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Difference Between Xvid and H.264

xvid_logoXvid vs H.264

The proliferation of hand-held devices that are capable of playing videos also spurred on the development of lossy video codecs that operates on a trade-off between file size and quality. Xvid is an open source codec that is an offshoot of the DivX codec. H.264 is the most recent and most advanced video codec available today, and it can compress videos a lot better compared to Xvid. You can then have smaller videos with H.264 with the same quality or better quality at the same file size.

The superior encoding quality of H.264 does not come without a price. The complex algorithm that H.264 uses in encoding and decoding files eat up a lot of processing power. This is the reason why encoding with H.264 can take substantially longer than with Xvid. You are also more likely to be able to play Xvid encoded files on a device that has a weaker processor like a netbook. Some netbooks experience difficulties playing H.264 encoded videos, especially at higher resolutions.

Since Xvid has been around longer and it is very much related to DivX, a lot of set-top players are capable of playing Xvid encoded files. H.264 decoding capabilities are usually seen on more recent players like Blu-Ray players and the now defunct HD-DVD. Downloaded video files are also usually recorded in Xvid or DivX as they are more widely known and accepted by a lot of people, and are less likely to encounter problems with those codecs.

Whether you choose Xvid or H.264 in encoding your videos can have some major implications when it comes to playing the resulting video. Unless you have a Blu-Ray player, you should stick with Xvid if you want to view those videos via your set-top player. The same also goes if you want to move the encoded video to some of the older portable video players. But if you are sure that your devices are capable of playing H.264 and you do not intend to share your files with other people, then H.264 is the better choice as you can maximize your drive space and store a lot more files on it.

Summary:
1.Xvid and H.264 are both video codecs that uses a lossy compression algorithm
2.H.264 can compress videos better compared to Xvid
3.H.264 requires more processing power to encode or to decode compared to Xvid
4.Videos encoded with Xvid can be played in more set top players compared to files encoded with H.264


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