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Digital Video Formats – Codecs Compression and CCTV Video

Digital video, which has many formats, is a highly beneficial tool. Businesses can tap into its neglected power for Internet marketing (the process of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service 24/7 on the Internet). There is no better way to sell in a global market that makes purchases 24 hours a day than with a well designed website that includes this beneficial tool. It is also involved in many litigation cases and is quickly finding its way into court rooms around the world.

In the following paragraphs, my goal is to help you understand digital video with regard to closed circuit television systems and its many formats.

In its simplest terms, digital video can be defined as a video that has been recorded using a software program and digitally stored in a computer. A CCTV system is a computer. That digitized information can be controlled from a computer and displayed directly on a computer monitor.

All current digital video file formats, which are listed below, are based on PCM or Pulse-code modulation. PCM is a digital representation of an analog signal where the magnitude of the signal is sampled regularly at uniform intervals, then quantized to a series of symbols in a numeric form (usually based on binary code).

Here is a brief catalog of digital video file types so you better understand how it is used.

CCIR 601 (or RE 601) is a file used for broadcast television stations because of the analogue and digital television conversion. This digital video file format converts and encodes interlaced analogue video signals into digital video.

In the old days, television commercials were first distributed on analogue first, then digital tape. Today, TV commercials can be distributed over wireless networks electronically using digital video technology.

Services like SpotMixer allow businesses to create their own commercials on line and distribute them over a plethora of media, including television and the internet.

MPEG-4 is good for online distribution of large videos and video recorded to flash memory. This is a digital format used for video iPods and uploading to YouTube and other social media networks, but keep reading.

MPEG-2 (used for DVDs) is a digital file format used to make DVDs. An MPEG-2 digital video file burned onto a DVD will play video on a DVD player and computer provided the computer has the ability to play DVDs. Some computers with older DVD technology will have difficulty reading DVDs that have been burned with newer technology.

MPEG-1 is used for video CDs and was the first digital video format that was mass marketed. It is rarely used today but occasionally pops up. Many DVD players will play MPEG-1, but not all can read this digital file format.

H.261 was the first truly practical digital video coding standard. In fact, all subsequent international encoding like MPEG-1, H.262, MPEG-2, H.263, MPEG-4, and H.264 (MPEG-4 Part 10) have been based closely on the H.261 design, which is now seldom used.

H.263 is a video codec standard originally designed as a low-bit rate compressed format for videoconferencing. H.263 has since found many applications on the internet: much Flash Video content (as used on sites such as YouTube, Google Video, MySpace, etc.) is encoded in this format.

The original version of Real Video (which I recommend you run away from) was based on H.263 until the release of Real Video 8. In other words, I tell you about H.263 so you can see the legacy.

H.264, also known as MPEG-4 Part 10 or as AVC, is the next enhanced codec developed for sharing digital video on the internet. H.264 provides a significant improvement in capability beyond H.263. The H.263 standard is now considered primarily a legacy design (although this is a recent development).

Most new videoconferencing products now include H.264 as well as H.263 and H.261 capabilities. Primeau Productions uses H 264 digital video in a Quicktime format to send to webmasters for use in encoding Flash video on client websites.

Here is the bottom line: the files above are created using computers-including CCTV systems-and can be viewed with video editing software and digital video file converters.

H.264 technology is an excellent beginning file format for creating Flash video. Video editing software programs can output various sizes of H.264 and be used several ways:

1. A source digital video file to create a Flash video for your website
2. A digital video file that can be emailed
3. A digital video file that can be uploaded to social media like YouTube, Yahoo and Viemo
4. To view a converted CCTV video codec in court

Flash video is a web-based digital video player. It is cross platform, which is why I recommend its use for digital video content delivery on your website.

Although many editing programs like Final Cut, Vegas and Premiere are capable of exporting finished video productions in Flash video (.FLV), there is more to creating a complete Flash video than just the video file.

When a digital video file is created like a H.264 (encoded to specifications of under 10 minutes and 1Gig) and uploaded to YouTube, Yahoo, MetaCafe, and Viemo, the H.264 file is converted to Flash video during the uploading process.

Many services that post PR video on their websites now only accept Flash Video (.FLV) files. HTML 5 is out and nearly taking over flash, but it still has a way to go.

If you are interested in posting a Flash video on your website, the following are the components you need in addition to the.FLV video file:

1. The.html portion – the html webpage that loads the flash player
2. The.swf portion – the compiled flash file for web (contains the flash video player)
3. The.flv portion – the actual video file for the flash player
4. ac_runactivecontent.js -the javascript file that loads the player into browsers

A non-video-production-based software program made by Adobe called Flash is used to create graphics and video for websites.

Flash Video is a file format used to deliver video over the Internet using Adobe Flash Player. The format has quickly established itself as the format of choice for embedded video on the web. Notable users of the Flash Video format include YouTube, Google Video, Yahoo, MetaCafe, Viemo,, and many other news providers.

Flash Video is viewable on most operating systems, via the widely available Adobe Flash Player.

Lastly, Theora standardized is still in development and not used very often, but still worth mentioning to complete your understanding of the various file formats available today.

An important take away is an understanding of the file formats and multiple uses for digital video.