TECH BLOG / August 1, 2022

Whitepaper: A VVC/H.266 Real-time Software Encoder for UHD Live Video Applications

By Sergio Sanz-Rodríguez, PhD and Mauricio Alvarez-Mesa, PhD – In this whitepaper we introduce Spin Digital’s VVC/H.266 real-time software encoder and present a detailed quality and performance comparison with other encoders for 4K UHD live streaming scenarios. We also present an analysis for finding the recommended bitrates for 4K UHD live streaming using VVC.

The main highlights of the new VVC real-time encoder are:

1. Higher compression efficiency than state-of-the-art HEVC live encoder: For 4Kp60 18% bitrate savings for the same quality with respect to a highly optimized HEVC real-time encoder, at the cost of 2 times higher computational complexity. For 8Kp60 video, initial results have shown that the new VVC encoder achieves 26% bitrate savings at equal quality relative to the HEVC live encoder with 1.5 times higher complexity.

2. Real-time UHD video encoding on a single dual-socket server: It can process 4K video at 60 fps as well as 8K video at 30 fps both in 10-bit HDR in real-time on a single server with two Intel Xeon Platinum processors with a total of 76 CPU cores.

3. Outperforming optimized open-source HEVC and AV1 encoders: When running on a multi-core CPU system targeting 4K 60 fps real-time operation, the encoder produces  the required encoding performance and results in the highest compression efficiency when compared to open-source HEVC and AV1 encoders such as x265, SVT-HEVC, and SVT-AV1.

4. Lower bandwidth for UHD live video: Using an objective quality criterion based on VMAF and informal subjective tests, the recommended range of bitrates for 4Kp60 live applications ranges from 13 to 14 Mbps, compared to 16 to 17 Mbps needed by Spin Digital’s HEVC real-time to achieve the same level of quality. For 8Kp60 live applications the recommended bitrate with the new VVC encoder is 40 Mbps instead of the 50 Mbps required by the optimized HEVC encoder.

5. Ready for 4K/8K live streaming and broadcasting: The VVC encoder has been integrated into a live streaming framework developed by Spin Digital that includes: input capture via SDI and IP, pre-processing, advanced rate control, audio and video encoding, and broadcast over IP and Internet streaming.

Bitrate vs encoding speed
Bitrate vs encoding speed for the same quality (VMAF 95), when encoding a 4K UHD video using a server with 76 CPU cores


Download the whitepaper here.