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La lunga lista dei Codec e cosa sono

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Un codec è un programma o un dispositivo che si occupa di codificare e/o decodificare digitalmente un segnale analogico (tipicamente audio o video), affinché possa essere salvato su un supporto di memorizzazione o richiamato per la sua lettura o riproduzione oppure trasmesso a distanza su un canale di comunicazione.

Tale programma può essere installabile/aggiornabile (su personal computer o apparecchiature multimediali predisposte) oppure essere integrato in un componente hardware dedicato (ad es. nei lettori CD o DVD casalinghi o in alcune schede video/audio per PC).

I codec effettuano la compressione dati (e/o la decompressione in lettura) in modo da poter ridurre lo spazio di memorizzazione occupato a vantaggio della portabilità o della trasmissività del flusso codificato su un canale di comunicazione. Si suddividono in base alla modalità in cui effettuano la compressione:
con perdita di informazione (lossy)
senza perdita di informazione (lossless)
Per realizzare tale compressione si fa ricorso alla riduzione della precisione dei colori dei singoli pixel (codec video) o delle frequenze da riprodurre (in alcuni codec audio vengono soppresse le frequenze non udibili dall’orecchio umano), alla eliminazione delle ridondanze o alla scrittura delle sole differenze (codec video) rispetto ad una immagine di riferimento.
Per ciascun tipo di compressione esistono vari tipi di codec, differenti tra loro per il tipo di segnale su cui devono operare e per l’algoritmo di codifica/compressione in essi implementato.

SIGLA
Nome/Link
Proprietario
Descrizioni e note
3IV1
3ivx
3IVX
MPEG4-based codec. Used by 3ivx Delta
1.0-3.5. FOURCC “3IV0” was also used
for a while but never publicly released.
3IV2
3ivx
3IVX
MPEG4-based codec. To be used for
“3ivx Delta 4.0.”
8BPS
Planar RGB
Codec
Apple?
RLE codec storing RGB image in planar
format under Quicktime.
AASC
Autodesk Animator codec
Autodesk
This codec is part of Autodesk’s discontinued
Animator Studio for Windows.
ABYR
?
Kensington?
Apparently a low resolution, low frame rate (6fps)
codec similar to AJPG which is used in
implementing movie capture in some digital cameras.
ADV1
WaveCodec
Loronix
Apparently used in various CCTV products.
ADVJ
Avid M-JPEG
Avid Technology
Also known as AVRn
AEMI
Array VideoONE
MPEG1-I Capture
Array Microsystems
Array’s codec used for I frame only MPEG1 AVI files
AFLI
Autodesk Animator
Autodesk
AVI equivalent of Autodesk’s native FLI file format (presumably).
AFLC
Autodesk Animator
Autodesk
AVI equivalent of the FLC native file format.
AJPG
?
?
22fps JPEG-based codec used for movie capture by some digital cameras.
AMPG
Array VideoONE
MPEG
Array Microsystems
Codec for Array VideoONE hardware-based MPEG compression system.
ANIM
RDX
Intel
?
AP41
AngelPotion Definitive
AngelPotion
Another hacked version of Microsoft’s MP43 codec. One source recommends against installing this codec “due to its occasional tendency to modify client structures”. Apparently this means that it can destroy or otherwise mess up the  HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\avifile section of your registry leaving some tools incapable of playing video any more.
ASLC
Alparysoft Lossless
Alparysoft
Codec offering approximately 5x compression in mathematically lossless mode or 5-15x compression in “visually lossless” operation.
ASV1
Asus Video
Asus
Codec supplied with the Asus TNT Video Capture adapter. Supposedly a very simple, DCT-based codec. Complete technical details can be found here.
ASV2
Asus Video (2)
Asus
New codec from Asus. Supposedly a very simple DCT codec. Complete technical details can be found here.
ASVX
Asus Video 2.0
Asus
Unusual codec which stores audio in the .avi file but puts the video in a companion .asv file. Click here for information on how to play back these files on Windows 2000 PCs.
AUR2
Aura 2 Codec –
YUV 422
Auravision
?
AURA
Aura 1 Codec –
YUV 411
Auravision
?
avc1
H.264
Apple
Apple’s version of the MPEG4 part 10/H.264 standard apparently.
AVRn
Avid M-JPEG
Avid Technology
Also known as ADVJ in Quicktime files.
BA81
Raw 8bit RGB Bayer
?
This format stores raw 8bit Bayer samples. The Bayer color filter array is described here. I wonder if this is a duplicate of BYR1?
BINK
Bink Video
RAD Game Tools
Pretty popular codec in Windows games. I’m not sure if this is available as a standard Windows codec but the web site makes it sound interesting enough to list here even if it does require non-standard tools to use.
BLZ0
?
Blizzard
MPEG-4 codec used in WarCraft 3 movies.
BT20
Prosumer Video
Conexant
Codec optimised for realtime compression of YUV images. Download the ZIP and add VIDC.BT20=btvvc32.drv and VIDC.Y41P=btvvc32.drv to the [drivers32] section of your SYSTEM.INI to enable the codec
BTCV
Composite Video Codec
Conexant
This, now obsolete, format supported a special data format used by the Brooktree Bt2115 chipset which could perform “software encoded video output” – a kind of software TV-out capability.
BW10
Broadway MPEG 
Data Translation
Codec for Broadway hardware-based MPEG compression system.
BYR1
Raw 8bit RGB Bayer
?
This format stores raw 8bit Bayer samples. The Bayer color filter array is described here.
