Ogg or MP4? The HTML5 Video Codec Comparison

Jan2610Jan 26, 10

Video Quality

While the true quality of a video isn't as easily measured as some of the other comparison criteria presented here, it is certainly one of the most important factors in the debate over which codec should be preferred for use with the HTML5 video element. Nevertheless, here is are the two main observations I have after using both codecs through Firefox and Safari:
  • MP4 is slightly higher quality than Ogg. See the comparison below.
  • Ogg tends to look too dark, and in most cases the extra contrast emphasizes picture imperfections.

Download Size

  • Ogg Theora is smaller than MP4, so it requires less bandwidth to stream.

Playback Overhead


Stream-ability

  • Ogg tends to get messed up more often when streamed data is erroneous. This is an annoyance when watching content over a WiFi connection, particularly on shared and public networks.


Ogg VS. MPEG-4 Picture Quality

Below is a comparison of the same frame encoded in Ogg Vorbis and MP4:
Ogg Theora
MPEG-4

MP4 vs Ogg Side by Side





About Jason Miller:

I am a JavaScript developer from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. When I am not typing green code onto a black screen, you might find me at the nearest coffee pub checking out the brew. I run a internet firm called developIT and maintain blogs and web apps when I can.
Comments
Shay#
Wonderfully informative. Thank You.
JimOfMex#
Precisely what I needed to know. Thanks.
Dan Bernard#
This helps me understand variations on quality when downloading video.
I'm working with old public domain footage and find that even in mp4 the quality is low.
Any links or tips for enhancing quality?
Thanks,
Dan
Samantha C.#
In terms of "quality", just about every music codec out there is sufficient at a high enough bit-rate. In my experience the "good" bit-rates for normal music listening for Ogg Vorbis and AAC are reasonably similar. I think Ogg Vorbis is a good format and certainly a useful one when you need something open source and free as in beer and speech. Shout out to <a href="https://mxplayer.co/">MXplayer</a> too. In fact. I like supporting strong open source efforts when I can.)
Samantha C.#
In terms of "quality", just about every music codec out there is sufficient at a high enough bit-rate. In my experience the "good" bit-rates for normal music listening for Ogg Vorbis and AAC are reasonably similar. I think Ogg Vorbis is a good format and certainly a useful one when you need something open source and free as in beer and speech. Shout out to <a href="https://mxplayer.co/">MXplayer</a> too. In fact. I like supporting strong open source efforts when I can.)
Samantha C.#
In terms of "quality", just about every music codec out there is sufficient at a high enough bit-rate. In my experience the "good" bit-rates for normal music listening for Ogg Vorbis and AAC are reasonably similar. I think Ogg Vorbis is a good format and certainly a useful one when you need something open source and free as in beer and speech. Shout out to <a href="https://mxplayer.co/">MXplayer</a> too. In fact. I like supporting strong open source efforts when I can.)
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