Which is the best video codec out there?

The Best Codec According to me is:

  • Total voters


Hi my fellow minions!

I am a Chip/Digit subscriber from 2000, and I have just registered on Forums today!

I have been into Encoding from the past 6 months and I have tested all the major codecs out there, and in all the tests I performed I came up with some very surprising results!

The major codecs I tested were:

DivX 6.2.2
VP62 (is now implemented in the popular Flash 8 Video)

I have done lotta tests with all these codecs using different kinds of video inputs and different settings in the codecs itself. Here are my findings:

I used the following video inputs:

-> DVD Video(DVD Ripping)

-> VCD Video

-> Noisy MPEG Video (Captured via TV Tuner)

-> High Res. Video (Same Res Encoding)

-> Low Res. Video (For Enlarging)

I tested all the codecs using:

-> Default Settings

-> Relatively Equivalent settings among all the codecs in terms of Quality

-> Bitrate(File Size) Target Settings

Before writing my brief review I would like to give my Results: (Updated 10-June-2010)

1.> VP8 (WebM), H264 & VC-1

2.> VP70 & VP62

3.> XviD & DivX

5.> WMV9

6.> MS MPEG-4 V3

7.> 3viX


To begin with when I first started encoding videos when I wanted to save space on my jam packed 40GB I had only heard of DivX, WMV9 & XviD!
VP62 was discovered by accident(like all major discoveries). As we know in India we still have analog Cable TV unless you have a Set Top Box, so the video I capture using my video card is often noisy. I use WinDVR 3 for capturing and use SVCD NTSC settings for the MPEG2 file for an optimal quality captured video.

I encoded the video using DivX, XviD and WMV9 but all gave really hazy outputs, but for noisy video WMV is actually better than DivX and XviD, though in DivX 5.2.1 Pro it gives you good results with Pre Processing Enabled. i has unhappy with the way all the above codecs performed. So I started using random codecs installed on my system for encoding.....Then in the list was VP62 (It had come with KLite Codec Pack). I was really astonished to see the quality of the output of the noisy video, and the file size was half of what DivX and XviD produced.

Then I started including VP62 in all the DVD Ripping and VCD Ripping I did. To tell you the truth, in DVD ripping it does not really matter which codec you use(among the top 4) because the output is really good in most cases, but in terms of file size, when you target bitrate, VP62 is the best codec out there for low bitrate encoding! it actually gives you similar quality output when you set DivX@600K & VP62@300K ....try it out!!! In other words it is possible to fit 3hr.+ Hindi movies onto 1 700MB CD @ really decent quality with VP62. You can use any MPEG-4 Bitrate Calculator to fix the Bitrate. For DVDs its VP62->XviD->DivX->WMV9

When it comes to VCD Ripping, many people simply copy the *.dat files and simply rename them as *.mpg or *.mpeg to convert them to mpegs in the first place...Big Mistake!!! Even though the file will work perfectly as an mpeg, it will cause big A/V sync errors while encoding!!! the right way to do is to first convert the *.dat files to *.mpg using VCD Gear and then combine them using softwares like Combimovie (most movies are on multiple VCDs). And it will serve better to convert *.mpg to *.mpg using VCD Gear using the Fix mpeg errors option. Then you can start encoding. Well in VCD encoding XviD pretty much takes the back seat, low bitrate mpg files actually have blocky artifacts when you encode them with XviD. Here again as I mentioned VP62 rulz with DivX coming second followed by WMV9 and XviD last.

Now H264 is touted to be the next big thing(MPEG-4 Part 10). But I have still rated it last because the decoders, as of now suck! I used the Videosoft H264 AVC(Advanced Video Codec) with a measly 5 day demo(compare that to 6 months for DivX 5.2.1 Pro). And x264, which I got from freecodecs.com. Both these codecs gave really small file sizes but the output video sucked big time, and the main reasons for that being underdeveloped decoders, we'll have to wait a while before we have some good quality H264 codecs.

As far as 3viX and MS MPEG-4 V3 are concerned, don't use them, they r not that great when it comes to file sizes, in fact, I actually found MPEG 4 V3 better than 3viX.....I leave you'll to do more research on this one...

This is a topic where I know I'll have Maximum disagreements with many of my findings, but I bet you, try fiddleing around with various codec settings and different kinds of input videos, your conclusions will be similar to mine.

