SVTAV1 2.0

The SVT AV1 team just keep making their codec better. Version 2.0 was released in March 2024. It promised further increased speed and quality. As it seems this website is now just endless codec comparisons, I did a few hundred encodes of the same old video file to see how this new version compares to the previous ones.

As a very brief summary, 2.0 seems to be better than 1.8, but nowhere near as dramatic as the improvement between 1.6 to 1.8.

I encoded the same 1000frame 1080p 8bit video in both 8bit and 10bit, at a selection of quality settings from 10 to 60, in each of the presets 1 to 12.

Without further ado, here are the VMAF-size charts for the 8bit and 10bit encodes:

Here is a more useful chart, that shows a selection of each presets:

As with 1.8, encoding in 10bit consistently produced higher quality video for a given quality setting and preset.

This chart compares the various SVTAV1 encodes using the preset 3 over various versions. It shows that between 1.6 and 1.8, there was a small reversion in the quality/size of 8 bit encodes, but this has been fixed in 2.0 (of course, this graph does not show the astounding speed improvement between 1.6 and 1.8).

This final chart attempts to show the speed compromises with using the different presets. I charted the speed of the encode and the file size to produce a video encode with a VMAF of about 90 with SVTAV1 1.8 and 2.0. To try to make it a little more useful than in my previous posts, I changed the speed from seconds to fps (frames per second). This means that as you go up the graph, encodes get exponentially faster. As you go right, encodes get larger, which means generally, the closer to the top left, the better and faster the encode. I tried to do some processing to clean it up, but it is still a bit of a mess. It seems that generally, version 2.0 is faster and better quality than 1.8. SVTAV1 does better with 10bit encoding with a preset slower than about preset S6, while if you are encoding with a faster preset than S6, you should probably stick with the 8bit encoder (at least if you are encoding 8bit video)

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