[FFmpeg-user] when to use 10bit

Erik Dobberkau erik.dobberkau at gmail.com
Thu Oct 20 10:09:01 EEST 2016

Am Donnerstag, 20. Oktober 2016 schrieb George Nistor :

> Hello Ffmpeg-users,
> I have a general question.
> When makes sense to use 10 bit for video encoding?
> Does it make any difference at high kbps? For more than 3000 kbps it is
> seen a difference
> in more quality (acuracy) of the colors?


10bit color depth is mostly being used in the acquisition or intermediate
(processing) stage of video, it is not (yet) common in distribution. With
the advent of HEVC and HDR this will most likely change on the distribution
side, but slowly.
If you're interested in the topic, there are some research papers available
for free on the BBC's R&D web site.
IMHO you won't see a quality improvement in such low bitrates -- a
difference, yes. When talking about uncompressed or intra-frame compressed
video, one will see a difference at bitrates larger than 100Mbps, because
then the spatial compression losses are almost gone, and color fidelity
gets more important, if you're using a 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 color sampling. In
delivery codecs such as AVC (H.264) and HEVC (H.265), a provable difference
will most likely be seen at bitrates larger than 30Mbps, or 15Mbps,


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