6   Video Compression

Once you get past a few hundred kilobits-per-second, it's possible to deliver pretty good quality video and sound.

—Vinton Cerf

Video signals used in IPTV and Internet Video are almost always compressed. Compression means reducing the number of bits required to represent the video image. This is an important topic, because choosing a suitable compression method can sometimes mean the difference between the success and failure of a video networking project.

In this chapter, we will begin by examining the reasons for compression and look at some of the factors that determine what form of compression is suitable for an application. Then, we will examine MPEG video compression, since it is one of the most popular technologies ...

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