Codec Profiles

Further to note, within the newer codecs like H.264 there are multiple “profiles.” A profile for a codec is a set of features identified to meet certain sets of specifications of intended applications. There are over a dozen profiles within the H.264 codec family, so obviously some are better choices than others for video surveillance.

Codecs typically have been a decade or more in the making by standards committees before users begin to work on their individual flavor. Codecs are incredibly sophisticated and as such are created by consortiums (Motion Picture Experts Group and International Telecommunications Union) of the most prominent companies in the world, from the Microsoft’s to Intel’s. So when someone says they have the ultimate proprietary codec, they developed, think twice. Most likely it is just a “flavor” of something already in existence.

To clarify one potential misconception H.264 is also referred to as MPEG4 Part 10 by the Motion Picture Experts Group, which is part of the new advanced codec standards. This should not be confused with MPEG 4 Part 2, which most people associate with MPEG4, which is the older generation codec using the Huffman Algorithm.

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