What is H.264 - H264info.com
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What is H.264

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H.264 is a next-generation video compression format. H.264 is also known as MPEG-4 AVC. Developed for use in high definition systems such as HDTV, Blu-ray and HD DVD as well as low resolution portable devices such as Sony’s PSP and Apple’s iPod, H.264 offers better quality at lower file sizes than both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 ASP (DivX or XviD).

Apple has official adopted H.264 as the format for QuickTime. It is also one of the formats chosen to be supported by both high definition DVD standards, and is destined to be the future standard format for Blu-ray. Even AVCHD, the consumer format offered by the same people behind Blu-ray and for use in camcorders and Blu-ray recorders, uses H.264 as the main video format.

DivX Inc’s latest DivX version now also includes H.264 encoding and playback, including support for the MKV container and AAC audio. More information on Digital Digest’s DivX Codec software information page.

H.264 is sometimes referred (erroneously) as x264 – x264 is the name of a popular freeware encoder for the H.264 format. H.264 is also sometimes referred to as MP4, again this is technically incorrect. MP4 is a container format much like AVI or MKV and it can be used to “house” many different types of compression codecs, not just H.264. It is true though that MP4 is a very popular choice for the H.264 format. MP4 should not be confused with MPEG-4 video either.

For a more detailed description of H.264, please refer to Wikipedia.