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Saturday, January 03, 2009

MPEG vs H.264

1. A not so techie person like me knows MPEG as the extension of videos also known with the extension name of .mpg,.mpeg,.mp1.We have been seeing this name since the birth of CDs in late 90s(...i m speaking in Indian gali context,thats when this term evoluted to a common man ).

2. Any one who has followed up the term MPEG would know or would have heard names of various versions that followed MPEG1,MPEG2, MPEG3, MPEG4 and lately some thing known as H.264 comes up in the context of video compression technology.So this term aroused my interest to know in some detail about what has been the change and value addition over these various versions that keep following up every 2-3 years.

3. Moving Picture Experts Group(....expanded form MPEG) also known as  ISO/IEC JTC1/SC29 WG11 evoluted from MPEG 1 to H.264 2day.
4. MPEG 1 : The earliest standard for compression of video and audio was designed to compress VHS-quality raw digital video and CD audio.This included many severe shortcomings in form of a lower resolution,less efficient audio compression system,lack of flexibility,access control issues,unsuitable for HDTV,did not support interlaced footage.
5. MPEG-2 : Successor tO MPEG 1 Standard that describes a combination of lossy video compression and lossy audio data compression methods also permitted storage and transmission of movies using currently available storage media and transmission bandwidth.This overcame the shortcomings of MPEG-1 mentioned above.

6. MPEG-3 : A coding standard designed to handle HDTV signals but it was soon discovered that MPEG-2, at high data rates, would accommodate HDTV.Thus, in 1992 HDTV was included as a separate profile in the MPEG-2 standard and MPEG-3 was rolled into MPEG-2

7. MPEG-4 : About this I will give a point wise summary in days to come.In brief otherwise it absorbs many of the features of MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 and other related standards adding new features such as support for 3D rendering.MPEG-4 is still a developing standard and is divided into a number of parts. Companies promoting MPEG-4 compatibility do not always clearly state which "part" level compatibility they are referring to. 

8. The key parts to be aware of are MPEG-4 part 2 and MPEG-4 part 10 used by the Nero Digital AVC, by Quicktime 7, and by next-gen DVD formats like HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

9. Now comes the talk about H.264.In short H.264 is a standard for video compression, and is equivalent to MPEG-4 Part 10, or MPEG-4 AVC (for Advanced Video Coding). It uses motion-compensation-based codec standard.Now whats motion compensation?Will speak on this in few days after I get 2 know what it is?

10. Thanks wiki for sharing this.