Video File Compression Codecs

Video Production Oakville – The Captain’s Blog

Video File Compression Codecs

Howdy everyone … it’s John Secondi here’s a continuation of our “Captain’s Blog” regarding Common Video File Formats from earlier this week.

When it comes to your video production, there are many different video compression codecs that are helpful to understand. Each of these compression codecs has a specific purpose with relation to the video file format used.

What is a video codec?

It is a contraction of ‘encoder’ and ‘decoder’. Video encoders convert raw (uncompressed) digital video data into a compressed form used for storage or transmission. Video decoders extract the same video files to convert them into viewable and uncompressed files.

While there are actually dozens of different codecs you can use, here are the most popular “codecs”: FFMpeg, DivX, XviD, and x264:

MPEG (Motion Picture Experts Group)

MPEG is the most common video format compressed using MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG4.

MPEG-1 is used in the production of VCD and is compressed using the MPEG-1 format or .DAT file format. Typical MPEG-1 compression takes a 120-minute film and compresses it to about 1.2 GB.
MPEG-2 is used in the production of DVD or VOB file formats used in HDTV and high demand video editing. Typical MPEG-1 compression takes a 120-minute film and compresses it to about 4GB – 8GB.
MPEG-4 is a newer compression algorithm that compresses a 120 minute film to about 300MB. This compression is used by many encoding formats, such as ASF, DivX, Xvid and MP4.


DivX video encoding technology works with certain types of MPEG-4 files and was often used in the pre-HD era. Most DivX videos use the AVI file extension.


XviD is open source and is a version of DivX which is popular for those duplicating or copying videos. In general, as long as you install the Xvid decoder, your machine will be able to play all DivX media files. Most use Xvid encoded files to avi extension.

x264 (H.264)

This codec is a block codec that looks for differences in blocks of video as it encodes and plays back. It is commonly used for “online streaming” of video content or where you need to maximize your network speed.

When you need a helping hand with your video production and editing here in Oakville, give Groovy Concepts a call. We have the experience to do it right.

We. Are. Video Production. Oakville.

#groovyconcepts #videoproductionoakville

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