BYR2
Raw 16bit RGB Bayer
?
This format stores packed 16bit Bayer samples with 12bit precision. The Bayer color filter array is described here.
CC12
YUV12 Codec
Intel
?
CDVC
Canopus DV Codec
Canopus
Allegedly used with digital video cameras. The Canopus download page has a free software-only version of this codec which will install on machines which are not equipped with their capture hardware. Apparently if you edit the AVI and change the FOURCC to dvsd, it will play with these codecs too.
CFCC
DPS Perception
Digital Processing Systems
Native format used when capturing AVIs using a DPS Perception adapter.
CGDI
Camcorder Video
Microsoft
AVI format used by Office 97 camcorder application.
CHAM
Caviara Champagne
Winnov
?
CMYK
Uncompressed CMYK
Colorgraph
Uncompressed 32bpp CMYK as used in printing processes.
CJPG
WebCam JPEG
Creative Labs
Used by Creative Video Blaster Webcam Go control. See here for info on how to download and install this codec.
CPLA
YUV 4:2:0
Weitek
This sounds like an uncompressed format to me. Anyone know?
CRAM
Microsoft Video 1
Microsoft
Allegedly identical to MSVC.
CSCD
CamStudio Codec
RenderSoft
Software
Open source (GPL license) codec optimised for screen capture applications. Source download is available.
CTRX
Citrix Scalable
Video Codec
Citrix?
?
CVID
Cinepak
Providenza & Boekelheide
Originally owned by Supermac then Radius, now P & B. Complete technical details can be found here.
CWLT
Color WLT DIB
Microsoft
Apparently WLT is “with lookup table”. Presumably, therefore, this is similar to a standard DIB using FOURCC 0?
CXY1
Conexant YUV 4:1:1
Conexant
Uncompressed, planar 4:1:1 YUV format.
CXY2
Conexant YUV 4:2:2
Conexant
Uncompressed, planar 4:2:2 YUV format.
CYUV
Creative YUV
Creative Labs
Proprietary YUV compression algorithm
CYUY
?
ATI Technologies
Proprietary YUV compression algorithm
D261
H.261
DEC
Presumably now owned by Intel.
D263
H.263
DEC
Presumably now owned by Intel.
davc
MPEG-4/H.264
Dicas
H.264/MPEG-4 AVC base profile codec. Dicas tell me that this codec will be available for free download from their site some time in June 2004. I am waiting to hear the exact URL for the download.
DCL1
Data Connection
Conferencing Codec
Data Connection Ltd.
Format used in Data Connection Ltd’s conferencing services.
DCL2
Data Connection
Multimedia Conferencing
Data Connection Ltd.
Format used in Data Connection Ltd’s conferencing services.
DCL3
Data Connection
Enhanced Conferencing
Data Connection Ltd.
Format used in Data Connection Ltd’s conferencing services.
DCL4
Data Connection
Extended Conferencing
Data Connection Ltd.
Format used in Data Connection Ltd’s conferencing services.
DCL5
Data Connection Media Conferencing Codec
Data Connection Ltd.
Format used in Data Connection Ltd’s conferencing services.
DIV3
DivX MPEG-4
DivX
Low motion codec (optimised for low motion source material?). Several sources tell me that this is an old and illegal codec that should not be used to encode new material.
DIV4
DivX MPEG-4
DivX
Fast motion codec.Several sources tell me that this is an old and illegal codec that should not be used to encode new material.
DIV5
?
?
Apparently almost as old as DIV3 and DIV4. Changing DIV5 AVI’s FOURCC to DIV3 or DIV4 seems to allow them to play just fine.
DIVX
DivX
OpenDivX
This FOURCC code is used for versions 4.0 and later of the DivX codec. DivX, “the MP3 of video,”  is the popular and market-leading MPEG-4 video codec that is emerging as the standard for full screen, full motion, DVD-quality video over IP-based networks.
Apparently version 5 also encodes using FOURCC DX50.
The Microsoft codec pack available here apparently supports Divx 6.
This FOURCC is supported by LEAD’s MCMP Codec.
divx
DivX
?
Apparently used interchangeably with “DIVX”. This FOURCC is supported by LEAD’s MCMP Codec.
DM4V
MPEG-4
Dicas
MPEG4 codec compatible with DivX4 and 5.
dmb1
Rainbow Runner
hardware compression
Matrox
Hardware codec used by Matrox Rainbow Runner video capture product. Apparently a form of Motion JPEG).
LEAD’s MCMP codec supports this format.
DMB2
?
?
MJPEG codec used by Paradigm.
DMK2
?
?
Movies generated by a ViewSonic V36 PDA appear to be AVI files using this video codec. Oddly enough, they are named .mpg – go figure.
DSVD
DV Codec
?
The DSVD codec is a VFW-based compressor that firewire- and DV-based capture cards use. It is supported by Graphedit (from divx-digest.com), Adobe Premier and StudioDV. VirtualDub doesn’t support the format.
I suspect that this and DVSD are one and the same – perhaps one of my informants typed the FOURCC wrongly?
DUCK
TrueMotion S
Duck Corporation
Rather nice RGB codec which, strangely enough, appears to have two distinct FOURCCs.
dv25
DVCPRO
Matrox
SMPTE 314M 25Mb/s compressed video. A professional variant of DVC (dvsd). Unlike dvsd, it uses 4:1:1 sampling structure for both NTSC and PAL.
dv50
DVCPRO50
Matrox
SMPTE 314M 50Mb/s compressed video. Has twice the data rate (50Mbits/sec) of dv25 and uses 4:2:2 sampling structure.
