Video Codec/Container


With none type of compression in video streaming, the community can’t transmit the uncooked information. Additionally, because of massive file sizes, storing information on restricted capability of disk drives is just not potential. That's why we have to use compression, particularly in video surveillance programs. Video compression removes redundant video information, in order that the video file may be transmitted or saved successfully. Video content material is encoded and decoded through the use of a video codec methodology, inside a container format, so the video high quality is just not degraded on the time of transferring over the community. We research the idea and a few various kinds of video codecs and video containers together with their variations.

What’s video codec?

A codec is a software program used to compress or decompress a digital media file for transmission over an information community. In truth, a pair of encoding and decoding algorithms that work collectively known as a video codec, in order that encoder makes use of these algorithms to successfully compress the dimensions of the video file, after which decoder decompress it when wanted. Some codecs embrace each of those parts and others embrace one in all them. Furthermore, codecs are divided into two classes: lossless and lossy codec. In lossless codec all the knowledge is saved within the authentic stream, so the video high quality is preserved. However, in lossy codec because of utilizing decrease information bandwidth and lacking a few of the authentic information to realize the perfect compression, the standard will likely be lowered.

There are totally different requirements of codec which use totally different applied sciences to encode and decode the video file associated to supposed software. Since video content material that’s compressed utilizing one customary can’t be decompressed with different customary, totally different implementation of video codecs are usually not appropriate with one another. As a result of, one algorithm can’t accurately decode the output from one other algorithm.

Nevertheless, implementing many alternative algorithms in the identical software program or {hardware} is feasible, so a number of codecs may be compressed. Using totally different strategies of compressing information results in variant bitrate, high quality and latency. The time it takes to compress, ship, decompress and show a file, referred to as latency.

How video compression might help video surveillance?

Video compression strategies use a codec to cut back or get rid of pointless recordsdata or frames from video recordsdata, with none vital degradation in ultimate video. This makes the video file smaller, so extra video may be saved on NVR onerous drives or recordsdata may be saved for longer intervals of time.

Resulting from massive capability of excessive decision video recordsdata, video compression is a priceless instrument when the surveillance system has storage and bandwidth limitation. It’s value mentioning that to realize desired picture high quality despite compression, the perfect steadiness of picture high quality and compression methodology ought to be discovered.

In IP video, encoding could be carried out by the IP digital camera encoder and the decoding is generally carried out on the pc or machine which is displaying the dwell video.

Compressing video results in file transferring over community with out vital delay, leading to excessive velocity information switch, which is particularly essential in cell viewing with a sensible cellphone in video surveillance.

Several types of video codec:

Much like a digital image digital camera, a community digital camera captures particular person photographs and compresses them right into a format. The digital camera captures and compresses particular person photographs per second (fps), after which makes them a steady movement of photographs over a community to a viewing station. At a body charge of about 16 fps and above, the viewer will understand full movement video. Since every particular person picture is an entire compressed picture, they are going to have the identical high quality, decided by the compression degree outlined for the community digital camera. So, Video compression is carried out routinely by surveillance digital camera and selecting the compression degree is a crucial problem to realize the perfect video high quality. Right here, we research a few of video compression strategies.


Movement JPEG (MJPEG) is a video codec the place every video subject (body) is individually compressed right into a JPEG picture. As JPEG is a compression methodology to compress the photographs, MJPEG is an algorithm to compress a number of frames of movies and ship them as particular person JPEG photographs. The ensuing high quality of movies is unbiased from the movement within the picture, so high quality is just not decreed when the video incorporates a number of motion.

Resulting from providing minimal latency in picture processing and sustaining picture high quality throughout transmission over low bandwidth availability, MJPEG remains to be a usable compression format despite being an outdated lossy codec.


MPEG, standing for Transferring Image Specialists Group, is among the largest households in video codec and the commonest video format. Its algorithms compress information into small bits that may be simply transmitted after which decompressed. Since a few of the information will likely be eliminated in MPEG, this methodology is a lossy compression, however this defect is mostly invisible to the human eye. The most typical varieties of MPEG embrace MPEG1 (used within the manufacturing of VCD and the obtain of some video clips), MPEG2 (used within the manufacturing of the DVD and likewise in a few of the HDTV and excessive demand video modifying), and MPEG4. MPEG4 transmits video and pictures over a slender bandwidth, which means that it brings the community bandwidth utilized by the surveillance system. Additionally, MPEG4 reduces the quantity of wanted storage and will increase the period of time that video may be saved, which make it helpful for video surveillance. However, MPEG4 can establish and cope with separate audio and video objects within the body, which permits particular person components to be compressed extra effectively. Right here, it could combine video with textual content, graphics and 2-D and 3-D animation layers.

