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MPEG Formats

Video is an essential component for DVD but it must first be compressed into the MPEG format to be useful. MPEG compression, or encoding, is the first half of a two-part process: MPEG files are first encoded from an original source video and then later must be decoded by either a software or hardware DVD player before they can be viewed.

The acronym MPEG stands for Moving Picture Experts Group, the committee that originally developed the format. Their first effort was MPEG-1, a format that provides decent video for some purposes (like Video CD), but with an appearance that is well below broadcast-video standards. MPEG-1 has a resolution of 352 x 240 pixels, with a picture quality roughly comparable to that of VHS videotape.


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