AfterDawn: Glossary

MPEG-2


A video standard developed by MPEG group. MPEG-2 is not a successor for MPEG-1, but an addition instead -- both of these formats have their own purposes in life; MPEG-1 is meant for medium-bandwidth usage and MPEG-2 is meant for high-bandwidth/broadband usage. Most commonly MPEG-2 is used in digital TVs, DVD-Videos and in SVCDs. Some Blu-ray films have MPEG-2 transfers but not many as there are better lossy compression formats such as VC-1 or MPEG-4 AVC.

All DVDs are distributed with video in MPEG-2 format, regardless of whether it is PAL or NTSC. Common DVD players are built upon this standard however more and more common are players that can read a multitude of formats.

MPEG-2 is also known by its international standard number, ISO 13818.

MPEG-2 has 7 distinct parts as well. The first part is the Systems section which defines the container format and the Transport Streams that are designed to carry the digital video and audio over ATSC and DVB. The Program Stream defines the container format for lossy compression on optical disks, DVDs and SVCDs.

The second part is the Video section which provides support for Interlaced video and is the format better optimized for bitrates of over 3 mbits.

Part 3 pertains to the audio standard allowing more than 2 channels per encoding.

The final part has to do with MPEG-2 AAC. AAC is more efficient in compression and better audio quality as well.

The maximum bitrate available for MPEG-2 streams are 10.08 Mbit/s and the minimum are 300 kbit/s.

Resolutions that video streams can use, are:

720x480 (NTSC, only with MPEG-2)
720x576 (PAL, only with MPEG-2)
704x480 (NTSC, only with MPEG-2)
704x576 (PAL, only with MPEG-2)
352x480 (NTSC, MPEG-2 & MPEG-1)
352x576 (PAL, MPEG-2 & MPEG-1)
352x240 (NTSC, MPEG-2 & MPEG-1)
352x288 (PAL, MPEG-2 & MPEG-1)

Related Guides


How to Play MPG and MPEG files-
After the number one question of "how do i play AVI files?", how to play MPG or MPEG files is probably the second most sought information by newbies to digital video. In this short article, we try to address this question as well as we possibly can.

Digital Video Fundamentals - MPEG-2 Encoding-
As of the publication of this guide, MPEG-2 is hands down the most commercially successful digital video encoding format. It's inclusion in DVD and digital television, and even a small role in HD DVD and Blu-Ray, have made it the standard against which other video formats are judged.

Here are other related guides for authoring DVDs:
Basic DVD Authoring Project Part 1 - Introduction
Basic DVD Authoring Project Part 2 - Analysis
Basic DVD Authoring Project Part 3 - Prepare Audio Assets
Basic DVD Authoring Project Part 4a - Prepare NTSC Video
Basic DVD Authoring Project Part 4b - Prepare PAL Video
Basic DVD Authoring Project 5 - Calculate Video Bitrates
Basic DVD Project Part 6 - Encode Video Assets With CCE Basic
Basic TMPGEnc DVD Author Guide
Advanced TMPGEnc DVD Author Guide

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