Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between MPEG and MPEG4


MPEG, which stands for Moving Pictures Expert Group and named after the working group, is a set of compression technologies for video and audio that has played a major role throughout the history of digital video recording and playback. Although most people think of MPEG as a single standard, it is actually composed of multiple parts that are used for different purposes. One part of MPEG is the now very popular MPEG4 compression algorithms.

As MPEG4 moved to the forefront, many people are asking how it differs from the initial MPEG standard, now more accurately referred to as MPEG1. While the original MPEG compression was used in video CDs, the significantly improved MPEG4 is used in DVDs and even Bluray discs. The result of MPEG encoded VCDs is pretty inferior to MPEG4 encoded DVDs as the former is limited to an effective bit rate of 1.5Mbps to fit the available media at the time.

Another area where MPEG4 has seen prominent use is in portable devices like personal music and video players, smartphones, and with tablets like the iPad and Galaxy Tab. This is because MPEG4 is capable of compressing videos with very minimal loss in quality. This is very desirable with portable devices because even though the memory capacities of these devices have been constantly increasing over the years, it is never a bad thing for the media to be smaller as it would mean more can be stored with a given capacity.

Technically, MPEG and MPEG4 would basically produce close to identical results as long as size is not an issue. But in the real world, this is not the case as storage space is always limited and hardware can only process so much data. Also with our devices doing more at the same time, a decoding algorithm that takes up too much processing power is detrimental even to the device that is attempting to play it. At the meantime, MPEG4 provides the best combination of quality and size.


1.MPEG4 is just one part of the larger MPEG specification
2.MPEG4 is used in DVDs while MPEG was initially used with CDs
3.MPEG4 is better for portable media devices than MPEG

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