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Video Formats - Definitions


AVI – Audio Video Interleave

            AVI format was introduced by Microsoft in 1992. AVI contains audio and video that allows simultaneous playback.


MPG – MPG, or MPEG, stands for Moving Pictures Experts Group.

             It formed in 1988 and has grown to include 350 members. It has standardized many different formats of media, including:

-         MPEG-1 (the basic audio/video compression standard)

-         MPEG-2 (broadcast-quality for television and DVD discs.)

-         MPEG-3 (made for HDTV, but abandoned to MPEG-2)

-         MPEG-4 (expands on MPEG-1 for 3-D ‘objects’)

-         MPEG-7 (A standard for describing multimedia content)

-         MPEG-21 (called a ‘multimedia framework’)



RM/RA – Real Media, and Real Audio.

            Real Media is multimedia format created by the company RealNetworks. It is usually used together with the programs “RealVideo” and “RealAudio”. It is a popular system used in conjunction with streaming over the Internet.


ASF – Advanced Streaming Format

            Now known as “Advanced Systems Format”, is another Microsoft production, made specifically for streaming different types of media. The way ASF works is that any file can be encoded to play on most media players.

            These files can also include “metadata”, which displays things like the artist name, song name, etc.


IVF – Intel Video Technology

            These are files that are encoded using the Indeo codec originally developed by Intel. The codec is now being developed by Ligos.





VIV – Vivo Video

            An older format with bad quality by today’s standard, it was one of the first to be designed and used in conjunction with Internet Streaming. Development stopped in 1997, and it isn’t very compatible with most current browsers.


MOV - QuickTime Movie File Extension

            This is a video and animation system developed by Apple Computer. QuickTime is compatible with most other types of encoding and has superior audio/video quality and playback.


DivX - Trademark of DivXNetworks, Inc. (Now known simply as DivX, Inc.) DivX is a digital video compression format based on the MPEG-4 technology. DivX files can be downloaded over high-speed lines in a relatively short time without sacrificing the quality of the digital video.



The definitions from AVI to ASF were found and re-written from

The definitions from IVF to DivX were found and re-written from



Codec – “Compressor-Decompressor” or “Coder-Decoder”. Codices are programs used to read and play encoded audio and video files. They can encode stream and/or signal into a transmittable form, or decode for viewing and/or manipulation.


Frame-rate – Also known as frame-frequency is the measurement of how quickly an imaging device can produce unique images in a row, which are called frames.