Assignment 1 – Video Formats

From my experience i have made use of many file formats. Below is a list showing some of these:

  • Windows Media Player – wma, wmv
  • Quicktime Player – mpeg
  • Real Player – ra, rm, ram
  • Flash – swf, flv

Windows Media Player – Originated from Microsoft


Quicktime Player – Originated from Apple

Real Player -Originated from Real Networks

Flash Player – Adobe/Macromedia



1999 to 2000 – There were various competing companies introducing Video file formats. In 1991 apple launched quick time Player format. Apple allowed to view digital images, they allowed basic editing on a computer, then they were amazed it was possible on a PC. It was Initially used for authoring a CD-ROM, video disk, for saving data and playing small videos. In 1994/95, Apple was able to show videos through web browsers if you had the plug-in installed. It was bad quality on the web. Progressive download was used allot. 2005+, new iteration on flash allowed better viewing on flash type interface. There was a big difference in what was possible and how we’re viewing videos now.

Flash format (swf, flv). You tube incorporated this with their on-line viewable videos. The method used here is true streaming. With this, it is not downloading file, you can view file as it downloads as it continue downloading and playing. There is an online application where you can download any file from a web page to your computer. For example, you can download any video/file on YouTube.

Blair Witch project was created by a group of student who went on a forest trip coming across unexpected things. They used the web to show the video. This was influential in the momentum that can now produce new stuff, it can get it seen, it was produced using inexpensive DV technology yet they made allot of money through the Internet. South Park Series. It had simple graphics and took advantage of low bandwidth. Today it can be download if you have a flash plug in.

Mpeg – GOP – group of pictures. In a 1/2 second video, it has 25 frames, pictures were grouped together, mpeg standard then compares them. This process looks at what elements are changed. It then only alters parts that change. This is a way of reducing file size. H264 codec to encode videos, – you tube for apple TV – not flash, these issues are current and coming more important.



Ref: Nick – Modules Lecturer




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