DVAN
?
?
?
DVCS
DV Video
Microsoft?
A generic DV codec along the same lines as DVSD. Microsoft indicates here that this codec should be considered obsolete now that standard FOURCCs for the various DV flavours have been defined.
DVE2
DVE-2 Videoconferencing
InSoft
?
dvh1
SMPTE 370M
Panasonic?
SMPTE 370M – data structure for DV based audio, data and compressed video at 100 Mb/s – 1080/60i, 1080/50i, and 720/60p. This is basically a high definition variant of dv25 and dv50.
dvhd
50Mbps Consumer DV
Microsoft?
SD-DVCR 1125-60 or SD-DVCR 1250-50. See also dvsl and dvsd.
dvsd
25Mbps Consumer DV
Pinnacle Systems?
SD-DVCR 525-60 or SD-DVCR 625-50. See also dvsl and dvhd.
Implemented in the miroVideo DV300 SW only codec which requires the presence of the 1394 (Firewire) interface card with which it shipped.
DVSD
DV Video
Microsoft?
Used by Adobe After Effects, Uleads Mediastudio 6 (and probably VideoStudio) as a generic DV FOURCC. Probably the same as “dvsd”. Sources indicate that these FOURCCs were used interchangeably in early versions. Microsoft indicates here that this codec should be considered obsolete now that standard FOURCCs for the various DV flavours have been defined.
dvsl
12.5Mbps Consumer DV
Microsoft?
SD-DVCR 525-60 or SD-DVCR 625-50. See also dvsd and dvhd.
DVX1
DVX1000SP
Lucent
?
DVX2
DVX2000S
Lucent
?
DVX3
DVX3000S
Lucent
?
DX50
DivX MPEG-4
version 5
DivX
Apparently this is used interchangeably with the DIVX FOURCC when using version 5 of the codec. An alternative download site can be found here.
DXGM
?
Electronic Arts?
The movies in the game “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” are encoded in this format. Also used in movies from “Robin Hood” by CinemaWare.
DXTn
DirectX
Compressed Texture
Microsoft
5 different versions (DXT1 – DXT5) of compressed texture formats exist. Full documentation is to be found in the DirectX SDK. More info can also be found on S3’s Texture Compression web site.
DXTC
DirectX
Texture Compression
Microsoft
Another of the DXTn set, I suppose.
ELK0
?
Elsa
Codec used by some Elsa graphics cards. May be a YUV format with reduced colour resolution.
EKQ0
Elsa Quick Codec
Elsa
?
EM2V
Etymonix MPEG-2 Video
Etymonix
HIgh quality, MPEG-2 I picture codec with user selectable YUV 4:2:0, 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 compression. Suitable for use in video editing applications. Free trial version available.
ES07
Eyestream 7 Codec
Eyeball Chat
 
ESCP
Escape
Eidos Technologies
Codec used by Eidos Technologies ESCAPE VideoStudio.
ETV1
eTreppid Video Codec
eTreppid Technologies
?
ETV2
eTreppid Video Codec
eTreppid Technologies
?
ETVC
eTreppid Video Codec
eTreppid Technologies
?
FFV1
FFMPEG Codec
Michael Niedermayer
A lossless video codec based on arithmetic coding developed in the open source ffmpeg project.
FLJP
Field Encoded
Motion JPEG
D-Vision
Field encoded motion JPEG with LSI bitstream format. Morgan Multimedia offers a codec supporting this format.
FMP4
FFMpeg
?
The default MPEG4 format used by tool mencoder. DirectShow filters supporting the codec are available here.
FMVC
FM Screen Capture
Fox Magic Software?
A codec intended for use in screen capture applications.
FPS1
Fraps Codec
Fraps
Codec used by Fraps screen video capture application.
FRWA
Forward Motion JPEG
with alpha channel
SoftLab-Nsk
A version of motion JPEG as used in the Forward project from SoftLab-Nsk. This format also includes an 8-bit alpha channel per image.
FRWD
Forward Motion JPEG
SoftLab-Nsk
A version of motion JPEG as used in the Forward project from SoftLab-Nsk. Similar to FRWD but without the alpha information.
FVF1
Fractal Video Frame
Iterated Systems
 
GEOX
GEOMPEG4
GeoVision
MPEG shipped as part of GeoVision’s CCTV surveillance systems.
GJPG
GT891x Codec
Grand Tech
Shipped as part of the driver package with some dgital cameras from Fuji.
GLZW
Motion LZW
gabest@freemail.hu
GIF-like codec written by gabest@freemail.hu.
GPEG
Motion JPEG
gabest@freemail.hu
Motion JPEG codec written as a learning exercise by gabest@freemail.hu.
GWLT
Greyscale WLT DIB
Microsoft
8bpp greyscale image. WLT apparently means “with lookup table” so it is a palettized format.
H260 through H269
ITU H.26n
Intel
Conferencing codecs
H.263 format video is for POTS-based videoconferencing. Used, for example, in some Osprey products.
Supposedly, the Vanguard Software H.264 codec, available in beta form here, is pretty good.
HDYC
Raw YUV 4:2:2
?
This is apparently identical to UYVY except that the samples use BT709 color space (as used in HD video) rather than BT470 (used for SD).
HFYU
Huffman Lossless Codec
?
Huffman codec for YUV and RGB formats. Available in source and DLL forms. Full technical information can be found here. I am told that further information can also be found here.
HMCR
Rendition Motion Compensation Format
Rendition
Proprietary motion compensation surface format used by Rendition V2x00 DirectDraw driver.
