Whats so great about H.264?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by TheMonarch, May 9, 2005.

  1. TheMonarch macrumors 65816

    TheMonarch

    Joined:
    May 6, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #1
    I was going through WMVHD.com's HD videos and I found a video thats 2:44 and its file size is 153MB (Its called "Ray" BTW), then I was going through Apple's HD gallary, and I saw a video thats 2:40 (119MB, called "kingdom of Heaven), then it hit me. Apple's [H.264] video was:
    1280x544 - 696320 total pixels - 119MB

    WMVHD's was:
    1280x720 - 921600 total pixels - 153MB

    meaning that the H.264 video is 75% of the WMV resolution wise, but 77% of the file size, AND the WMV is 4 seconds longer. On top of that, the WMV codec is older. So my question is, what is so great about the new H.264 codec? Can some one fill me in? If I recall, Apple was claiming double the video size, but half the file size. I imagine that both websites have their videos encoded at their highest quality to show off their codec. I know about the H.264's scalability, standards and so forth, so I guess whats bugging me is the efficiency. Efficiency brings up even more "woes" with the new H.264 codec, which is processor efficiency, Apple requires a G5 (1.8, I think) as the minimum to play HD content, which I think is way too high... Waaay too high. WMV requires 2.4 Ghz processor. G5's weren't even avaliable untill the middle of 2003, which means that if you want to enjoy HD H.264, your system must be no more than 2 years old... I don't know when the 2.4 P4 came out, but I bought my PC (soon to be replaced by a PB 17 1.67 :D ) in mid 2002, yet it still has the minimum amount of horse power to play HD content.
    I don't get it. Is there something I don't know? It really pisses me off that this new H.264 codec is such a CPU rapist, because my [future] PB won't be able to play it (smooth) due to such high requirements.

    I just want a 2005 PB ($2699! :eek: ) to be able to play what the PC could do in 2002 for 599!
    IT IS DRIVING ME CRAZY AS I'M DYING FOR MY PB!!!

    It makes me so sad... :(

    Feel free to correct me if i'm wrong with any of my calculations.
     
  2. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Location:
    Oxford/London
    #2
    Have you seen it? It looks amazing! (It's not all resolution in codecs)
    Also, i think you cannot compare ANYTHING codec wise, unless the video is the SAME clip. If you encoded a 3 minute long black screen, the file size would be tiny!
    H.264 is amazing because it's the chosen standard for HDDVD Blu-Ray, HD TV etc. also. It's the future.

    P.S. My 1Ghz G4 plays the 740p at around 16FPS, so a 1.67GHz should play faster!
     
  3. DXoverDY macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    #3
    Just because something is HD doesn't make it comparable. High Definition is a resolution spec for the most part.. what is it.. 720p and 1080i....

    720p is progressive and 1080i is interlaced.. but it's the resolution.. the numbers mentioned being the height, not the width of the resolution.

    now.. as a compression codec that is not lossless.. you lose data. or bits and pieces of the video... it gets grainy, fuzzy... you 'lose' data. it's a lossy format. similar to mp3's and aac files... they aren't the same quality as the original uncompressed wav files for example.

    H.264 can hold MORE information in less space.. so while the filesize is similar the bitrate is higher and contains more information. less loss at the same file size.

    it's like this.. you have a mp3 at 128kbps.. it sounds ok... but you definitely hear the difference between that and an mp3 at 192kbps... H.264 is like taking that 192kbps.. keeping the quality but scrunching it into 128kbps instead ;)
     
  4. TheMonarch thread starter macrumors 65816

    TheMonarch

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    May 6, 2005
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    Bay Area
    #4
    I wonder what the requirements will be when Apple releases QT7 for windows...
     
  5. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    Mar 17, 2004
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    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #5
  6. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #6
    I could be wrong, but isn't most of the space consumed by a video taken up by the sound quality rather than the actual size of the displayed image (pixels)?
     
  7. sorryiwasdreami macrumors 6502a

    sorryiwasdreami

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2004
    Location:
    way out in the sticks
    #7
    it really is impressive! The resizing is awesome and the no pixelization thing is great.
     
  8. TheMonarch thread starter macrumors 65816

    TheMonarch

    Joined:
    May 6, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #9
    I agree with all of you that H.264 looks beutiful, but look at This

    Now, I'm not a fan of windows media (ew), but you got to admit that WMV isint too bad (older codec than H.264) AND it play on systems (PCs) older than the G5. Can't say the same for windows media player for mac though (garbage)

    I guess I'm a bit jealous that old wintel machines can handle HD better than mac (i.e. 2002 PC vs 2005 PB)
     
  9. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #10
    My guess is that the 1280 x 720 pixel count given for the WMVHD clip is BS. The number of vertical pixels (same as number of horizontal lines) is, in all likelihood, 544, the same as the H.264 clip. The extra 176 pixels are black bands at the top and botton of the image, which the player should not even display. If this is the case, then the H.264 clip is giving you the same pixel count in a file which occupies 36 MB less space.

    BTW, did you notice that WMV HD made a big splash quite some time ago? However, following Apple's annoucement of H.264 in concert with Final Cut Pro HD on the high end and Final Cut Express HD and iMovie HD on the low end, WMV HD has been largely forgotten.
     
  10. sorryiwasdreami macrumors 6502a

    sorryiwasdreami

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2004
    Location:
    way out in the sticks
    #11
    It lacks the depth that I get in Quicktime.
     
  11. snkTab macrumors 6502a

    snkTab

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    #12
    I agree, one of the last thing a codec does when given enough size is give correct color.
     
  12. BornAgainMac macrumors 603

    BornAgainMac

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Florida Resident
    #13
    I am sure it will have minimum requirements that will include most WinXP based PCs. You probably mean what are the requirements to play HD content without any problems. I suspect that very few PCs can handle HD playback like those bargin basement PCs.
     
  13. DXoverDY macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    #14
    definitely wrong. take any song... mp3 is typically 160kbps and between 4-6 megabytes. the music video compressed using the same settings for audio is about 50-70megabytes
     

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