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What is MPEG-4?

Posted On 2007-07-10 by FortyPoundHead
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MPEG-4 is an ISO/IEC standard developed by MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group), the committee that also developed the Emmy Award winning standards known as MPEG-1 and MPEG-2.

These standards made interactive video on CD-ROM and Digital Television possible. MPEG-4 is the result of another international effort involving hundreds of researchers and engineers from all over the world. MPEG-4, whose formal ISO/IEC designation is ISO/IEC 14496, was finalized in October 1998 and became an International Standard in the first months of 1999.

The fully backward compatible extensions under the title of MPEG-4 Version 2 were frozen at the end of 1999, to acquire the formal International Standard Status early in 2000. Some work, on extensions in specific domains, is still in progress.

MPEG-4 builds on the proven success of three fields:


  • Digital television

  • Interactive graphics applications (synthetic content)

  • Interactive multimedia (World Wide Web, distribution of and access to content)


MPEG-4 provides the standardized technological elements enabling the integration of the production, distribution and content access paradigms of the three fields.


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