HMRR
Rendition Motion Compensation Format
Rendition
Newer, proprietary motion compensation surface format used by Rendition drivers.
i263
ITU H.263
Intel
PictureWorks NetCard Player – another H.263 implementation from Intel. There’s a FAQ on this codec here and it can also be downloaded from here.
IAN
Indeo 4 Codec
Intel
One of a collection of FOURCCs used in Indeo 4.
ICLB
CellB Videoconferencing Codec
InSoft
?
IGOR
Power DVD
?
?
IJPG
Intergraph JPEG
Intergraph
Intergraph’s version of a JPEG codec (don’t you hate it when I just state the obvious ?)
ILVC
Layered Video
Intel
?
ILVR
ITU H.263+ Codec
?
?
IPDV
Giga AVI DV Codec
I-O Data Device, Inc.
Codec used with I-O Data Device’s IEEE1394 Digital Video Control & Capture Board. This codec implements I-O DATA’s original indexed AVI architecture.
IR21
Indeo 2.1
Intel
Old Indeo codec
IRAW
Intel Uncompressed UYUV
Intel
No indication of the pixel format – sorry.
ISME
?
?
May be installed by Roxio DVD Creator 6?
IV30 through IV39
Indeo 3
Ligos
The family of Indeo Video 3 codecs originally developed by Intel but now handled by Ligos.
IV32
Indeo 3.2
Ligos
Fairly widespread Indeo 3 codec
IV40 through IV49
Indeo Interactive
Ligos
Indeo 4.1 improves image quality and introduces transparency masks. Ligos also offer a download here but apparently it will cost you.
IV50
Indeo Interactive
Ligos
Version 5.0 of the Indeo codec series designed for internet video delivery. Ligos also offer a download here but apparently it will cost you.
JBYR
?
Kensington?
?
jpeg
JPEG Still Image
Microsoft?
This is presumably exactly the same as “JPEG”. LEAD’s MCMP codec supports both these formats.
JPEG
JPEG Still Image
Microsoft
This is presumably exactly the same as “jpeg”. LEAD’s MCMP codec supports both these formats.
JPGL
JPEG Light?
?
Proprietary format used by many WebCams which are built around the DIVIO NW 801/802 chip such as the Logitec QuickCam Pro, VideoLogic HomeC@m and other cameras from Askey, Mustek, Microtek, and Tekom.
LEAD’s MCMP codec supports this format.
KMVC
Karl Morton’s Video Codec (presumably)
?
Shipped as part of the game “Worms” by Team17 Software. Info is allegedly obtainable from info@beamaim.demon.co.uk.
L261
LEAD H.261
LEAD
Technologies
?
L263
LEAD H.263
LEAD
Technologies
LEAD tell me that “The LEAD H.263 codec is a high quality lossy interframe DirectShow and Video for Windows (VfW) codec with a quality and compression ratio comparable to MPEG-4. It can be used for a range of applications including video-conferencing, Internet video or surveillance and monitoring. Existing video software, such as Windows® Media Player® and Ulead Media Studio® can utilize this codec to play, create, convert and edit.”
LBYR
?
?
Based on the naming, I would hazard a guess that this describes some Bayer image format and may have been registered by LEAD Technologies. Can anyone confirm or deny?
LCMW
LEAD MCMW Video Codec
LEAD
Technologies
This is a wavelet-based codec. LEAD tell me “The MCMW Codec is designed to create high-quality video using low bandwidth (dial-up) delivery. This is achieved by using a state of the art intraframe wavelet based compression technique that provides superior compression performance, while still ensuring optimal quality at any compression level.”
LCW2
LEAD
MJPEG2000
LEAD
Technologies
Codec saving standard JPEG2000 streams. LEAD has more info about it here.
LEAD
LEAD Video Codec
LEAD
Technologies
LEAD tell me that this codec is now obsolete yet it seems that their “MCMP Codec” supports it so I guess it’s not as obsolete as all that.
LGRY
Grayscale Image
LEAD
Technologies
Supports 12 and 16bpp grayscale images with additional low and high range information required for medical images. Format public but not finalised when this update was made.
LJ11
LEAD JPEG 4:1:1
LEAD
Technologies
Presumably a JPEG codec which encodes YUV in 4:1:1 format. This is supported by LEAD’s MCMP Codec.
LJ22
LEAD JPEG 4:2:2
LEAD
Technologies
Presumably a JPEG codec which encodes YUV in 4:2:2 format. This is supported by LEAD’s MCMP Codec.
LJ2K
LEAD MJPEG 2000
LEAD
Technologies
LEAD tell me “the LEAD MJPEG2000 Video codec saves standard JPEG2000 streams. This codec is perfect when high compression and interoperability are necessary.”
LJ44
LEAD JPEG 4:4:4
LEAD
Technologies
Presumably a JPEG codec which encodes YUV in 4:4:4 format. This is supported by LEAD’s MCMP Codec.
Ljpg
LEAD MJPEG Codec
LEAD
Technologies
Supports color JPEG 4:1:1, 4:2:2, 4:4:4, grayscale JPEG 4:0:0) FOURCCs supported: MJPG, JPEG, dmb1 Lossless JPEG support including 24-bit color and 8,12 and 16-bit grayscale. Link offers download of a time-expiring version of the codec. This format is supported by the LEAD MCMP and MJPEG2000 codecs.
LMP2
LEAD MPEG-2 Video Codec
LEAD
Technologies
LEAD’s implementation of the MPEG-2 video compression standard. The codec linked here also supports several other standard MPEG2 FOURCCs. Supports High, Main and Simple profiles, Low, Main, High1440 and High levels.