Recommended settings for the various codecs are:

Bitrate: 256K for small file size to 1000k depending on output file size.
Mode: Good Quality Fast Encoding
Encode Speed: 3
Sharpness: 0 or a slightly higher number depending on the quality of your input file.
End Usage: VBR
Noise reduction: 0
Material: Progressive
Auto Keyframe: Enabled
Noise Reduction: 0 or a higher level depending on your input file.
Max Frames Bet Keys: 120
Datarate Undershoot: 95%
Adjust Quantizer: Min (4) to Max (40)

Bitrate: 300K for small file size to 1000k depending on o/p file size.
Noise Reduction=0 to 3
Sharpness=4 to 8

DivX 5.2.1 Pro
Bitrate:Always above 500k below that it sucks.
Psychovisual Enhancements: Slow
Source Pre processing: Light to Normal

Keep Defaults with Trellis Quantization Enabled
For Targeting Filesize, specify the Bitrate.

Use 1 Pass Quality VBR
Performance Knob: Keep it in the middle.

For all the codecs, always keep the Key frame interval to 120s , while enlarging video always use bicubic interpolation & whatever o/p res u select, as far as possible, try n keep both width n height multiples of 16

Suggested resolutions (these follow to the x16 rule for optimal compatibility)

1:2.35 movies: 720x304, 640x272, 576x240, 512x224, 480x208, 400x176

1:1.85 movies: 720x384, 640x352, 576x304, 512x272, 480x256, 400x224

1:1.33 movies: 720x544, 640x480, 576x432, 512x384, 480x368, 400x304

To download the latest codecs you can visit:

To download K-Lite Mega Codec Pack (The most complete and well implemented Codec Pack):

For more on On2 Codecs (VP8, VP70 & VP62):
On2 has been bought by Google, expect great things!

Encoding Apps:



Further Reading on VP8 (WebM):

VP8 Converter:

Ok, I think this is getting toooo long for my first day on forums, I gotta cutt it here, I hope to get many queries & replies on this one!!!
Last edited:


The Photoshop Guy
wow! cool info dude 8)

i was using divx all these days let's try ur trick too ;)

BTW welcome to the digit forum maverickrohan

..:: Peace ::..


Aspiring Novelist
Excellent There Mate..... 8)
Hmm Now Used To think That The Xvid Was The Better One Out There.....But Hey Seems Like There is a New Kid In Town.....Well Gotta Check Out This Baby Now....Thanks For The Info Mate :D

BTw Welcome To The Forum Mate and Enjoy Ur Time here :D


I knew about VP6.2 from a long time already, the biggest problem it faces is less popularity, DvX still rules

I use DivX to encode & save DVD Videos to AVI format, with 512 kb bitate, small yet good quality, to encode VCD, I simply re-encode them in MPG1 format again, with the same settings as source file & aspect ratio, (NTSC), as with VCD, it's Quality is the default for any further improvement


man i was ognna post yest only for this
but i refrained myself
but if this thread goes unappreciated it'll be injustic e
i MUST agree its the best first post ever ...
barely an intro and lots of info !!
amazing .. beaitfully done
welcome to the forums
tho its needless to say .. but yet for ol times sake
do read the forum rules
and it_waaznt_me's thread for new comers in the GENERAL DISCUSSION section
its a sticky right up there .


Ambassador of Buzz
WOW !!! , u cleared my vcd sync probs ;) . will try it soon . now for some good ol ripping .
@mavero : which audio codec do u use ? mp3 / ogg .

prob i have with mp3 is once i complete a divx conversion with it , it disappears from divx codec list for the next conversion and i got to restart flaskmpeg .

ok this is my list of questions i hope can get answered here .

- which encoder app do u use ?
- how do u remove echo from vcd which have bad audio ? or rather fine tune audio in vcd , if possible without having to rip it into wav/mp3
- how do u skip/fix stream/packet errors when opening dat/mpg in virtual dub , even after using vcd gear to fix bad blocks ? i tried the split file thing , just gets first half of movies . any other way to atleast black out and skip bad portion alone .

ps : love long posts , keep it up !!!


