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Visual Analysis and Debug Help to Reduce Development Time to Build Efficient Video Products

ViCue Video Codec Analyzer (VCA) helps codec developers and validation engineers reduce the time and costs developing next-generation high-quality and efficient video decoders and encoders. Easy to use with advanced features, VCA provides:

  • Compliance Validation/Error Reporting - Test for output bitstream spec compliance to ensure output video can be parsed without depending on the error resilience features of specific decoders. Automatable logging can increase testing coverage. Analysis features help root cause issues quickly.
  • Inspect, Debug, and Improve Encoders - Inspect each step of the encode/decode process visually and numerically.
  • Graphically Analyze Coding Flow, Heat Maps, Motion Vectors, Prediction Processes, and More - These features accelerate development by providing insights on the algorithm choices that produce a bitstream. It can also empower testing/quality assurance with checks for output suitability to quickly assess where all is well and dive deep to root cause issues.
  • Full Stream Statistics, Dual Views and Control - Compare two bitstreams highlighting matching details and different values. Enhance your product validation process with both visual and automated regression checking.
  • Innovate with Next-generation Technologies - BT.2020 color gamut, SHVC and SCC, 4K & HDR viewing experiences.

AV1, HEVC, VP9, AVC and MPEG-2 Bitstreams

With bandwidth being a major cost to network streaming and infrastructure, the use of codec like HEVC is essential to real-time and OTT video streaming, content delivery, broadcast, and advertisements. Developers and validation engineers need tools like VCA to deeply investigate the complex next-generation coding pipeline with unprecedented visualization.

Error Resilience improves content processing, resilience to broken and non-compliant streams, and provides enhanced error reporting.

Features and Debug Details

VCA can debug certain quality and functional failures in your transcoding pipeline, potentially saving months of man-hours on important video projects. Quickly identify poor encoder decisions that result in a loss of quality early on in the encoder development process.

Supported High-Level Features

  • Bitstreams: AV1, HEVC, VP9, AVC (up to 10-bit) and MPEG-2. 100% compliant with JCT-VC, ViCue DVK and many other commercial streams
  • Containers: MPEG-2- TS, MP4, MKV, MMT and MPEG-DASH
  • HRD and VBV visualization
  • Full-frame Visualization Features: Coding Flow, Coding Unit, Suberblock, Motion vectors, Transform Unit, Prediction Unit, Prediction Information, Reconstruction Information, Residual Information, Deblocking edges, SAO Information, Frame references
    HEVC, VP9, AVC, and MPEG-2 Error Resilience and error reporting
  • HEVC Screen Content Coding (SCC), SHVC and MultiView extensions support
  • Full stream HEVC & AVC statistics, Dual View, and Control-enable detailed comparisons between two bitstreams
  • HDR Video/BT2020 (10-bit) - the next generation color gamut supporting Ultra HD content, covering more than 75% of all visible colors
  • Detailed Views: Reconstructed, Predicted, Residual, Deblocked/SAO, and Decoded pixels
  • Easy to use GUI provides ability to quickly find bitstream and coding mode decision errors, undock windows for easy side-by-side stream comparisons, debug broken streams, tool tips provide descriptions of syntax elements
  • Detailed statistics export to a file from command line
  • Visual Maps: Heat Map (bit per pel), Efficiency Map (bools per bit)
  • Statistics: SAO, Deblocking and Per-syntax Elements
  • Other key features: reference or decoded YUV Compare, B pyramid visualization, Probability arrays and trees, Entropy Engine State, Syntax Elements, Inter/Intra prediction and Filtered Samples views, Motion Vector Predictor Lists, Coefficients (pre and post quant and post-transform scan order), HEVC video file indexing, error message filtering, settings to save fixes

Formats/ Profiles Supported

  • HEVC: All major profiles supported - (ISO/IEC 23008-2 MPEG-H Part 2 or ITU-T H.265): 8-14 bit 4:2:0/4:2:2/4:4:4
  • AV1: All major profiles supported
  • VP9: All major profiles supported
  • MPEG-2 - (ISO/IEC 13818 Part 2 or ITU-T H.262): 8 bit 4:2:0/4:2:2
  • AVC - (H.264/AVC, ISO/IEC 14496-10, MPEG-4 Part 10), up to High profile 8 bit 4:2:0
  • Wide variety of video elementary stream and container formats supported.

Dual View

Compare two bitstreams highlighting details matching and different values. Enhance your product validation process with both visual and automated regression checking.

Informational Overlays/Maps are efficient tools to understand coding efficiency distribution

  • Heat map, Efficiency map to identify where most bits/bins spent and detect inefficiency of encoder
  • QPs, Block Types, Reference Indexes
  • per block PSNR for a loaded reference YUV

Details View replaces Main View when user 'right-clicks' on a selected coding unit/block within a frame in Main View

  • Goes to per pixel view for a selected block, macroblock or CTU for each Main view mode with pixel details and process inside a selected block
  • Prediction – every pixel value is clickable to see how it was formed from predictors
  • Residuals de-zigzag process, de-quantization and inverse transform
  • Deblocking edges, strengths and impacted pels
  • SAO directions and predictors

Statistics and Reports

There are never too many statistics. VCA provides many different kinds of data in text and chart formats to help you view, prioritize and target optimizations.

  • Frame level: total pits/bytes, bypass bits, MD5/CRC
  • Motion Vectors direction and Reference list utilization
  • Visual charts and dump to a comma separated file for future use or further analysis
  • Frame level statistics for Intra, inter modes, Prediction modes, TU, CU, PU and Partition types and many more needed for a developer
  • Raw values and normalized by area or bits used

Buffer Analysis

  • VBV visualization
  • HRD buffer compliance
  • Moving average of buffer fullness
  • Frame size and frame type

Easy-to-use GUI makes optimization fun

  • Quick switch in between frames
  • Natural Mouse wheel use and hot keys for honed movements
  • Adjustable and flexible panes
  • Full screen for Main view maximizing utilization of screen area
  • Amazingly seamless zoom and fast panning for quick block selection
  • Options to combine Picture overlay over informational data
  • YUV or one of plane view
  • Thumbnails and Bars Frame
  • Active and DPB references visual arrows
  • Extract a frame or NAL unit
  • Recently used files and folders
  • Un/Docking panels design to satisfy demanding multi-monitor development practices
  • Configurable working area and statistical panes in the way you like

Load an original uncompressed YUV file to inspect

  • visual difference
  • point any different block
  • per-block objective metric - PSNR

Load a decoded uncompressed YUV file

  • quick find a regression with “Find first difference”
  • inspect recent development impact
  • Archived YUV to save you disc space
  • Offset YUV
  • Encoded or decoded order
  • 16 bit support

Detailed Syntax

  • NAL units
  • Every value of SPS, PPS, VPS, Slice
  • CU, TU flags and data
  • SEI messages
  • Quant matrix
  • Reference List
  • Selected CU, block data and starting position
  • Tooltips with spec reference

Color scheme support

  • BT601, BT709, BT2020

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