LMP4
LEAD MPEG-4 Video Codec
LEAD
Technologies
An H.264 codec suporting Main and Base Profles and levels up to 3.2. LEAD offer two versions of this codec, a normal version and a professional version which offers more options and higher compression ratios.
LSVC
Lightning Strike Video Codec
ESPRE
Solutions
Old version of the codec now identified as LSVX.
LSVM
Lightning Strike Video Codec
ESPRE
Solutions
Another old version of the codec now identified as LSVX.
LSVX
Lightning Strike Video Codec
ESPRE
Solutions
Multi-bitrate decoder used in the eViewStreamX product.
LZO1
Lempel-Ziv-Oberhumer Codec
Markus
Oberhumer
A fast, lossless codec available in source code format.
M263
H.263
Microsoft
Redmond’s codec implementing the H.263 compression standard.
M261
H.261
Microsoft
Redmond’s codec implementing the H.261 compression standard.
M4CC
m4cc
MPEG-4
Divio
 
M4S2
MPEG-4
(automatic WMP download)
Microsoft
Final fully-compliant ISO MPEG4 decoder, compliant to MPEG-4 version 2 simple profile. An alternative download site can be found here.
MC12
Motion Compensation Format
ATI 
Proprietary format used by ATI in MPEG decoding.
MCAM
Motion Compensation Format
ATI 
Proprietary format used by ATI in MPEG decoding.
MJ2C
Motion JPEG 2000
Morgan
Multimedia
Motion JPEG 2000
mJPG
Motion JPEG including Huffman Tables
IBM
A version of Motion JPEG which includes Huffman tables with each AVI frame. Developed by IBM before the MJPEG standard was finalised.
MJPG
Motion JPEG
?
Motion JPEG video. Codecs implementing MJPEG are (or have been) available from
The format is also used by Matrox in their Rainbow Runner add-on video capture / MPEG playback board for various of their display adapters and by Canon who’s cameras generate AVIs using this codec.
MMES
MPEG-2 ES
Matrox
Matrox MPEG-2 video elementary stream.MPEG-2 main profile or 4:2:2 profile closed GOP IBP or I-frame only decoder.
MP2A
Eval download
Media Excel
MPEG-2 Audio
MP2T
Eval download
Media Excel
MPEG-2 Transport Stream
MP2V
Eval download
Media Excel
MPEG-2 Video
MP42
MPEG-4
(automatic WMP download)
Microsoft
Apparently one of several different and incompatible MPEG-4 codecs. Rumour has it that this codec is downloadable from the Microsoft site somewhere. This codec is distributed as part of Microsoft Windows Media Tools 4. Includes quality improvements over the earlier MPG4.
Download as part of “Windows Media Codecs 8.0 for IT Professionals.”
MP43
MPEG-4
(automatic WMP download)
Microsoft
Yet another MPEG-4 variation from Microsoft. This FOURCC is not, however, listed on Microsoft’s codecs site. This codec is distributed as part of Microsoft Windows Media Tools 4. Includes further quality improvements over the earlier MPG4.
MP4A
Eval download
Media Excel
MPEG-4 Audio
MP4S
MPEG-4
(automatic WMP download)
Microsoft ?
The first ISO standard codec for use with the Sharp digital camera implementing a restricted feature set of MPEG4.
MP4T
Eval download
Media Excel
MPEG-4 Transport Stream
mp4v
MPEG-4
?
Presumably a duplicate of MP4V. LEAD’s MCMP codec supports this format and you can download an evaluation version here.
MP4V
Eval download
Media Excel
MPEG-4 Video. LEAD’s MCMP codec also supports this format.
MPEG
MPEG
?
MPEG video – presumably MPEG I ?
MPG4
MPEG-4
(automatic WMP download)
Microsoft
MPEG-4 Video High Speed Compressor. Downloadable here, I am told. This codec was shipped with some versions of the Microsoft Netshow encoder (probably 3.0). This codec was based on early drafts of the MPEG-4 spec.
MPGI
MPEG
Sigma Designs
Editable MPEG codec
MR16
?
?
?
MRCA
Mrcodec
FAST Multimedia
And I thought it stood for “Multi Role Combat Aircraft”.
MRLE
Microsoft RLE
Microsoft
Run length encoded RGB format from Microsoft. Basically the same as the BI_RLE formats but Michael Knapp clarifies:
“MRLE is just *nearly* the same compression as the existing 4 and 8bit RLE formats but the ‘copy bytes-chunk’ always has an even byte-length. That means that an empty byte is added if the ‘copy chunk’ contains an odd number of bytes”
MSVC
Microsoft Video 1
Microsoft
Original codec shipped with Video For Windows. Deals with 8bpp and 16bpp images. Quality leaves a lot to be desired (IMHO). Full technical details are available here.
MSZH
AVImszh
Kenji Oshima
Kenji Oshima also developed a multi-threaded M3JPEG codec based on one by Morgan Multimedia. You can download this here. Algorithm information can be found here. This is supposedly the same thing as ZLIB.
MTX1
through
MTX9
?
Matrox
Apparently these are MJPG variations registered by Matrox consumer products group.
MVI1
Motion Pixels MVI1 Codec
?
Part of the Motion Pixels player. Install the player and the codec will become available to other multimedia applications. Read more at this site (look for Treasure Quest).
MVI2
Motion Pixels MVI2 Codec
?
As for MVI1, this is part of the Motion Pixels player. Read more at this site.
