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MPEG1 vs MPEG2 | Difference between MPEG-1 and MPEG-2

This page compares MPEG-1 vs MPEG-2 and describes difference between MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 video coding standards.

As we know full form of MPEG is Moving Picture Experts Group. MPEG versions available are MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, MPEG-7, MPEG-21 etc. These are used as standards for general coding of Moving Pictures and Associated Audio. The syntax of compressed video and audio bitstreams will enable great amount of flexibility at the encoder.

Function: The main purpose of MPEG is to take analog/digital video signals as input. Convert the input into packets of digital information such that they are efficient to be transported on modern networks. The MPEG compression will help data to consume less bandwidth compare to traditional transmission.


• As mentioned it is a standard for storage and retrieval of moving pictures and audio on storage media.
• MPEG-1 standard specifications are divided into 5 parts.


• Mainly used as a standard for digital television.
• It extends video and audio compression of MPEG-1.
• It optimizes balance between resolution and bandwidth.
• Four Video Compression Techniques such as Pre-processing, Temporal Prediction, Motion Compensation, Quantization are used.
• It is used for various applications which include webcasting, broadcasting, multimedia communications, video on demand, mobile communications, interactive digital media, telecommunications etc.
• MPEG-2 standard specifications are divided into 10 parts.

Table-1 summarizes difference between MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 Standards.

Specifications MPEG-1 MPEG-2
Year of standardization 1992 1994
Official document ISO/IEC 11172 ISO/IEC 13818
Spatial resolution CIF format i.e. 1/4 TV
Approx. 288 x 360 pixels
TV (4 times TV)
Approx. 576 x 720 pixels (1152 x 1440 pixels)
Temporal resolution 25 to 30 frames/sec 50 to 60 frames/sec
(100 to 120 fields/sec)
Bit rate 1.5 Mbps Approx. 4 Mbps (Approx. 20 Mbps)
Quality Comparable to VHS comparable to NTSC/PAL for TV
Compression ratio over PCM Approx. 20 to 30 Approx. 30 to 40
(approx. 30-40)
Application Digital Video on CD-ROM Digital TV & HDTV

The functions of other MPEG standards are summarized below which have been developed after MPEG-1 and MPEG-2.
• MPEG-4: It is a standard for multimedia applications
• MPEG-7: It is a content representation standard for information search
• MPEG-21:It offers metadata information for audio and video files

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