Chapter One. Understanding Video and Audio

Video compression is one of the linchpins of the production world. It is the quiet savior (and killer) of projects every day and is a process that, if done correctly, goes unnoticed. When was the last time you watched a TV show and marveled at how great the compression was? Bad compression, by contrast, is unmistakable and can render almost any video unwatchable.

The primary function of video compression is fairly straightforward: to conform the video to the desired delivery method, whether TV, DVD, the Internet, your iPod, or your cell phone. The difficulty is trying to work within the technical specifications required and the limitations of the delivery medium to provide an audiovisual experience that’s ...

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