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BSQ-rate: a New Approach for Video-codec Performance Comparison and Drawbacks of Current Solutions


This paper is dedicated to the analysis of the existing approaches to video codecs comparisons. It includes the revealed drawbacks of popular comparison methods and proposes new techniques. The performed analysis of user-generated videos collection showed that two of the most popular open video collections from which are widely used for video-codecs analysis and development do not cover real-life videos complexity distribution. A method for creating representative video sets covering all segments of user videos the spatial and temporal complexity is also proposed. One of the sections discusses video quality estimation algorithms used for video codec comparisons and shows the disadvantages of popular methods VMAF and NIQE. Also, the paper describes the drawbacks of the BD-rate – generally used method for video codecs final ranking during comparisons. A new ranking method called BSQ-rate which considers the identified issues is proposed. The results of this investigation were obtained during the series of research conducted as part of the annual video-codecs comparisons organized by video group of computer graphics and multimedia laboratory at Moscow State University.

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This work was partially supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research under Grant 19-01-00785a. Special thanks to Georgiy Osipov and Denis Kondranin who helped to analyze all detected issues and improved NIQE implementation in MSU VQMT, Mikhail Erofeev who helped with MSU comparison methodology improvement and conducted subjective comparisons, and Moscow State University Graphics and Media Lab team for valuable advice and support in our projects.

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Correspondence to A. V. Zvezdakova, D. L. Kulikov, S. V. Zvezdakov or D. S. Vatolin.

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Zvezdakova, A.V., Kulikov, D.L., Zvezdakov, S.V. et al. BSQ-rate: a New Approach for Video-codec Performance Comparison and Drawbacks of Current Solutions. Program Comput Soft 46, 183–194 (2020).

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  • video quality
  • no-reference metric
  • quality measuring
  • video-codec comparison
  • comparison methodology
  • bsq-rate