MWV1
Aware Motion Wavelets
Aware Inc.
Wavelet compression-based codec optimised for Intel MMX platforms. Allegedly downloadable from here. Codec filename is icmw_32.dll.
nAVI
Download here
?
?
NDSC
Nero Digital Cinema
Nero Digital
Nero registered this with me recently but provided no information other than the name – sorry.
ndsm
Nero MPEG4?
Nero Digital
A contributor suggests that this codec is owned by Nero Digital and refer sto their flavour of MPEG4 but I have not been able to confirm this.
ndsp
Nero Digital Portable
Nero Digital
Nero have registered NDSP so my assumption is that they get the lower case version for free.
NDSP
Nero Digital Portable
Nero Digital
Apparently an MPEG4 implementation of some description.
ndss
Nero Digital Standard
Nero Digital
A contributor suggests that this codec is owned by Nero Digital and refers to their flavour of MPEG4 but I have not been able to confirm this.
NDSS
Nero Digital Standard
Nero Digital
Presumably the same as ndss.
NDXC
Nero Digital AVC Cinema
Nero Digital
Presumably a variation of MPEG4 part 10/AVC.
NDXH
Nero Digital AVC HDTV
Nero Digital
Presumably a variation of MPEG4 part 10/AVC.
NDXP
Nero Digital AVC Portable
Nero Digital
Presumably a variation of MPEG4 part 10/AVC.
NDXS
Nero Digital AVC Standard
Nero Digital
Presumably a variation of MPEG4 part 10/AVC.
NTN1
Video Compression 1
Nogatech/Zoran
?
NTN2
Video Compression 2
Nogatech/Zoran
An evolution of NTN1.
NVDS
NVidia Texture Format
NVidia
?
NVHS
NVidia Texture Format
NVidia
Apparently a texture format introduced for GEForce 3.
NHVU
NVidia Texture Format
NVidia
Apparently a texture format introduced for GEForce 3.
NVS0-
NVS5
?
NVidia?
Supported by GEForce 2 GTS Pro / 64Mb DDR. Possibly a texture format.
NVT0-
NVT5
?
NVidia?
Supported by GEForce 2 GTS Pro / 64Mb DDR. Possibly a texture format.
PDVC
DVC codec
I-O Data Device
DV codec for I-O DATA Digital Video Capture products.
PGVV
Radius Video Vision
Radius
?
PHMO
Photomotion
IBM
?
PIM1
Download here
Pinnacle
Systems
MPEG-1 based codec
PIM2
?
Pinnacle
Systems
Pinnacle DC1000 firewire video editing card supports this format.
pimj
Pegasus Lossless JPEG
Pegasus
Imaging
High speed compression and decompression of 24-bit RGB and 8-bit grayscale using Predictor 1 Lossless JPEG. Well suited for medical video. You may find additional information here.
PIXL
Video XL
Pinnacle
Systems
This is apparently an alias for VIXL. You can find more information about it here.
PJPG
PA MJPEG
Pierre Albou
Non-standard codec based on MJPEG.
PVEZ
PowerEZ
Horizons Technology
TrueMotion based codec (?) It appears that Horizons Technology has now been acquired by Raytheon and is no longer in the codec business (can someone confirm this – their URL is now redirected). Allegedly, you can download this codec from support.private.com but I’m not going to add a link since this is an adult video company and I don’t want to get this site associated with porn.
PVMM
PacketVideo Corporation MPEG-4
PacketVideo Corporation
Software MPEG4 codec that supports multiple bitrate encoding/decoding. It is also error resilient allowing transmission over wired/wireless networks.
PVW2
Pegasus Wavelet 2000 Compression
Pegasus
Imaging
High speed compression and decompression of 24-bit RGB and 8-bit grayscale using Pegasus’ proprietary Wavelet2000 wavelet technology. Well suited for low motion, low bandwidth applications. More information is available here.
qpeq
QPEG 1.1
Q-Team
?
QPEG
QPEG
Q-Team
Q-Team Dr.Knabe’s 8-bit output codec with automatic palette switching for seamless edits.
raw
Raw RGB
?
Apparently this contains “raw, uncompressed RGB bitmaps”.
RGBT
32 bit support
Computer Concepts
That’s odd. I registered RGBT at the same time as a bunch of other FOURCCs and it was granted. The format I registered is for 16- and 32-bit uncompressed RBG images with a transparency plane. Microsoft’s codec site, however, lists Computer Concepts rather than Brooktree (Conexant) as the owner. Hmm…
rle
Apple Animation
Apple
Yes this really is lower case. This format is used to compress Quicktime files. Available in 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 24 and 32bit flavors.
RLE
Run Length Encoder
Microsoft?
I expect this is an equivalent to one of the the BI_RLEx FOURCCs (see the RGB page). The Win2K clock.avi sample uses this format. Final character in the FOURCC is a space.
RLE4
4bpp Run Length Encoder
Microsoft
Equivalent to BI_RLE4. See RGB page for more details.
RLE8
8bpp Run Length Encoder
Microsoft
Equivalent to BI_RLE8. See RGB page for more details.
RMP4
MPEG-4 AS Profile Codec
Sigma Designs
Press release here describes this codec.
RPZA
Apple Video
Apple
RGB555 block-based codec used in Quicktime files.
RT21
Real Time Video 2.1
Intel
What Indeo was called before the marketing guys got their hands on it. RTV or Real Time Video was the format produced by Intel’s ActionMedia II adapter back in the late 80s. When the 80486 came along, this migrated to the software-decodable Indeo formats used today.
rv20
RealVideo G2
Real
RealVideo G2 (6.0 and greater versions of the player and encoder)
rv30
RealVideo 8
Real
 
RV40
RealVideo 10?