King of my own Castle
@ maverickrohan Not only love i too love long post but adore them .Please don't make them short if possible. After taking on with spamming finally a guy who really has to say something other than...ohhh nice post d yes and no ...n...hell
Pleasure having you in this forum. :p

Please tell me how do you rate Apple lossless codec and Real media's loseless codecs too. ?
How much can a 1gb file be compressed yet its quality be retained . Asking you that coz my sony Digital camcorder after captures almost gives 1 gb file size for 45 mins recording through Firewire. Capturing it in mpeg2 makes lotsa noise.
Can you please suggest something ?
Yes Congrats for a fantastic first post. :p


Hey Everybody :D

Thanks a lot for the warm welcome! Finally I feel I am in the right place, actually to tell you the truth this is the first Internet Forum I have ever joined, even though I surf the net a lot; but since im in engineering I do not have extra time to do all these things. Right now I got my vacations going on, so I decided to join up...........!!!

Thnx Again.......!!!

P.S. : I Love Configuring computers too, I configure lotta computers for my friends, nyone need help with choosing the right parts n the right combo of components to use can pm me....!!!! ( i know this is H/W related but just posted it...!!!.....Sorry if i broke a forum rule :wink: )



Thats a lotta quetions, i'll try answering them to the best of my abilities.....

-> As far as compatibilty goes, with portable players n all, mp3 rulz! ogg is better than mp3, but not better than mp3 pro, which never really caught on.
But the best audio codec out there is wma 9.1. It has an amazing range of encoding options. Try using Windows Media Player 10 or Windows Media Encoder for many more options. Use VBR for wma, gives really neat results. The only drawback is, if u select the option of Protect my music with licences, the music u rip on ur comp wont play on ur friends comp or many portable players. thats the reason, u wont find a lot of wma on p2p networks, and even if u do, many of the wma files u end u d/ling wont run on ur machine. So the best thing to do is use VBR mp3 for storing for a long time. Ogg is better(not better than wma though), but it still needs to catch on!!!

->Ok, i have never used FlaskMPEG, just read on it, the problem u r talkin is probably a bug in the sofware. If by restarting the s/w u mean, in between converting differnt files, thats prob a small price u gotta pay ...cant help it!!!

->I use Virtual Dub 1.6.1 ( The most powerful in terms of basic IP(Image Processing) and Audio Processing Feartures), but it has problems with even slightly bad video and some mpeg2 files. But most of the times video fixed with VCD Gear works.

AimONE is really stable n will encode most of the stuff u throw at it, but this will result in A/V sync probs in few cases.

#1DVD Ripper has 2 magical feature called Interplate(removes movement artifacts in DVD video) and Dolby Surround(which make stereo mp3 the audio sound awesome in encoded file)

Windows Movie Maker 2; it gives bad output(hazy video) but it if u can bare with it and the really long encoding time it takes. Use it only for encoding video where u hav lotta corrections(deletion of lotta clips in the full video)

Windows Media Encoder: lotta features but crashes a lottttt!!! Give it a try!!

->Bad Audio-> To tell u the truth, fine tuning it, is an ART, u need a lotta PATIENCE to do it. Use the huge array of Audio Filters Virtual DUb provides. To Enable them, Select Full processing mode in Audio Conversion, Enable Advanced Filtering, and add the filters in a particular order...Explaining this in the forum will be too long, Read the Help File of Virtual Dub for more help on the Audio Filters and how to arrange them.

-> To tell u the truth, Virtual Dub is so Mathematically Accurate that it is bad at handling mpegs with bad file structures, it will throw up a lotta errors. Various methods to deal with this depending on the i/p video.
1.> VCD Gear Correction + Virtual Dub
2.> VCD Gear + Re-encode the mpeg into an mpeg(use slightly Different settings) using AimONE or some other stable n accurate mpeg encoder. followed by Virtual Dub.
3.> Windows Movie Maker 2 (Last Resort)

-> Skipping Bad Portions: Use file spliters and combiners(lotta patience needed) + Virtual Dub or Windows Movie Maker 2(Las Resort)

i hope i cud do justice to ur questions.......


i have not tried Apple n Real lossless........But remember the main diff between lossless n lossy. Lossless Compression is something that when decoded is mathematicaly, not only similar but perfectly equal to the orignal i/p. Whereas Lossy Codecs make use of various methods, to compess the main being Psychovisual Redundancy, i.e. The limitations of the Human eye or ear, whatever the case be to encode and compress. So if u really want compress stuff dont use them. Lossless Codecs are for video pros who wanna save a little space(cos they dont give really good comprssion). For most people who maily encode video to save space, Lossy codecs do really well and r getting better by the day.....As i had mentioned earlier VP62 is really great for noisy video or u can even use DivX 5.2.1 Pro With Preprossing set to a higher level and psychovisual enhancement set to slow. Also reduce the key frame interval to 120s for a more accurate o/p.

