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Video Formats

Comparison Chart

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_container_formats. Library of Congress has a site focused on the sustainability of formats at http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/formats/fdd/video_fdd.shtml. Also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_video_codecs.

Compression Formats

Dirac

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirac_%28codec%29
http://diracvideo.org/

Format used by the BBC

H.263

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.263

H.264

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.264/MPEG-4_AVC

This compression format appears to have the most support behind it right now including possibly being the main HTML5 video format. This compression format is patented but currently no royalties are charged for 'free to end users' applications. If we choose this format, we could be stuck with having to license and pay royalties for distributing our H.264 content (after 2016 according to http://www.mpegla.com/Lists/MPEG%20LA%20News%20List/Attachments/226/n-10-02-02.pdf).

MPEG-4 Part2

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MPEG-4_Part_2

Also referred to as MP4.

RealVideo

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RealVideo

Sorenson

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorenson_codec
http://www.sorensonmedia.com/

Used in Flash and Quicktime.

Theora

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theora
http://theora.org/

Was in the running for HTML5 video format.

VC-1

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VC-1

Microsoft developed format used in Windows Media

VP6

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VP6
http://www.on2.com/565.html

VP8

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VP8
http://www.webmproject.org/media/pdf/vp8_bitstream.pdf

Used in the new Google-backed WebM format.

Containers

3GPP

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3GP

Built for cell phones

ASF

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Systems_Format
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd757562%28VS.85%29.aspx

Microsoft format usually streamed using MMS

AVI

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_Video_Interleave
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms779636.aspx

Is this format streamable?

FLV

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_Video
http://www.adobe.com/devnet/f4v.html

Adobe Flash format usually streamed using RTMP.

Matroska

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matroska
http://www.matroska.org/

MPEG-TS

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MPEG_transport_stream

Used in Live HTTP Streaming.

MP4

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MPEG-4_Part_14

Ogg / OGM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogg
http://www.xiph.org/ogg/

This format is patent-free.

Quicktime

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QuickTime_File_Format

Similar to MP4.

RealMedia Variable Bitrate (RMVB)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMVB

WebM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WebM
http://www.webmproject.org/code/specs/container/

Based on a Matroska profile.

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