H.264 Bitstream Test Suite

We generate the test streams for YOUR decoders

H.264/MPEG-4 AVC is a new high efficiency video coding standard that has been chosen as a base technology for a variety of applications like mobile multimedia (3GPP, DMB, DVB-H,), SD and HD TV broadcast (DVB-S2) or home cinema (HD-DVD, Blu-ray Disc)
For survival in the fast growing market of H.264/AVC decoder products it is crucial to develop stable and correct implementations of this complex technology. Such high quality products require intense testing regarding all features of the video coding standard.
Fraunhofer HHI offers different sets of test bitstreams which can be used for testing H.264/AVC decoder chips or Set Top Boxes. For covering all different aspects of decoder testing, these streams are provided in the following categories:

  • low level syntax test bitstreams
  • high level syntax test bitstreams
  • typical broadcast bitstreams
  • stress test bitstreams
  • pathological test bitstreams for testing error resilience / error concealment

Testing Methods

H.264/MPEG-4 AVC specifies the complete decoding process with precise pixel values. So the output of a decoder under test can be directly compared with the output of a known correct reference decoder. For that purpose Fraunhofer HHI provides an independent decoder implementation that has been cross verified with the official JVT JM reference software. Automation of these tests is possible.
For testing bitstreams with errors the Fraunhofer HHI decoder defines a well documented minimum of error detection and concealment technologies. Implementation of better algorithms should be easy and are encouraged. For checking these decoder capabilities we recommend visual comparison of the decoder outputs.


ApplicationsMobile Phones, SD and HDTV Broadcast, DVD, D-Cinema etc.
Stream formatsH.264/AVC Annex B Byte stream
SoftwareReference decoder (Windows)
User interfaceCommand line, configuration files
Real-time capabilityNot intended
ProfilesBaseline, Main, High
Level2.0, 3.0, 4.0
Reference outputYUV 4:2:0 file or on-screen
CRC32 checksum
syntax element trace file
error log file

About Fraunhofer HHI

The Image Processing Department of Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI) is an internationally renowned competence centre for video processing, coding, and transmission. HHI has a leading role in international standardization activities for video coding (MPEG: Video Co-Chair, ITU-T: Associated Rapporteur, JVT: Co-chair). HHI exploits its R&D and standardization results as prototypes and demonstrators, which are presented to the public at various exhibitions and fairs on the one hand and as direct co-operations with various industries worldwide on the other hand.

Concerning the development of H.264/MPEG4-AVC, HHI was responsible for the integration of the official reference software and for editing the standard. Furthermore HHI contributed important parts to the technical specification (e.g. CABAC) and holds a number of patents.