Video Streaming: Compression & Decompression

Video files are quite mammoth in size and streaming these files directly over the internet is a task in which compression and decompression are used to get it a smooth delivery to the user. Getting a video delivered to the end-users is a task. To make online video streaming, storing, and sharing possible, developers use a program called codec that helps in making streaming, storing, and sharing possible. Codec is basically an amalgamation of coder and decoder that helps in the compression and decompression of the data.

The most common codec for compression is H.264/AVS which is primarily used for video streaming by OTT platform providers. But there are a number of known codecs in the market that various platforms are using. The choice always depends on the needs and the requirement of what sort of quality you wanted to provide for the end-users.

Types Of Popular Video Codec

No one wants to watch low-quality video content but running a high-quality video demands high bandwidth and there were possibilities to experience buffering of the platform. Some of the popular video codecs that help in delivering a high-quality video are: 

H.264 or Advanced Video Coding

AVC (Advanced video coding) is the commonly used video codec in the streaming market. AVC is also known as H.264 or MPEG-4 AVC, the video codec was first published in 2003. It is fundamentally used in the process of converting a video into a transferable and storable format. This codec is one of the widely accepted and supported format that helps in bringing better bitrate than the preceding generation namely H.263 and MPEG-2. 

H.265/High-Efficiency Video Coding

High-Efficiency Video Coding, also known as MPEG-H Part 2 and H.265 is a part of the MPEG-H project. It is the immediate successor to the widely used AVC (Advanced Video Coding) and is a licensed codec. In comparison to the predecessor AVC, HEVC offers around 25% to 50% better compression of the data at a similar level of video quality or in some situations a substantially improved quality at the same bitrate. In all, it is a great tool for delivering high-quality video including live streaming and 4K. Apart from all the benefits, it required more resources for compression as compared to H.264. Although the format is popular but is not growing as per the expectations. 


An open-source codec, VP9 is developed by Google and is the successor to VP8. The known user of Google’s VP9 is YouTube. Since December 2016, Netflix has used the VP9 encoding system for its catalog. YouTube offers VP9 video in all of its resolutions including high-definition video delivery, HD live streaming, and 4K video streaming. But, there is always a downside to this, it is hard to decode the format. 


AV1, a next-generation codec developed by a group of companies including renowned names like Netflix, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft along with AOM/Alliance for Open Media. It is also an open-source codec that produces better compression as compared to H.265/HEVC. The codec is full of positives rather than negatives which is time-consuming as it demands more time to encode. This codec is still in a developmental process but there are many companies that have started using the codec.

Codec (compression-decompression) is quite crucial to deliver the video streaming content quickly and to manage it all in an efficient manner. It helps in live video streaming services smoothly without any buffering and hence brings an exceptional experience to the users. The above-listed codecs are the most famous codec used in video delivery to users. We will keep up with the latest information and technology-related content to educate and inform all the readers out there.