good is demonstrating that). … but loud
> proclamations that Theora is as good are going to invite the people who
> do care about those small differences to make a disproportionate
> amount of noise.
> Theora's strength is and will remain that it is free of encumbrance,
> it's just that now (or soon) many more applications can enjoy that
> advantage without a huge compromise in quality/bitrate.
> I'd really prefer that the public sees this as "Theora: Free as always,
> and now better quality." rather than "Theora: Still Not always as good as
> H.264.".  Realistic expectations are important.
> In particular, Theora's quality is limited on the high end and will
> likely remain that way unless there is a non-backwards compatible
> revision to the forma. It seems that as soon as you say 'quality'
> people jump to doing high bitrate comparisons.
> Don't let someone try to drag you into a comparison of 4mbit/sec
> standard def video with Theora vs H.264. Thats not what Theora is
> intended for and Dirac does that much better than Theora. If you
> really don't care much about bitrate (i.e. movie copying rather than
> webcasting), then you should be looking at Dirac rather than Theora. (While
> Theora does low bitrates better than Dirac does)

Yes, the videos I'm working on are are small & low bitrate. Theora is
still using more bits to achieve that quality (as compared to the
H.264 encoder I was using) but, IMHO, not an unacceptable amount more.
Plus, since this is only the first alpha release, my hope is that the
bitrate needed to achieve a certain quality level will be reduced as
development continues.

As long as I don't encounter problems with the enocder (crashes,
unexplained wierdness, etc.) I'm going to try using it as my primary
encoder for now (I normally create an average of 30 videos per week.)
I think that can only help to spot any unknown problems.

More information about the theora mailing list