Learn To: Use Capped CRF with SVT-AV1 for Live Streaming

Learn to use Capped CRF with SVT-AV1 and FFmpeg for live transcoding, including how capped CRF compares to VBR and CBR. All tests and results are available in downloadable PDF.

Capped CRF is an alternative to VBR and CBR that saves bandwidth on easy-to-encode sequences and preserves quality on hard-to-encode sequences. Our tests with SVT-AV1 and FFmpeg show:

  • Performance: Capped CRF delivered greater throughput than VBR, though this varied by content type and logical processors deployed.
  • Bitrate savings: Bitrate savings averaged about 44% over our five categories. For reference, the cap and VBR target for 60fps sports was 6 Mbps; otherwise, it was 4.5 Mbps.
  • Average quality: The average VMAF score dropped 2.1% but still averaged 94.41, which is in the relevant target zone for top-rung quality for premium content producers.
  • Low-frame quality: Low-frame quality is a predictor of transient quality problems. Capped CRF decreased the low-frame quality by 13.5%, though most of this was in sports-related footage.

Overall, all live-streaming producers should consider capped CRF as an alternative to VBR. Here’s the report that details our findings.

Capped CRF with SVT-AV1 for Live Streaming (139 downloads)

About Jan Ozer

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I help companies train new technical hires in streaming media-related positions; I also help companies optimize their codec selections and encoding stacks and evaluate new encoders and codecs. I am a contributing editor to Streaming Media Magazine, writing about codecs and encoding tools. I have written multiple authoritative books on video encoding, including Video Encoding by the Numbers: Eliminate the Guesswork from your Streaming Video (https://amzn.to/3kV6R1j) and Learn to Produce Video with FFmpeg: In Thirty Minutes or Less (https://amzn.to/3ZJih7e). I have multiple courses relating to streaming media production, all available at https://bit.ly/slc_courses. I currently work as www.netint.com as a Senior Director in Marketing.

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