What is AVI?
AVI stands for Audio Video Interleave. This is a container video
format that specifies certain structure how the audio and video
streams should be stored within the file. AVI itself doesn't specify
how it should be encoded (just like the streaming format ASF), so
the audio/video can be stored in very various ways. Most commonly
used video codecs that use AVI structure are M-JPEG and DivX. AVI
contains code called FourCC which tells what codec it is encoded
What is MPEG?
MPEG stands for 'Moving Pictures Experts Groups'. It is a group
working under the directives of the International Standards Organization
(ISO) and the International Electro-Technical Commission (IEC).
MPEG is a committee of experts from the audio, video and computer
industries developing an evolving series of standards for compression
of moving images.
MPEG-1 defines a framework for encoding moving video and audio,
significantly reducing the amount of storage with minimal perceived
difference (difference that humans can detect) in quality. MPEG-1
video compression method tries to use previous frame's information
in order to reduce the amount of information the current frame requires.
In addition, the audio encoding uses something called psychoacoustics
- compression removes the high and low frequencies a normal human
ear cannot hear.
MPEG-2 is not a successor to MPEG-1, but an addition instead - both
of these formats have their own purposes. MPEG-1 is a relatively
low-resolution format currently used in VCD and the World Wide Web
for short animated files. The MPEG-2 is a much higher resolution
format developed for digital television and used in DVD.
What is a VCD?
VCD stands for Video CD. A Video CD is a high-density optical storage
medium. It can store data typically up to 650Megs. Video and audio
are encoded using MPEG-1 format. Most of the stand-alone DVD players
and VCD players can play VCD.
VCD is still the most compatible format for video distribution.
Anybody with a DVD player, VCD player or computers with CD-ROM drive
(standard configuration) is able to play VCD. The video quality
is better than most other formats and is sufficient for average
home viewing. A VCD recording medium is very cheap and most widely
available. Due to small sizes, VCD videos are also well suited for
What is a DVD?
DVD stands for Digital Video Disc. A standard VCD records video
data in MPEG-1 format. On the other hand, a standard DVD records
video data in MPEG-2 format. A DVD player or a computer equipped
with a DVD drive is required to play DVDs. Almost all DVD players
also play VCDs.
A DVD is a very high-density optical storage medium. It is able
to hold significantly more data as compared to VCDs. A typical 2½-hour
movie requires two VCDs. The same movie requires only one DVD. Moreover,
the recorded movie itself has twice as better quality and resolution
as compared to VCDs. This is because a DVD movie records video data
in the MPEG-2 format.
DVDs are fast gaining popularity with its high-quality videos and
high-storage capability. However, DVD recording medium, DVD players
and DVD drives are still relatively expensive.
What is a SVCD?
SVCD stands for Super Video CD. SVCD is a successor to Video CD.
SVCD contains MPEG-2 video stream and MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 audio stream
recorded on a normal VCD recording medium. Most of the DVD players
can play SVCD discs.
An SVCD video quality is much better than VCDs and virtually the
same as DVDs. Since SVCD is still restricted to 650Megs of data,
the amount of discs required for a standard 2½-hour movie is more
than double as compared to VCDs
What Makes Up Video?
Video is made up of an electro-magnetic signal that that can travel
through electronic devices like cables, antennas, satellite dishes
and TVs. Sent from its source, video has a certain amount of information
in it that makes up the video picture. However, when that signal
travels through a sending device it can also pick up additional
information from other electro-magnetic sources. This is what is
called interference or static (for those of you who use bunny-ear
antennas on your TV, you know what I mean). What makes the difference
between Analog and DV video is the way the video signal is interpreted
on the sending and receiving ends of all that electro-magnetic communication.
Overview of Digital Video Formats
Digital video formats are always a trade-off between size and quality.
Maximum quality is only achieved by sampling at a high rate and
not compressing the data. Doing this with broadcast-quality video
requires about 20 MB/sec of digital data (or 1.2 GB/min). For most
purposes this is an impractical amount of data, so various compression
schemes are used to reduce the amount of data without noticeably
Video Formats: What should I use?
Many of us have heard of DVDs before -- but what are mini DVD, VCD,
or SVCD? The reason that you may want to consider these other formats
is because the costs of DVD burning and the space required over
These alternative formats provide a good economical solution for
distributing your movies on CD-R/RW discs that can be played on
computers and many home stand-alone DVD players. Video Convert Master
provides a solution to cut down the stored space, and a method of
burning 2 or more different videos into one disc.
For a complete guide on the advantages, required settings and playback
options of each format, please refer to the tables below.
The PAL Picture Standard
MPEG video is a standard for broadcasting and viewing on Digital
TV. These standards, called as the picture standards, differ from
country to country.
PAL (Phase Alternating Line) is a TV standard introduced in the
early 1960’s in Europe. PAL is used in most of the western European
countries (except France, where SECAM is used instead), Australia,
some countries of Africa, some countries of South America and in
some Asian countries.
The NTSC Picture Standard
NTSC (National Television System Committee) is a Color TV standard
developed in the U.S. in 1953. United States, Canada, Japan, most
of the American continent countries and various Asian countries
follow NTSC standards. Rest of the world uses either some variety
of PAL or SECAM standards.