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Desktop Video News #057: Video Compression Formats
June 02, 2009

Welcome to this edition of Desktop Video News. In this issue, we take a look at video compression formats. We also learn how to 'accelerate time' in your video shots so that clouds or people move really fast in the scene.

Term Of The Week

Video Compression Format - Video compression formats are also known as codecs and many of them have been standardized by major organizations.

The ITU-T (International Telecommunications Union) is a United Nations Organization and oversees compression formats like the H.261 and H.264 formats.

Other video compression formats (e.g. the Intel Indeo and RealVideo) are not the same as the ones standardized by the international groups. However, they are also quite popular.

One thing to note about video compression formats - they are sometimes confused with 'media container formats'. A media container is essentially a file format that contains data that had been compressed using a video compression format. So it is quite distinct from a video compression format.

Tip Of The Week

Remember those TV or movie scenes where scenes are 'accelerated' to indicate the passage of time? I remember CNN showing some 'accelerated clouds' and 'accelerated city traffic' to give an impression of passing time. A fast motion is also great for showing the progression of a project. For example, if you're shooting a video of someone building a house, keep your video camera fixed on that house as it is being constructed. When editing simply speed it all up to show the entire process in a matter of minutes or seconds. I'm sure you've seen scenes like these on TV which have been used to good effect.

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