What are the main video compression standards?
There are three main video compression standards in use today:
- Motion JPEG
- MPEG-4 Part 2 (also referred to simply as MPEG-4 in some references)
- H.264 (also known as MPEG-4 Part 10/AVC)
Each standard employs different techniques to reduce the amount of data transferred and stored in a network video system. H.264 is the latest standard that is expected to become the video standard of choice in the coming years. Without compromising image quality, H.264 can reduce bandwidth and storage requirements by more than 80 percent compared with Motion JPEG and as much as 50 percent more than with the MPEG-4 Part 2 standard. H.264 and MPEG-4 Part 2 are licensed technologies, so if a network video product supports those standards, be sure to find out if the license fee is already included in the product’s purchase price. H.264 and MPEG-4 Part 2 provide support for synchronized audio, while Motion JPEG does not. Motion JPEG is an unlicensed technology.
Motion JPEG is a mature technology relying on the JPEG image specification to send a stream of images over the network that are compressed. M-JPEG is an intraframe-only compression scheme (compared with the more computationally intensive technique of interframe prediction). Whereas modern interframe video formats, such as MPEG1, MPEG2 and H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, achieve real-world compression-ratios of 1:50 or better, M-JPEG’s lack of interframe prediction limits its efficiency to 1:20 or lower, depending on the tolerance to spatial artifacting in the compressed output. Because frames are compressed independently of one another, M-JPEG imposes lower processing and memory requirements on hardware devices.
MPEG-4 Part 2
MPEG-4 is a technology
H.264 is becoming the most commonly used compression technique for sending images across a network as it has the smallest footprint yet still maintains image quality.