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H.264 (MPEG-4 AVC)

Contributor(s): Molly Ruggles

H.264, also known as MPEG-4 AVC (Advanced Video Coding), is a video compression standard that offers significantly greater compression than its predecessors.

The standard offers up to twice the compression of MPEG-4 ASP (Advanced Simple Profile). In addition to improvements in perceptual quality, the H.264 standard can provide DVD-quality video at under 1 Mbps.

The enhanced compression and perceptual quality of H.264 are obtained by motion estimation, which minimizes temporal redundancies; intra estimation, which minimizes spatial redundancies; transformation of motion estimation and intra estimation into the frequency domain; reduction of compression artifacts; and entropy coding, which assigns a smaller number of bits to frequently encountered symbols and a larger number of bits to infrequently encountered symbols.

This was last updated in September 2005

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