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MPEG: A standard for encoding digital video that uses lossy compression. Several generations have been produced, each a bit better than the next.

  • MPEG-2: MPEG-2 became the standard for encoding video for DVD and therefore became ubiquitous. It is the primary compression system for HDV formatted digital video. Rarely utilized as an audio-only format. [Video]
  • MPEG-4: More efficient than MPEG-2, MPEG-4 compression generates higher quality video contained in smaller data file sizes.  Traditionally, MPEG-4 compression was utilized for lower quality Internet transmission of video, however, developments such as the H.264/AVC standard have enabled high bitrate and therefore extremely high-quality digital video and is being deployed by consumer and professional cameras as well for eventual access mediums such as Blu-ray Discs, downloadable video, as well as Internet streaming.

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