What Format

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What Format? - Understanding Video Format


When you're producing a video for internet broadcast, you have to take into account more than just resolution and aspect ratio; you also have to choose a video file format and the accompanying compression used in that format, with the issue of compatibility thrown in for good measure!


Understanding Compression and Codecs

The key to all video file formats is the concept of ‘File Compression’ and the Codec’s that create and read them; That’s because raw, uncompressed video files are extremely large ; video information is quite complex and requires large amounts of storage. The video industry has adopted ‘codec’ file compression, which works to reduce the size of video files.


A codec is a device or computer program capable of encoding or decoding a digital data stream or signal. A codec encodes a data stream and decodes it for playback or editing. Each different codec works in different way to compress the files; Some produce video’s that are noticeably inferior to the original, while others create videos that look almost identical. The more efficient the codec, the smaller the resulting file.


The ‘Compressed File’ is the resulting file format. There are many different file formats which will vary in size and playback compatibility; Have you ever tried to play a video on your computer and a window pops up advising you that your codec does not support this file? The codec on your pc is all part of your ‘videocard’ package and they vary from PC to PC according to age and specification. A good fix to ‘play back’ compatibility on your computer is to download VLC Player – it’s a free, opensource program and recognizes all but a few of the codec compression files.


For more information on 'Formats' click here

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