Author Topic: H.264 vs AVC vs MPEG-4  (Read 3415 times)

Offline geoffreak

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H.264 vs AVC vs MPEG-4
« on: July 01, 2008, 03:36:26 AM »
H.264 vs AVC vs MPEG-4

What do these all have in common? They all are supposed to be the "Mpeg-4 video format". I understand that h.264 is a higher compression and quality than mpeg-4, but where does avc come into play? AVC is not supported in iPods yet is reported in many programs i use as no different than h.264. I haven't noticed any MKV's with AVC (only h.264) on box (I'm sure they are out there though) but any series I get in an MP4 container has AVC. AVI's come with mpeg-4 video, which I know is Xvid/DivX.

Can anyone shed a bit of light on the difference of these video codecs? ???

Offline defsyfe

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Re: H.264 vs AVC vs MPEG-4
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2008, 12:00:43 PM »
h.264 is mpeg-4 Part 10 or Mpeg-4 AVC. It's the exact same thing. Mpeg-4 is made up of many different compressions h.264/avc is just one of the compression stanrdards. Hence the part 10. The AVC acronym stands for Advance Video Coding.

H.264 is AVC.

There are different profiles or Tiers if you would of h.264 encoding with lower quality and high quality end results. Also, there are many Codecs for encoding, quicktime, nero digital, X.264.

I don't know what else there is to say about it.

Offline geoffreak

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Re: H.264 vs AVC vs MPEG-4
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2008, 02:10:50 PM »
What confuses me the most is why any mp4 files I download aren't recognized properly by itunes. They will play just fine, but they cannot be put on an iPod (all conditions for iPod ready video should be met) nor can they be converted for iPod.
I have tried remuxing the mp4s with no change in results as well. :-[

Maybe it would help out if I told you a show where I have a problem like this. Both the first and second seasons of Zero no Tsukaima on box are mp4 but have this problem. Only the first season has iPod friendly dimensions. Strawberry Panic is another with the same problem.


Bad MP4


Bad MP4 Remuxed


iPod ready MP4 (with metadata)



After remuxing a few MKV's, I did find that they also seem to have this problem. What I cannot figure out is why the h.264 video found places like here on box is so drastically different than the h.264 video an iPod can play.

Offline psyren

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Re: H.264 vs AVC vs MPEG-4
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2008, 02:16:47 PM »
... because the iPod is a piece of shit?

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Offline geoffreak

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Re: H.264 vs AVC vs MPEG-4
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2008, 02:51:14 PM »
... because the iPod is a piece of shit?
That's besides the point here. ;)

Offline defsyfe

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Re: H.264 vs AVC vs MPEG-4
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2008, 02:57:36 PM »
H.264 video, up to 1.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Low-Complexity version of the H.264 Baseline Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; H.264 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Baseline Profile up to Level 3.0 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats

Profiles.

You're making the assumption encoders are using mp4 and they're ipod ready. That's kind of naive. An encoder is making a video file to watch on a computer not an ipod. Although it might look like the specs are the same they are not.

Offline geoffreak

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Re: H.264 vs AVC vs MPEG-4
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2008, 03:08:55 PM »
I know that iTunes needs low complexity to put on iPods (I realize it assumes all are low complexity) so I would need to re-encode the video in a lower complexity after all.
Thanks for all your help! ;D

You're making the assumption encoders are using mp4 and they're ipod ready. That's kind of naive. An encoder is making a video file to watch on a computer not an ipod. Although it might look like the specs are the same they are not.
The applications I have don't let me know the difference in profiles so I wasn't aware of it. I did encode several shows in the wrong profile so I'll be re-encoding them.

Offline defsyfe

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Re: H.264 vs AVC vs MPEG-4
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2008, 03:17:36 PM »
Keep in mind Low Complexity refers to the AAC audio not the h.264. Just to let you know though all encoders use AAC-LC. So as long as the bit rate on the audio is with-in specs it should be ok.

Offline geoffreak

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Re: H.264 vs AVC vs MPEG-4
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2008, 04:04:06 PM »
Can you explain the AVC level for me? I noticed 5.1 seems to be a default or common level whereas 3.0 or 3.1 seems to be what iTunes wants for iPods?

Offline defsyfe

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Re: H.264 vs AVC vs MPEG-4
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2008, 05:00:33 PM »

Offline geoffreak

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Re: H.264 vs AVC vs MPEG-4
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2008, 07:23:29 PM »
Last question:
As you are on the a4e team, can you tell me which AVC level your group uses? Is there a reason for this level, or is it just the best quality for it's bitrate?

Offline wizisi2k

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Re: H.264 vs AVC vs MPEG-4
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2008, 09:40:43 AM »
H.264 video, up to 1.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Low-Complexity version of the H.264 Baseline Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; H.264 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Baseline Profile up to Level 3.0 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats

Profiles.

You're making the assumption encoders are using mp4 and they're ipod ready. That's kind of naive. An encoder is making a video file to watch on a computer not an ipod. Although it might look like the specs are the same they are not.
what is said up here is partly true in terms of the specifications for ipod playback.  What they DO NOT TELL YOU (and they did indirectly in a itunes update) is that the ipod can playback above DVD res (otherwise I wouldn't have a high-res 2010 on my ipod but that's beside the point but I can't comment on the max bitrate settings and the highest possible res possible on a ipod I dunno).  The difference between a regular .mp4/.mkv encoded here and one for the ipod is that the ipod one can't have certain features of h.264 like bframes.