Tag Archives: thusnelda

New Theora encoder further improved

After posting only a month ago about the new Thusnelda release, there continues to be good news from the open codec front.

Monty posted last week about further improvements and this time there are actual statistics thanks to Greg Maxwell. Looking at the PSNR (peak signal-to-noise ratio) measure, the further improved Thusdnelda outstrips even the X.264 implementation of H.264.

Don’t get me wrong: PSNR is only one measure, it is an objective measure and the statistics were only calculated on one particular piece. Further analysis are needed, though these are very encouraging statistics.

This is important not just because it shows that open codecs can be as good in quality as proprietary ones. What is more important though is that Ogg Theora is royalty free and implementable in both proprietary and free software browsers.

H.264’s licensing terms, however, will really kick in in 2010, so that may well encourage more people to actually use Ogg Theora/Vorbis (or another open codec like Ogg Dirac/Vorbis) with the new HTML5 video element.

Alpha version of next generation Theora codec released

On Thursday, Ralph Giles announced the alpha release of Thusnelda, the next generation implementation of the Theora encoder.

The primary change in comparison to the first generation Theora implementation is a completely rewritten encoder with vastly improved quality vs. bitrate in the default vbr/constant-quality mode, and better tracking of the target bitrate in cbr mode.

Jan Schmidt made some experiments to compare the two versions and found a 20% compression improvement for no loss in quality while at the same time also achieving a 14% improvement in speed.

In 2007 there was a huge (and mostly uninformed) discussion about the lack of quality of Theora on slashdot and Monty wrote a reply clarifying some of the misinformation and explaining the shortcomings that the Xiph team wants to work on to improve the codec. A lot of these issues are now being attacked through the community and through the financial support of the Mozilla grant.

Theora is now much closer to H.264, if not even having overtaken it in some dimensions. Congratulations to the Theora team, in particular Tim Terriberry, Monty, and Ralph Giles. Once this Theora generation is released, it will be a competitive modern video codec.