Encoding Standards Applications
Codec Goal Quality / Bit rates Comments
MPEG -1
International Standard
(1992)
Achieving plausible video and audio recording and transmission at approx. 1.5Mbps for VideoCD at CIF standard. VHS quality at 1.5Mbps.
Typical resolution CIF.
Nearly every computer supports MPEG-1 files.
Typically used for lower resolution video, but can be used for any resolution. Progressive only.
MPEG-2
International Standard
(1994)
High bit rate and broader generic applications, including TV, Broadcast, VOD, consumer electronics, including coding of interlaced video and HDTV. High quality, typically full D1 resolution (MPEG-2 is used for Broadcasting and DVD) at 6-8 Mbps. Application: Digital TV, HDTV, DVD, digital cable, satellite and terrestrial broadcast.
MPEG-4
Part 2 Visual H.263
(1998)
Covers very low bit-rate applications. In addition to video coding, Includes generic multimedia framework for animation, textures, 3D meshes. DVD quality at 4 Mbps.
VCR quality at 2 Mbps.
Provides 1.5 times better compression as compared to MPEG-2 standard, given the similar video quality level.
Application: Digital television; Interactive graphics applications (synthetic content);
Interactive multimedia (World Wide Web, distribution of and access to content).
MPEG-4
Part 10 H.264
(2003)
All video requirements from High quality HDTV to low bit rate for cellular networks and a myriad of solutions from security to IPTV. DVD quality at 2-3 Mbps.
VCR quality at 1-1.5 Mbps
Provides 2.5-4 times better compression as compared to MPEG-2 standard, given the similar video quality level.
The most advanced standard with fidelity extension ranges approved in April 2004 as the new High Definition TV Standard. New extensions allow for advanced broadcasting and video editing. Open standard adopted by all major industry participants (Intel, Microsoft, Apple, Cisco, Motorola, IBM...)
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