-> 1 GB can be compressed a lot, but i cant answer that question with u giving me more details like the format, after the firewire trasfer, the res of the video etc. Usually 45 minutes of video if, it is very clear, n u compress it using VP62 @ 400k and keeping the o/p res at 384x288 shud give u a file size of less than 200MB with a really good quality!!! Try it n feed me in with the results......Oh yeah and don't forget to compress the audio too, you can use DivX WMA @ 64k or Lame mp3 @ 128k...


id rather use AC3 codec ...
if ur sure u wanna compress the file and keep then AC3 is the best during playback !
DVD quality sound on ur dvix/xvid/otherwise compressed video
ofcourse this could be just a waste for captured video !
but if u are encoding movies which still have their 5.1 channels in it ... for eg. during ripping and encoding ... encode using AC3 and see the diff
using mp3 in this case is actually just throwing away 3 channels of audio !


oh yeah, AC3 is really good, but only for movies which have noticible audio variations in the rear two channels. If u observe the 3 front channels(left, centre & right) can be accounted for in stereo simply by:

left = left

centre = left + right

right = right

The rear two channels of the 5 channel audio are accounted for in stereo mp3 in the following way:

rear left = rear left + reverb + echo -> added to the left stereo

rear right = rear right + reverb +echo -> added to the right stereo

....thats exactly what #1 DVD Ripper does when u encode the audio using its Dolby Surround Enabled.

Also, adding 3 extra channels to encoded video increases the o/p video size quite a bit....

And not everyone has a 5.1 speaker system :)

Try it out n lemme know what u think of it..... :D


King of my own Castle
Thanks MaverickRohan . I will surely give it a try . Tough i have these days found that with my DVD writter i can afford having 4.5 GB of data on DVD written.
Still its fun to store the backup on harddisk and giving it a try. Yaa one thing i found I was always using Windows Movie Maker 2 . How will you rate it against Pinnacle or Other software .
Thks in advance.


Windows Movie Maker is very basic, something u shud use for casual editing. It has very Basic Features & good options for setting the video o/p but nothing for the audio.

If u wanna dabble in wma/wmv, purely for encoding, use Windows Media Encoder, it has got loads of features for audio n video as well.......

Pinnacle, Ulead, Power Director are more pro than Windows Movie Maker 2 and allow u to do many more things n work with more formats. Use these and spend more time with them to create videos of Movie quality!!! :)

Another bad point about Windows Movie Maker is that is selects really low audio bitrates while encoding by default n that deteriorates the o/p audio a lot...... :(

other thing i noticed(dont know about others) whatever video o/p I select, my o/p video always has significantly reduced sharpness compared to the input....beats me!!! :?


Maverickrohan...absolutely brilliant post there...simply one of the best posts I've come across in a long time...Gr8 to have you here!

Anyway....I have a small doubt, might be off topic...is there a way of umm...hacking (u know the right word!) WMAs DRM ...I've a couple of songs I downloaded long back...but the problem is that they were protected by DRM (the new one, not the old one) and I'm not able to listen to a single one of them...Any help is appreciated!


Even though wma 9.1 is the best codec out there, the main reason, people don't like it cos of the DRM protection. Even though its the best i dont rip music with it cos of the DRM c r a p, and people r dumb enough to enable the option of protecting their wma/wmv with DRM thru WMP.

I had never tried it but I looked it up just now, try these links:

All provide various methods of unprotecting wma/wmv files....

:arrow: *members.home.nl/icq99/unfuck/index2.htm

:arrow: *home.wanadoo.nl/lc.staak/freeme.htm

:arrow: *www.zittware.com/Products/CDMaster32/Tutorials/CopyProtected_WMA_to_MP3.html

These r the three best links, the first two are better n direct, try those first......
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