MPEG4

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MoGhuine
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Joined: Dec 4 2001

I have been trying to get my head around all the streaming info out there. There is so much that I still dont know what it all means yet. But here is my (uninformed) question. Where does MPEG4 fit into streaming (if it does at all)? From my understanding this is a more compressed and therefore smaller (file size) format. Does this mean a better quality when streaming, assuming the codec is installed on the receivers player?
T.

dacquinh
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Joined: Nov 7 1999

Hello T.

MPEG-4, quite a lot has been written about it and quite a lot of misinformation has been posted hence a lot of confusion. MPEG-4 is not a codec, it's a full blown standard which defined a complete framework for streaming video.

To make this clear, MPEG-4 is object oriented, meaning that it defined a format (parent) which consists of several children objects. As an example imgine you want to stream a weather report, the parent object would be a container and this would hold severalother objects such as the speaker movie, the weather maps and drawings which will be keyed in the picture and even other objects (sound files or other videofiles (like commercials, watermarks....)

So MPEG-4 is defenitely not just a codec. Still it also defines a video and audio codec (so it is a complex standard). The codec is indeed mainly targeted at streaming and other home entertainment (like video-on-demand, interactive TV)and sure is good quality although it will probabaly be passed in quality and bandwidth by the proprietary codecs like Windows Media Video and Realvideo. Having a standard is nice, but the proprietary codecs allways push towards better and faster codecs, something a standard couldn't do, otherwise it wouldn't be a standard of course .

You can find a nice, yet technical and long, article on MPEG-4 at
http://mpeg.telecomitalialab.com/standards/mpeg-4/mpeg-4.htm

Typing MPEG-4 in google will give you a lot of results too.

Hope this helps

hendrik

MoGhuine
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Joined: Dec 4 2001

Thanks. That helps a lot. I had already read that article you linked but most of it went over my head. I have also downloaded Windows Media encoder and read some related articles but couldn't put it all together in a way that made sense to me. I at least have a basic understanding now and can start trying some things out.
Thanks again
T.