Confused about video formats and codecs: WMV, AVI, MPG, MOV

Posted on 2005-04-22
Last Modified: 2010-07-12
I'm quite confused with different terms in digital video. (50 points each)

1. When I capture video from digital videocamera to editing program (such as premiere) is it MPEG-2, MPEG-4 or what? I know that much that MPEG-2 is for Video-DVD:s.

2. Is MPEG the only "real digital" videoformat and WMV, AVI, MOV etc. are different methods to compress video even more?

3. DivX is hacked from wmv-codec and the XviD is the free version? What are the main  differences to wmv-codec?

4. If I compress video with Divx or XviD codec does the file always have the same extension? Why, if it doesn't?

5. Often when I try to read about these things I see the term "container". What is a container?

6. Anything else I should know about basic things in digital videoformats?
Question by:hafka
    LVL 3

    Accepted Solution

    1.  Premier captures in uncompressed AVI, you must then edit and covert it to the format you need.

    2.  MPEG, WMV, AVI, and MOV are all compressed video.  If by real digital you mean uncompressed, then uncompressed AVI is the common one.

    3.  DivX isn't hacked, XviD is a hacked version of DivX.  DivX is more widely supported than XviD, although XviD usually creates a smaller file size at similar quality if you can get it to work.  WMV is the least buggy and is obviously widely supproted.

    Not sure I understand the point of the remaining questions, I will do some reseach and get back to you.
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    4.  To the best of my knowledge, bot DivX and XviD will always be compressed AVI files (name.avi).
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    5.  Basically the container is the file format or extention of the file.  Like I described above both XviD and DivX are ouput to the .avi file extension but they are different codecs, in this case AVI is the container but xvid and divx are the codecs.
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    6.  All depends on what you are doing, we could fill up the entire EE server with advise on video.  What are you trying to accomplish?

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