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A video codec is a device or software that enables video compression and or decompression for digital video. ITU-T H.264/MPEG Advanced Video Coding (commonly referred as H.264/AVC) is the newest entry in the series of international video coding standards. This standard improved coding efficiency by a factor of at least about two (on average) over MPEG-2- the most widely used video coding standard today – while keeping the cost within an acceptable range H.264 is becoming the worldwide digital video standard for consumer electronics and personal computers.
In particular, H.264 has already been selected as a key compression scheme (codec) for the next generation of optical disc formats, HD-DVD and Blu-ray disc. The main objective of the emerging H.264 standard is to provide a means to achieve substantially higher video quality as compared to what can be achieved using any of the existing video coding standards.
This report provides an overview of key concepts in video coding and describes the compression standards.