We have presented HD-VideoBench, a benchmark devoted to video coding applications and specialized for High Definition. After a careful examination of existing benchmarks for multimedia applications, we have found that none of them have all the required characteristics for a complete benchmark for HD video coding. Some of them do not include recent video Codecs, others have only low resolution inputs, others include reference versions of the Codecs that do not have been optimized for high performance, and others are not publicly available restricting the use and examination of the source code, input videos and coding options.

In HD-VideoBench, we solve these problems by providing a key selection of real life applications for video processing. HD-VideoBench includes Codecs for MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and H.264 standards based on open source implementations that have been extensively optimized for high performance. These applications are part of real life programs used in desktop operating systems for coding, transcoding and playing multimedia content. By using this kind of applications, we are ensuring the representativeness of the benchmark and, at the same time, by selecting open source implementations, we allow the researchers to have full access to the source code in order to perform analysis and further optimizations. Additionally, we have carefully selected a set of input sequences at HD resolution with different motion and spatial details. We have also analyzed and provided the coding options that are best suited for HD applications.

As a result, HD-VideoBench has all the required characteristics for detailed benchmarking of HD digital video applications. By making all the source code, inputs, options and commands free, we allow researches to perform full verification and comparison with published results.

Initial performance results show that the processing of High Definition digital video with emerging video Codecs require an important increase in the performance provided by the architectures, which would require the efficient exploitation of multiple levels of parallelism in order to achieve the required performance for real time operation.

Currently, we are working on extending HD-VideoBench by including parallel versions of the video Codecs for multiprocessor architectures, specially for emerging chip multiprocessing architectures. Additionally, we are also planning to include new video Codecs like VC-1, and Motion-JPEG-2000.

Mauricio Alvarez 2007-04-17