About This Section

Graphic from – a good overview of which technology that is used for what:


MPEG Comparison


  • MPEG-1
  • Approved November 1991
  • VHS-quality
  • Enabled Video CD
  • Enabled CD-ROM
  • Enabled mp3 audio



  • (In this case/context, before Part 10 existed, MPEG-4 refer to the first generation of standards.)
    • MPEG-4 Part 2, a.k.a MPEG-4 Visual
  • Approved October 1998
  • Scalable quality
  • Based on QuickTime File Format
  • Scalable delivery — from cell phones to satellite TV.

(The three sections above were the ones ever existed at The below were added once moved onto a CMS.)

( Motion JPEG, M-JPEG, MJPEG )

NOTE: Not part of ‘MPEG’ family of standards. Only mentioning it here as kind-of similar names and sometime can be intermixed in articles that are less clear of the differences in standards.



H.264, AVC, MPEG-4 Part 10

H.265, HEVC, MPEG-H Part 2

Other Sections

  • Technical (MPEG) (/mlabs/video/mpeg/technical/)
  • /mlabs/video/videores1908/ for one analysis into variants of media files, one MPEG-H/H.265/HEVC plus variants of MPEG-4:
    • H.265 /HEVC, from Apple iPhone
    • H.264 / AVC, as format of file when ‘sent’ via email (i.e. uploaded to Apple iCloud, made available for download by recipients of email)
    • ‘MPEG-4’ (1998) / MPEG-4 Visual, by own specific conversion (test)


Older Material, before H.264, H.265


MPEG-1 Low quality, movie fits onto a CD (VCD; up to 800MB) 352×240 NTSC
352×288 PAL/SECAM
MPEG-2 Broadcast quality, DVD Video that you can buy;
satellite, over-the-air [digital] broadcasts, …
NTSC, 29.97 fps
720×480 (Full D1)
352×480 (Half D1)
PAL/SECAM, 25fps
720×576 (Full D1)
352×576 (Half D1)
MPEG-2 PS (program stream) – as used on DVDs (VOB) and HD DVD (EVO)
MPEG2 TS (transport stream) – used in DVB and ATSC.
MPEG-4 Much better than any earlier – better quality and smaller files.



A Few Selected Resolutions

Some resolutions of more interest in regard to viewing media on television sets, and computer monitors as comparison.

Pixels Name Aspect
2048×1536 QXGA 1.33/4:3
HD TV 1920×1080 HD 1080 1.78/16:9
1600×1200 UXGA 1.33/4:3
1400×1050 SXGA+ 1.33/4:3
1280×1024 SXGA 1.25/5:4
HD TV 1280×720 HD 720 1.78/16:9
1152×864 XGA+ 1.33/4:3
1024×768 XGA 1.33/4:3
800×600 SVGA 1.33/4:3
video 768×576 PAL
video 720×480 NTSC,
Full D1
1.5/3:2 Yes Yes Typical format for modern widescreen DVDs you buy.
video 704×480 1.47/ Yes Yes (Cropped Full D1)
640×480 VGA 1.33/4:3 common format for video on digital cameras (still; not video)
video 544×488 3/4 D1 1.13/ ? Yes
video 480×480 2/3 D1 1/1:1 ? Yes Some TiVo recordings (e.g. from 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009)
video 352×480 1/2 D1 0.73/11:15 Yes Yes Some TiVo recordings (e.g. a Simpsons fr 2007)
video 288×240 1.2/6:5 1) 1) practical test Jan’09 – did work, from Mac (w Desktop 1.94); but NOT via PC (Desktop 2.6.2(?)). A media that was MPEG-1 and transformed to MPEG-2 (PS) via VLC. Note: ended up w/ 25 fps and that could be the problem with Desktop on Windows. Did however play decently on the TiVo.


A video resolution standard. In the NTSC system, “Full D1” means 720×480 pixels, and in the PAL and SECAM systems full D1 is 720×576. You also see “cropped D1”, which is 704xNN, which is useful because the 8 pixels on either edge of the video frame aren’t supposed to contain useful information. Therefore, some programs will prefer the cropped D1 resolution to save bandwidth. Other popular resolutions are often described in terms of D1: the SVCD resolution is 2/3 D1 (480xNN) and 352xNN is 1/2 D1. Occasionally you see SIF somewhat inaccurately described as 1/4 D1. videographica

TiVo MPEG-2 (Series 2, as well as Series 3)

See also main area for TiVo and specifically MPEG-2 Video. MPEG-2 encodings that works on TiVo DVRs (MPEG-4 is NOT supported on Series 2’s):

  • 720 x 480,
  • 704 x 480 (D1),
  • 544 x 480 (3/4 D1),
  • 480 x 480 (2/3 D1), or
  • 352 x 480 (1/2 D1).

“The higher the resolution, the better the video quality and the larger the resulting file,
which means longer transfer time and more disk usage on your PC and DVR.”

Bit Rate
  • 1 – 8 Mbps.

“The higher the bit rate, the better the video quality and the larger the resulting file.
4 Mbps is recommended for high-quality video.”

Frame Rate
  • 29.97 (standard NTSC). Do not try any different frame rates.
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3 (recommended), or
  • 16:9
  • MPEG-1 Layer 2 for TiVo DVRs without DVD;
  • AC/3 (Dolby) for TiVo DVRs with DVD. (E.g. Toshiba SD-H400)
    (J&P: AC-3, also known as Dolby Digital, up to 6 channels, e.g. Dolby Digital 5.1)



A technology from Microsoft competing with MPEG-2 and MPEG-4, used in TiVo Series 3 (including HD variants), Netflix, etc.

Technical overview –