Real
Apparently you need to install RealPlayer 10 to enable playback of any AVI encoded with RV40.
RVX
RDX
Intel
?
s422
VideoCap C210
YUV Codec
Tekram International
YUV422 codec shipped as part of the driver package for Tekram’s C210 product.
SAN3
DivX 3
?
A direct copy of DivX 3.11a, apparently. If you use a FOURCC changer tool on these AVIs they will play with the standard DivX codecs.
SDCC
Digital Camera Codec
Sun Communications
?
SEDG
Samsung MPEG-4
Samsung
MPEG-4 hardware and software codec used in Samsung digital video products.
SFMC
Surface Fitting Method
CrystalNet
CrystalGram video email codec.
SMC
Apple Graphics
Apple
8-bit, block-based codec used in Quicktime files.
SMP4
?
?
Codec used by Samsung VP-ms15 Digicam. This appears to be a DIVX clone since apparently SMP4 files play fine if you change the FOURCC to DIVX.
SMSC
Proprietary codec
Radius
?
SMSD
Proprietary codec
Radius
?
smsv
Wavelet Video
WorldConnect
(corporate site)
Windows 95 codec installed automatically (and without warning) whenever you receive and play back a file sent from VisualMail. Very low bandwidth format.
SP40
?
SunPlus
Appears to be an uncompressed YUV format of some kind but I have no information on this other than that.
SP44
?
SunPlus
Presumably a precursor to SP54?
SP54
?
SunPlus
Apparently a form of MJPEG but with some header or other missing. Software shipped with a number of low end digital cameras and webcams such as Aiptek’s Pocketcam digital still camera, Logitech’s ClickSmart and Mustek’s gSmart mini 2 use this format. These use SunPlus chipsets so presumably this explains the “SP”.
You can download a tool that will convert this to MJPEG here.
SPIG
Spigot
Radius
?
SQZ2
VXTreme Video Codec V2
Microsoft
?
SV10
Video R1
Sorenson Media
Allegedly popular as a Quicktime codec. Used for trailer videos on Star Wars Episode 1 and other games.
STVA
ST CMOS Imager Data (Bayer)
ST
Microelectronics
Data from ST CMOS Imagers that is passed to a codec external to the driver for processing to a displayable format. More info may be available at the ST Vision and Imaging Unit web site.
STVB
ST CMOS Imager Data (Nudged Bayer)
ST
Microelectronics
Data from ST CMOS Imagers that is passed to a codec external to the driver for processing to a displayable format. More info may be available at the ST Vision and Imaging Unit web site.
STVC
ST CMOS Imager Data (Bunched)
ST
Microelectronics
Data from ST CMOS Imagers that is passed to a codec external to the driver for processing to a displayable format. More info may be available at the ST Vision and Imaging Unit web site.
STVX
ST CMOS Imager Data (Extended CODEC Data Format)
ST
Microelectronics
Data from ST CMOS Imagers that is passed to a codec external to the driver for processing to a displayable format. More info may be available at the ST Vision and Imaging Unit web site.
STVY
ST CMOS Imager Data (Extended CODEC Data Format with Correction Data)
ST
Microelectronics
Data from ST CMOS Imagers that is passed to a codec external to the driver for processing to a displayable format. More info may be available at the ST Vision and Imaging Unit web site.
SVQ1
Sorenson Video 1
Sorenson
Media
Hierarchicial adaptive multistage vector quantizer with mean removal and interframe motion compensation. Used in Quicktime. Complete technical details can be found here.
SVQ3
Sorenson Video 3
Sorenson
Media
Video codec used in Quicktime files. A variant of H.264
TLMS
Motion Intraframe Codec
TeraLogic
?
TLST
Motion Intraframe Codec
TeraLogic
?
TM20
TrueMotion 2.0
Duck
Corporation
Version 2.0 of Duck Corp’s Truemotion codec. I’m told this codec is available as part of a pack that can be downloaded here.
TM2X
TrueMotion 2X
Duck
Corporation
Duck Corp’s follow-on codec after TM20.
TMIC
Motion Intraframe Codec
TeraLogic
?
TMOT
TrueMotion S
Horizons Technology
Another FOURCC for TrueMotion S. This relates to the version of the codec licensed by Horizons Technology and is not compatible with DUCK.
TR20
TrueMotion RT 2.0
Duck Corporation
Realtime version of TrueMotion.
TSCC
TechSmith Screen Capture Codec
Techsmith Corp.
Codec used by the Camtasia Screen “camcorder” application.
TV10
Tecomac Low-Bit Rate Codec
Tecomac, Inc.
?
TVJP
?
Pinnacle/Truevision
Used by the Targa 2000 board.
TVMJ
?
Pinnacle/Truevision
Used by the Targa 2000 board. Morgan Multimedia offers a codec supporting this format.
TY2C
Trident Decompression Driver
Trident Microsystems
?
TY2N
?
Trident Microsystems
?
TY0N
?
Trident Microsystems
?
UCOD
ClearVideo
eMajix.com
Fractal compression-based video codec available as a Video for Windows codec and in the ClearFusion Netscape plugin package.
ULTI
Ultimotion
IBM Corp.
Shipped with OS/2 but also available for Video for Windows. Link is to a very old version of the codec for Windows.
v210
10-bit 4:2:2 Component YCbCr
AJA Video Systems
Uncompressed format supported by AJA Video Systems Xena adapter.
