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Compression for Great Video and Audio, 2nd Edition by Ben Waggoner

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CHAPTER 12 MPEG-4 part 2 Video Codec

This chapter is about the original MPEG-4 part 2 video codec (also known as just “MPEG-4,” “DivX,” “Xvid,” or “ASP”). The MPEG-4 part 10 codec (better known as H.264) is covered in Chapter 14. As influential as MPEG-4 has been as a format, we have to admit that its first attempt at a video codec was something of a failure, something of a speed bump between the towering successes of MPEG-2 and H.264. So, what happened?

In the end, I’d suggest it was a mix of technical limitations and timing. On the technical side, part 2 simply wasn’t enough of an improvement over MPEG-2 to justify the switching costs. While software players on a PC are easy to update, replacing hundreds of millions of cable boxes and other ...

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