What Does It Mean When a Video Is Compressed?

What Does It Mean When a Video Is Compressed?

What Does It Mean When a Video Is Compressed?

When a video is compressed, it is encoded in a way that makes it less in size and more manageable for network/Internet transmission.


It’s a method of reducing the size of video files by getting rid of unnecessary information.

Video Compression: A Guide from Techopedia

A video codec employs a compression method or algorithms to reduce the size of a video file. In order to reduce a video’s file size, it is common practice to crop out any and all scenes that are repeated multiple times.


When the data displayed or associated to a video file, such as the background, image, or sound, is repetitive or otherwise unimportant. This information is unnecessary and will be discarded during the video compression process.

In the process of video compression, the original video format is converted to another one (depending on the codec used). To view the video file, the video player must be able to decompress it or support the video format it was compressed in.

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The Meaning of Video Encoding Has Been Lost in Translation.

The term “video encoding” refers to the process of reducing the size of your video files and converting them to the correct standards and codecs for playing.


The video quality may suffer due to file size reduction during compression. However, video encoding can reduce the size of your video files without affecting the quality. When videos are encoded, the massive data size drops from terabytes to mere megabytes.

And your work will be accessible on a wide variety of platforms and gadgets. When it comes to video encoding, Harmonic is unrivaled; we even have a patent on our innovative approach to encoding that takes into account the context of the video.

In Other Words, Describe Content-Aware Encoding.

The use of AI in content-aware encoding allows for much-improved video compression. Since AI’s main strength is its ability to detect minute visual differences, CAE models the human visual system to achieve the best possible video compression.

In this way, encoding is optimized in accordance with content type, such as the parts of an image on which a human viewer would naturally concentrate.


Therefore, CAE encoding focuses on the most crucial and ignores the rest, as opposed to just removing duplicate frames. First to market with CAE-specific AI technologies was Harmonic. Here is a very high-level breakdown of the procedure:

Video information is analyzed by unsupervised machine learning algorithms for commonalities in order to make the most of bandwidth savings.

Algorithms powered by machine learning are able to intelligently estimate the amount of space required for future video frames based on the current frame’s motion.

Since the compression method is continuously enhanced through reinforcement learning, it grows “autonomously” as more video data is added.

This sort of CAE powered by AI shortens development cycles and lowers costs. Also, it allows OTT video producers and distributors to use their own unique compression algorithms, rather than the standard ones currently in use. Even though video encoding has advanced considerably over the years, video codecs are ultimately responsible for all of the underlying capabilities.

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Define the term “Video Codec.”

Video codecs, often known as video encoding hardware or software, reduce file sizes while maintaining video quality during transmission. The purpose of any video codec is to reduce the overall size of the video file and the amount of data needed to play it, without compromising the quality of the original video. “Codec” is an abbreviation for “coder (co-) and decoder” (-dec).


As a result, video codecs not only help you code and compress your video, but they also help you decode it so you can watch it. Codecs vary in terms of which devices and operating systems they can be used on. The inability to play an encoded video is due to the lack of a compatible video codec.

The most popular video codecs include:

  • H.264 (AVC)
  • H.265 (HEVC)
  • H.266 (VVC)
  • AV1
  • VP9
  • MPEG-2
  • Quicktime
  • WMV
  • DivX
  • XviD

Which Video Compression Formats Work Best?

The video and audio codecs, as well as any other relevant metadata, are stored in the container (think: subtitles, closed captioning, preview images, etc.). The container manages the various parts and determines which receivers are available for the stream.


The best video compression formats include:

  • .mp4
  • .mov
  • .ts
  • .wmv
  • .F4v
  • .3GP

How does VBR (or Adjustable bitrate) work?

The “bits” in your video are distributed differently depending on whether you’re using variable bitrate or adaptive bitrate; this allows for more bits to be utilized for complicated parts (like action scenes) and less bits to be used for simple parts (like static shots).

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While the bitrate of your video can be customized, adaptive streaming automatically selects the optimal bitrate for each viewer, taking into account their bandwidth and device capabilities.

As a result, when conditions are ideal for receiving signals, the quality of the transmitted video will also be optimal. Automatically switching to reduced video quality in the event of weak signals saves users time by avoiding buffering. Multi-bitrates allow users to choose the optimal quality setting for their video playback. That’s why it’s preferable to use VBR encoding rather than CBR for videos.


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