How H.264 different from MPEG4

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How H.264 different from MPEG4

Post: # 1592Post admin
Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:29 am

Hi, I start this article by informing everyone that I am not an engineer or computer expert, however I happen to know a few of them and they happen to work a few feet away from me! So with that said, I would like to make a few points about h.264 vs mpeg4 as it concerns the Video Surveillance Industry and its' importance.

Just a quick note, if you want the laymen's version of this article, just skip to the bottom, and yes PCSurveillance will soon be able to offer our PC based DVR Systems with h.264 in the near future! First a quick overview of the two formats:

• MPEG-4 is a standard used to compress audio and visual data. The MPEG-4 standard is generally used for streaming media and CD distribution, video conversation, and broadcast television. MPEG-4 incorporates many features of MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and other related standards.

• MPEG-4 is able to crunch massive video files into small pieces that are able to be sent over a wireless network.

• Perhaps more important are the interactive features that MPEG-4 offers. It allows the video to function almost like a Web page, but still allowing people to interact with the picture on the screen or to manipulate individual elements in real time.

• MPEG-4 also allows other types of content to be bundled into a file, such as video or images. These files require special software to play.

• MPEG-4 allows the interactivity of video which may opens potential to do far more than just point and click at links on the screen. Individual elements of the video like characters, a sporting event, a space ship in a science-fiction epic can exist in a separate layer from the rest of the video. This allows viewers to interact with these elements somehow, even changing the direction of the story.

• Also known as MPEG-4 Part 10 or AVC (for Advanced Video Coding).

• Is becoming the new standard for format convergence in the digital video industry regardless of the video playback platform. Big Internet players like Google/YouTube, Adobe, and Apple iTunes have all backed this cross-platform.

• H.264 standard is jointly maintained with MPEG so that they have identical technical content.

• The intention behind H.264/AVC project was to provide good video quality at substantially lower bit rates than previous standards. An additional goal was to provide enough flexibility to allow the standard to be applied to a wide variety of applications on a wide variety of networks and systems.

• H.264/AVC/MPEG-4 Part 10 contains multi-picture/inter-picture prediction including features like using previously-encoded pictures as a reference in a more flexible way than in past standards, in some instances allowing up to 32 picture references.

• H.264 provides flexible interlaced-scan video coding features, allowing 16×16 macroblocks in field mode compared with 16×8 half-macroblocks in MPEG-2. An enhanced lossless macroblock representation mode allowing perfect representation of specific regions while ordinarily using substantially fewer bits than the PCM mode. Picture-adaptive frame-field coding, allows a freely-selected mixture of pictures coded as MBAFF frames with pictures coded as individual single fields (half frames) of interlaced video.

• H.264 is more attractive for video network delivery and for delivery of HD, high definition video.

• H.264 or AVC is an open format with published specification and is available for anyone to implement.

Let me now interpret this for you: h.264 can compress files into smaller pieces than mpeg4, allowing for more video storage ability using h.264 without increased hard drive space. Next time you need the answer to a complicated question, just skip to the bottom of the article!

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