Glossary of Video Terms

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Terminology Description

Data compression method that utilizes an algorithm that compacts data into a smaller sized data package. This compression method is  common for digital audio and video because it yields much smaller file sizes. This method inherently degrades the original quality. Certain compression codecs such as H.264 and MPEG-3 have become quite efficient enabling much smaller file sizes with a lower perception of loss be it audible or visual. Traditionally, lossy compression has been ideal in an access environment because of the small file sizes. However, because of the degradation in quality that results from lossy compression, it is not ideal in a preservation environment. Lossy compression is not recommended for recording or preserving digital audio, but is difficult to avoid for digital video, even in a preservation environment.


Motion JPEG  - is a Codec for encoding digital video. Usually associated with high-quality professional video, M-JPEG contains the option to encode utilizing lossless compression which retains the original visual quality of video recording while compacting the data into a smaller sized file. Lossless M-JPEG wrapped in an MXF container is emerging as a professional preservation standard for digital video.

MOV (.mov)

A primary digital video format developed and utilized by Apple and native to Quicktime systems. MOV files contain multiple streams of audiovisual or text data. A MOV file can contain standard or high definition video encoded using extremely high bitrates and a variety of codecs  including H.264. MOV is also interchangeable with the MPEG-4 container format