More H.264

by Tom Bridge

Related link:

While we've all seen Chris Adamson's work on QuickTime 7, Jeff Harrell has also done some amazing demonstrations of the H.264 codec. His explanation of the differences in encoding are some of the best I've read, and include side by side comparisons of Star Wars footage, as well as Saving Private Ryan and West Wing ripped at varying bitrate levels. It's amazing how well this codec scales.

Better still:

When you increase the resolution by a factor of three, it's common practice to increase the bit rate of the encoded file by a factor of three. So rather than this being a one-megabit-per-second clip, it's gotta be a three-megabit-per-second clip, right?

Wrong. This clip, this one you see right here at broadcast resolution, is encoded at 768 kilobits per second. With audio — which you'll notice sounds substantially better since I used the MPEG-4 AAC audio encoder — it comes to exactly 980 kilobits per second, or just hair over nine megabytes total. Yeah, I know. This file is bigger and smaller than the other clip. More pixels, fewer bits used to describe them.

Oh, I just can't wait to see the Bit Torrent crowd get down with H.264. Just in time for Battlestar Galactica's summer run, too...

What do you make of all this codec wonderousness?