Why is h264 superior to divx/xvid

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ccjensen
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Why is h264 superior to divx/xvid

Post by ccjensen » Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:38 pm

In another post I asked:
How come AVI is so awful?
and jbrjake replied:
AVI is Microsoft's traditional half-assed non-forward-thinking nonsense. It is simply not designed for the modern world. It has no support for chapters or muxed-in subtitles. It is obsolete. It assumes every frame lasts the same amount of time. It assumes all frames are stored in the same order they are presented. These are stupid assumptions to make because this is not how things actually work. AVI is out of date compared to the MPEG-2 let alone MPEG-4 container.
Now I am curious why h264 is, by most people on this forum, the preferred video codec to use? Especially, why not use xvid/divx? One would think the pirating communities would use the best formats, but they only seem to use h264 for hd releases packaged in mkv containers rather then m4v/mp4s.

Thanks

nightstrm
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Re: Why is h264 superior to divx/xvid

Post by nightstrm » Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:56 pm

The sc3n3 doesn't care about quality. They can turn things around a lot quicker using outdated and inferior codecs/containers. As for why they use the MKV container, I can only assume because it offered features that have only recently become available in MP4 (and some that are still not available, like DTS). At this point, they've used to too much to change without causing the sc3n3 fanboys to cry.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.264

Da Man
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Re: Why is h264 superior to divx/xvid

Post by Da Man » Sat Feb 28, 2009 3:47 pm

As an aside to the 'pirate communities', I've seen the quality of pirated sources to be hit or miss and all over the radar in terms of quality and size. I can quite honestly say I've never torrented anything except the infamous Nine Inch Nails release, and even then I was half expecting the RIAA to send me one of their 'donation letters'. But from what I've seen at friend's houses, quality doesn't seem to always be the overwhelming factor in pirated sources. Typically, it seems to be, as Nightstorm alluded to, the ease with which to place it in a highly-recognizable universal format for easy consumption by the masses. Back on topic, I can't see at this point a better codec than mpeg-4 when running 2 movies side by side (DVD source vs mpeg-4) and looking for losses during a conversion. And with that, my usual shout-out of appreciation to the Handbrake Dev Team for making this possible.

rhester
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Re: Why is h264 superior to divx/xvid

Post by rhester » Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:20 pm

sc3n3rs are all about zero-day speed - the first one with a release out wins, period, unless there is some compelling reason not to use their encode. To that end, they choose the codecs with the greatest quality/speed ratio, and right now that remains xvid. It is trivial to demonstrate that you can achieve vastly superior quality with the same bitrate and resolution constraints on video and audio from xvid/MP3 to H.264/AAC, but it's equally trivial to demonstrate that the encodes take five times longer.

As time passes, machines become more multicore and device compatibility grows, I expect the sc3n3 to slowly change to more modern containers and codecs, with anamorphic video and multitrack audio, but I believe we are miles from that yet.

Rodney

TedJ
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Re: Why is h264 superior to divx/xvid

Post by TedJ » Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:24 pm

I expect to see it shortly after they give up their obsession with encoding everything to either 350 or 700 MB in size.

ccjensen
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Re: Why is h264 superior to divx/xvid

Post by ccjensen » Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:33 am

thanks for all the great responses! :D

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