Codec Central - Your one stop source of information 
	on multimedia codecs and technologies
Introduction | Choosing a Technology | Index of Codecs | Index of Architectures
In-Depth Articles | Sample Movies | Glossary of Digital Video Terms


General Information
MPEG-2 is a standard for broadcast-quality digitally encoded video. It offers outstanding image quality and resolution (somewhat better than laserdisk). MPEG-2 is the primary video standard for DVD-Video.

Playback of MPEG-2 video currently requires special hardware, which is built into all DVD-Video players, and most (but not all) DVD-ROM kits.

MPEG-2 was based on MPEG-1, but optimized for higher data rates. This allows for excellent quality at DVD rates (300-1000KBps), but tends to produce results inferior to MPEG-1 at lower rates. MPEG-2 is definitely not appropriate for use over network connections (except in very special, ultra-high-performances cases).
Architectures Supported
  • DirectShow
  • DVD-Video players
  • Some cable/satellite distribution systems
Pros, Cons & Tips
  • Excellent image quality

  • Very few people are currently capable of viewing MPEG-2
  • Licensing fees (typically US $0.04 - $0.40 per unit) are required to distribute MPEG-2 video.

Ideal source material Broadcast-quality video
Supported bit depths 24 bit
Compression time Very slow (software), realtime (hardware)
Temporal compression? Yes
Special features -
Encoder requirements Commercial encoder software and/or hardware
Decoder requirements MPEG-2 decoder hardware
Encoder availability Commercially available from several companies
Decoder availability built into all DVD-Video players, and most (but not all) DVD-ROM kits
Algorithm Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) with motion prediction
Based on MPEG-1
Manufacturer Many

If you have any comments or tips & tricks to share about MPEG-2, please contact us at

Product Info | Online Store | Codec Central | Tips & Info | Tech Support | Online Video
Register/Unlock | Links | Downloads | Media Relations | Resellers | Training | Home | Contact Terran | Search

This site Copyright 1995-98 Terran Interactive, Inc., makers of Media Cleaner Pro.