My Running Review of the Official US Version of the Samsung Gear 360

Started Jul 18, 2016 | Discussions thread
OP Markr041 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,794
Re: Comparing the Videos from the Samsung Gear 360 and the Dual Kodak 360 4K's

creaDVty wrote:

Hi Mark. FYI, Simon Miya of Infilms 360 VR disagreed with your findings. He said, "The S7's stitcher's higher bitrates are only a crutch to deal with the much lower processing power available, it does not result in better quality than the PC stitcher." What do you think?

Best regards,

Mic

In principle the PC stitcher software could be using a more efficient H264 codec than the S7, so that the difference in bitrates is not the full story. But before comparing codecs, let's note that the PC stitcher is crippling the quality of the clips produced by the camera: 32 Mbps for a 4K H264 video is half the bitrate produced by any 4K shooter using H264 - GoPros, Sony's, Kodaks. It is equivalent to approximately half the bitrate of the original H265 clips from the Gear 360 too (32 Mbps H265, with H265 compression about twice as efficient as H264 compression). It is unacceptably low.

There is no excuse for producing an H264 4K video at such a low bitrate. Since Cyberlink makes editing software that produces 60+Mbps 4K videos from H265 clips (Power Director 14) using the same H264 codec that this software uses such a low bitrate appears to be a commercial decision to deliberately lower quality.

Note also that the PC stitching software also produces a lower bitrate audio track than does the S7. It hardly takes any processing power to compress an audio track, and 128 kbps for audio is the bare minimum - the S7 yields a 192 kbps bitrate. Both "programs" use exactly the same compression method (AAC), so how can the lower bitrate version be as good?

There are some differences in the H264 video codec that makes the PC stitcher software produce a slightly more efficient compression that the S7 does.

Here are the codec specs produced by the PC stitcher program:

Format/Info : Advanced Video Codec

32 Mbps

Format profile : Main@L5.1
Format settings, CABAC : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames : 2 frames
Format settings, GOP : M=3, N=13

Here are the codec specs for the video produced in the S7:

Format/Info : Advanced Video Codec

60 Mbps

Format profile : Baseline@L5.1
Format settings, CABAC : No
Format settings, ReFrames : 1 frame
Format settings, GOP : M=1, N=30

Reading the characteristics of the files, however, one can see it is impossible that the PC stitcher software is using a H264 codec that is twice as efficient as the one used in the S7. No way then the 60 Mbps and 32 Mbps videos are equivalent in quality.

Bottom line; I can see the difference in quality.

Btw , here are the codec specs for the Kodak clips:

60 Mbps

Format/Info : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile : High@L5.1
Format settings, CABAC : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames : 2 frames
Format settings, GOP : M=3, N=8

The Kodak camera uses an even more efficient H264 codec than either of the above software programs, and it is 60 Mbps, not 30 Mbps. The PC stitcher software is not deserving of any praise..

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