Additionally it is essential to level out that, because of using video sequencing compression which transports solely the modifications within the sequence, MPEG makes use of much less community bandwidth and storage than MJPEG. Nevertheless, the standard typically decreased the place there a number of motion accessible in video, it’s a drawback of MPEG.


DivX as the favored MPEG4 based mostly codec developed by DivX, Inc., permits consumer to play and create top quality movies in a quick means and the highest quality. DivX can compress a DVD film to suit on a CD, and DivX HD can cut back an HD film to suit on a DVD.


It’s an open supply model of DivX, so movies which encoded by XviD may be decoded by all MPEG4 appropriate decoder. The XviD codec can compress a full size DVD high quality film to suit on a single CD, whereas authentic picture high quality remains to be saved. It’s used for compressing video information so as to facilitate video information transferring and storage enchancment on onerous disks.


H.264 is the latest and most effective compression methodology particularly in video surveillance. This expertise evaluates small teams of frames collectively as a collection to get rid of duplicate content material in every body with out altering. Low bandwidth utilization, lowered storage necessities, increased decision and higher high quality photographs encourage the safety surveillance functions to make use of H.264 codec.

Why H.264 video compression is beneficial in video surveillance?

To detect the prevalence of 1 compression format to a different, some elements ought to be considered comparable to bandwidth consumption, storage requirement, latency and picture high quality.

The favored video compression requirements are MJPEG, MPEG4, and H.264, whereas some options of H.264 make it extra widespread in video safety programs.

The H.264 video compression customary supplies roughly twice the compression of the earlier MPEG4 customary for a similar video high quality.

The bitrate is the entire variety of bits which transferred between two units. The bitrate of an IP digital camera straight impacts the utmost quantity of knowledge which might switch over community at any given time (bandwidth). If surveillance system makes use of extra bandwidth than accessible, video feeds will misplaced. So, by lowering the bitrate extra information may be transmitted and the transmission charge will likely be elevated. H.264 supplies low bitrate for discount in bandwidth utilization, 80% decrease than MJPEG video and 30-50% decrease than MPEG4. The decrease bitrate is required for safety functions which want quick body charge comparable to on line casino, visitors monitoring, object counting (comparable to autos, individuals), and many others.

However, in video surveillance system the utmost quantity of storage capability signifies what number of recorded days may be retained, so the quantity of required storage for recording needs to be thought-about. Low bitrate reduces the file sizes being saved, in order that utilizing H.264 will present 30-80% whole saving on space for storing in comparison with typical compression codecs. Subsequently, the preservation interval for recorded archive will likely be elevated.

Low latency is a requirement for video surveillance, as a result of photographs ought to seem in actual time in surveillance monitoring. H.264 supplies low latency, so this compression methodology is required in video surveillance. Additionally, picture high quality is a crucial issue for any video surveillance system together with financial savings in bandwidth and space for storing, so the environment friendly compression methodology ought to present excessive video decision. Excessive definition video encoding by H.264 permits the IP digital camera to seize particulars and supplies top quality photographs which makes it a perfect video codec for mission crucial video surveillance.

H.264 supplies strategies to create higher video encoders, leading to increased high quality video streams, increased body charge and better decision at decrease bit charge in contrast with different video codecs.

Technically, H.264 introduces a brand new and superior intra prediction scheme that may be a key a part of its effectivity in video surveillance. The brand new intra prediction is used to encode I-frames (the primary picture in a video sequence is at all times an I-frame) which drastically reduces the bit dimension of an I-frame and maintains top quality by way of sequential prediction of smaller blocks of pixels inside every macro block in a body.

Lowering information when there may be quite a lot of movement in a video is different essential think about video compression strategies. This wants strategies comparable to block based mostly movement compensation, which divides a body right into a collection or macro block. This system has been improved in H.264 encoder, confirming its effectivity in crowded surveillance scenes the place the top quality is demanded. Additionally a sure filter utilized in H.264, smoothes block edge utilizing an adaptive power to realize an nearly nice decompressed video.

Variations between H.264 and H.265:

H.265 or HEVC (Excessive Effectivity Video Coding) as the following technology of H.264, is a video compression customary which delivers video high quality equivalent to H.264 at solely half the bitrate, which means that the bandwidth utilization is split in half. Demand for higher compression, increased picture high quality and bandwidth saving results in H.264 transition to H.265 compression.

What’s video container (file) format?

Container format is a kind of file format that incorporates numerous kind of knowledge compressed by totally different codecs. Video container format incorporates numerous parts of a video such because the stream of photographs, the sound, and anything.

There are various kinds of video file format that are described on this part briefly.

AVI format (.avi):

AVI which stands for Audio Video Interleaved, as a multimedia container format shops information that may be encoded in quite a lot of totally different codecs and might comprise each audio and video information. The potential of selecting codec for AVI container, can get the excessive charge compression as a bonus of AVI format. Nevertheless, as a drawback, if AVI recordsdata compress underneath sure limits, the video high quality will likely be misplaced.

