Previous Page: Intraframe vs. Interframe Compression

Interframe Compression and You

Whether you know it or not, you are probably surrounded by interframe compression. If you watch DVDs, or have digital cable, or use one of those little Digital Satellite Systems (DSS), or have a MiniDV camcorder or use Tivo or another digital video recorder, you are using a type of interframe compression called MPEG-2.


Different methods of compressing and decompressing moving footage are called codecs which is short for code/decode. MPEG-2 is a staggeringly popular codec because it does a relatively good job compressing the type of video you’d get from any of the sources listed above. There are audio codecs as well. There’s one you may have heard of called MP3.

The newest widely-adopted intrerframe codec is H.264. It is slowly suppllanting other popular interframe codecs like Sorenson and Divx. Sorenson used to be the codec used to compress the movie trailers on the popular Apple Movie Trailer Page, but now the more flexible and efficient H.264 is uded. Divx is often used to recompress movie DVDs so that they will fit on standard CD-ROMs for more convenient viewing.

Blu-Ray Discs and HD-DVD can use several codecs including MPEG-2 and H.264.

Under the right conditions, interframe compression does a great job of significantly reducing file size.

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