CHAPTER 3 Fundamentals of Compression

This chapter is about the fundamental techniques used to get from uncompressed digital video and audio to compressed video and audio. There’s a lot of math implied in this chapter, but I’ll keep the equations to a minimum and describe what they mean for the more narratively inclined. While it’s not essential to master every detail of how codecs work, a working knowledge of what’s happening under the hood helps you understand the results you’re getting, spot problem areas, and plan strategies for overcoming challenges.

Even if you skip this chapter the first time around, you might want to try again when while you’re waiting for that big encode to finish.

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