MP4 format (.mp4):

The MP4 container makes use of MPEG4 or H.264 for video encoding, in addition to AAC for audio compression. It’s broadly supported on most client units, and the commonest container used for audio and visible streams on-line.

MKV format (.mkv):

MKV is a container that helps any audio or video format, so it is among the finest container to retailer audio and video recordsdata. Additionally it helps error restoration property, which means that taking part in again corrupt recordsdata is possible. Right here, MKV is an adaptable and environment friendly container that has rapidly change into top-of-the-line containers at the moment accessible.

WMV format (.wmv):

WMV stands for Home windows Media Video and these recordsdata typically comprise Home windows Media Video and Home windows Media Audio. WMV incorporates recordsdata which assist digital rights administration, stopping customers from copying the knowledge. The benefit of this format is that it could compress massive video recordsdata by retaining significantly top quality.

Flash video format (.flv, .swf):

FLV is a file format utilized by Adobe Flash Participant to retailer and ship synchronized audio and video streams over the Web. The benefit of this format is its small dimension, so it may be simply seen or downloaded. There are two totally different video file codecs often called Flash Video: FLV and F4V. The latest FLV file codecs can assist H.264 video encoding and AAC audio coding.

ASF format (.asf):

The Superior System Format (ASF) was beforehand often called superior streaming format or lively streaming format designed primarily to retailer and play digital media streams and transmit them over networks, so it helps information switch over a variety of networks and protocols. ASF recordsdata assist playback from digital media serves, HTTP servers, and storage units. It’s not OS dependent.

One of many benefit of ASF format is that taking part in the video is possible earlier than it’s streamed to the tip, permitting the consumer to playback and think about the file when a certain quantity of bytes has been downloaded and the file continues to obtain whereas watching, which makes it ideally suited for web use. (For instance like YouTube)

Though ASF doesn’t outline how the video or audio ought to be encoded with the codec, it defines the construction of the video and audio stream. ASF container typically incorporates Home windows Media Audio (WMA) and Home windows Media Video (WMV) recordsdata which may be compressed through the use of a wide range of video codecs. Nevertheless, the perfect compression is achieved by the Microsoft Home windows Media Audio codec. Additionally ASF file can comprise any information kind like textual content streams, script command, internet web page, title album (for sound observe) along with video and audio stream sorts.

The drawback of ASF format is that since it’s designed primarily for streaming capabilities, the utmost decision is small at 352×288.

This format has been changed by WMA and WMV recordsdata.

Variations between video codec and video container format:

Codecs and containers usually are not equal. Video file format defines how the information is saved together with the audio and video information. It doesn’t outline the compression methodology of knowledge, whereas codec encoding encoding and decoding the video and audio streams in a video file. In different phrases, information that has been compressed through the use of a selected codec is situated contained in the container. Good container codecs can deal with recordsdata compressed by a wide range of totally different codecs. Generally container and codec have the identical identify, for instance, a file format comparable to Home windows Media Audio (WMA) incorporates information that’s compressed through the use of the Home windows Media Audio codec. Nevertheless, a file format comparable to Audio Video Interleaved (AVI) can comprise information that’s compressed by any of quite a lot of totally different codecs, together with MPEG-2, DivX, or XviD codecs.


Surveillance programs ought to be designed across the accessible storage capability or bandwidth permission. Lowering the storage requirement and having the ability to decrease the bitrate whereas sustaining excessive decision are the essential points for these programs. Video compression strategies permits encoding video streams to transmit over the community and decoding the streams to view with out vital degradation in high quality. Video compression is applied by eradicating pointless elements of the image and lowering the colour decision.

In contrast to totally different video codecs, Movement JPEG supplies good compression charge and high quality, however H.264 presents a priceless step ahead in video compression expertise because of extra correct prediction capabilities. H.264 is now probably the most widespread compression methodology in community digital camera because of vital enhancements in coding effectivity, latency, complexity and robustness. It delivers a median bit charge discount of 50% in comparison with older video codec requirements, which means that increased high quality is achieved on the maintained bitrate or conversely, the identical high quality video at a decrease bitrate.

However, the market want for higher picture high quality, increased body charges and better resolutions with minimized bandwidth consumption results in the appearance of H.265 as the following technology of H.264. It achieves increased decision at solely the half of H.264 bitrate, leading to bandwidth saving.

Lastly, it ought to level out that immediately video community merchandise which assist a number of compression format particularly H.264 and H.265 are ideally suited to realize most flexibility and effectivity.

You May Also Like

About the Author: manager

Wondering How To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing?
Discover MY B.F.F Formula to make $10K Per Month As An Affiliate, Sign Up My 14 Days Affiliate Bootcamp FREE Today!