Vimeo crushes youTube

November 5, 2007

Clapperboard It was inevitable, given its success, that youTube would spawn a host of clones. But who would know or care when youTube is so far ahead of all the others, with so much more on-line content to view?

Well, maybe that’s so from the point of view of a teenager with nothing better to do than scan the latest amusing video clips. Similarly small-time video creators on an ego-trip, looking to attract the biggest audience. But if you are after a website to host videos for your blog, and are more bothered about video quality than how many anonymous teenagers might wish to look at your clip, it is worth considering the alternatives.

A case in point is Vimeo. I uploaded the same short clip (from my cruise to the Far East in the spring) to both youTube and Vimeo.

This particular clip, of Sunlight Rock and the cable car ride at Gulangyu Island, near Xiamen, China, started life as a PAL DV video, was resized to 640 x 480 and compressed using H.264 at 1,200 Mbps.


This is the youTube version:



And this is the result of uploading the same H.264 video file to Vimeo. It is the same video – even though the initial static frame is different:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

With a little patience you can synchronise the videos and compare the quality directly. Start the youTube video at the beginning and pause it at some recognisable point. Then start the Vimeo version. When Vimeo catches up with the paused youTube restart the latter. The two will run concurrently in synchronisation, but you may need a big screen to see them together properly. Look out for the clarity of the numbers on the cable cars. Also notice how much worse youTube is affected by compression artifacts such as macroblocking which is particularly evident in the sky during the panning sequence from the top of Sunlight Rock and in the way the trees display patches of shifting lost focus in the cable car section.

The difference in quality is even more marked if you view in full screen mode. Vimeo is also notable for supporting on-line HD video content.

In coming posts I will go into more detail about how the clip was compressed to get the best from Vimeo. Follow the Vista’s Video Nasties series.

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  1. Terrific the office! This is The body as to information that should be shared past the web. Shame by the search the web engines as never positioning things like this article higher!

    • Thanks for the praise but to be honest I have not been able to keep the data on here up to date. youTube had not launched its HD service when I carried out this analysis. I am not doing very much video at the moment so the whole area has ceased to be a priority for me.

      • NE PRAVILJNO DALI NASVANIE PEREDACHE NE SOBACHJE SERDSE A PRAVILJNEE NASVATJ SOBACHJA DUSHA . problema zdesj v tom cho grnizaa mejdu delovitostj i isvracheniem stiraetsa i perexodit v sadizm . dusha eto chto to emforicheskoe i pokidaet telo posle 3 dnejminus dlja peredachi , i minus dlja delovitosti devochek

      • That’s the perfect insight in a thread like this.

  2. If you are looking for a website providing videos for your mobile devices, you can try http://www.bywifi.com, which provides searching, saving and realtime transcoding 3GP video services for mobile phones. That website can also optimize Web pages for mobile phones, providing a richer browsing experience.

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