V261
Lucent VX2000S
Lucent
?
V655
YUV 4:2:2
Vitec Multimedia
Component ordering and packing unknown. Can you help?
VCR1
ATI Video Codec 1
ATI 
Codec used by some ATI TV-PC products.
VCR2
ATI Video Codec 2
ATI 
Codec used by some ATI TV-PC products.
VCR3-9
ATI Video Codecs
ATI 
Registered for ATI Video Codecs version 3-9. I’m not sure these actually exist but the registrations are valid.
VDCT
VideoMaker Pro DIB
Vitec Multimedia
16bpp format – no information on colour space, packing or component ordering.
VDOM
VDOWave
VDONet
Another streaming video format from VDONet.
VDOW
VDOLive
VDONet
H.263 internet streaming video format. Allegedly to be used (being used ?) by Microsoft in it’s NetShow offering.
VDTZ
VideoTizer YUV Codec
Darim Vision Co.
Codec used to store YUV AVIs captured with Darim Vision’s VideoTizer product.
VGPX
VideoGramPix
Alaris
Alaris VGPixel 32-bit AVI compression driver. It seems that this codec is installed along with the software for the “Alaris Wee Cam.”  The codec doesn’t appear to be available separately but, allegedly, works fine if you install the Wee Cam software even without the camera. You may also find some information at http://www.alaris.com/vg_tech/vg_tchtx.htm and http://www.videogram.com.
VIFP
VFAPI Codec
?
Take a look at http://www.doom9.org where you may find more information.
VIDS
?
Vitec Multimedia
YUV 4:2:2 CCIR 601 for V422 (no, I don’t understand this either)
VIVO
Vivo H.263
Vivo Software
Vivo’s version of the videoconferencing “standard” H.263 compression format (version 2.0.0).
VIXL
Video XL
Miro (now part of Pinnacle Systems)
Used my MiroVideo products such as the DC10, DC20, DC30, etc. A motion JPEG format that is accelerated in hardware with the Zoran chipset. You can find more information about it here.
VLV1
?
VideoLogic
Codec probably used in VideoLogic’s Captivator product line
VP30
VP3
On2
On2 tell me “On2’s VP3 codec will encode video into a VP3 file in multiple bit rates (roughly 220 Kbps, 330 Kbps, and 440 Kbps) and at optimum frame rates (usually 29.97 fps). This multiple bit rate file allows the TrueCast server to scale dynamically and smoothly as bandwidth congestion increases and decreases, providing the viewer with a consistent and reliable experience, without choppiness or interruption.”
VP31
VP31
On2
The successor to VP30. This algorithm was open sourced by On2 in 2001-2002 and is the basis for the Theora Video Codec. Technical details are available here.
VP40
VP40
On2
Another in On2/Duck’s line of video codecs.
VP50
VP50
On2
..and another
VP60
VP60
On2
..and another
VP61
VP61
On2
..I can feel a pattern developing.
VP62
VP62
On2
..I wonder which one will be next?
VQC1
VideoQuest Codec 1
ViewQuest
Digital video camera codec. ViewQuest offer lots of driver downloads on their site so you may find this in one of those packages.
VQC2
VideoQuest Codec 2
ViewQuest
Codec apparently used in Kodak DVC325 digital camera. Check the ViewQuest site download page – you may find the codec there somewhere.
VQJC
?
?
?
vssv
VSS Video
Vanguard Software Solutions
Real-time or near-real-time encoding with high compression ratios and good image quality.
VUUU
?
?
?
VX1K
VX1000S Video Codec
Lucent
?
VX2K
VX2000S Video Codec
Lucent
?
VXSP
VX1000SP Video Codec
Lucent
?
VYU9
ATI YUV
ATI 
Planar YUV format supported by some ATI capture systems?
VYUY
ATI YUV
ATI 
Packed YUV format supported by some ATI capture systems?
WBVC
W9960
Winbond Electronics
?
WHAM
Microsoft Video 1
Microsoft
Yet another FOURCC describing Microsoft’s MSVC/CRAM codec.
WINX
Winnov Software Compression
Winnov
Software codec used by some Winnov Videum products.
WJPG
Winbond JPEG
?
Format supported by AverMedia USB TV-tuner/capture device.
WMV1
Windows Media Video 7
Microsoft
 
WMV2
Windows Media Video 8
Microsoft
 
WMV3
Windows Media Video 9
Microsoft
You may find other useful information here.
WMVA
Windows Media Video 9 Advanced Profile
Microsoft
The codec originally submitted for consideration as SMPTE VC1. This is not VC1 compliant and is no longer supported by Microsoft.
WNV1
Winnov Hardware Compression
Winnov
Hardware codec used by Winnov Videum products.
WVC1
SMPTE VC1
Microsoft
Microsoft’s implementation of the SMPTE VC1 codec.
x263
Download here
Xirlink
Another H.263 codec. This one is apparently used by an IBM-branded webcam.
X264
H.264
?
This FOURCC was originally registered by a company called XiWave but their web presence has disappeared. I am now informed that it is used by a popular open source H.264 implementation.
XVID
XVID MPEG-4
XVID
Codec is available in source form from XVID web site. Can also be downloaded as part of the Gordian Knot Codec Pack.
This FOURCC is also supported by LEAD’s MCMP Codec.
XLV0
XL Video Decoder
NetXL Inc.
?
XMPG
XING MPEG
XING Corporation
Editable (I frame only) MPEG codec
XWV0-
XWV9
XiWave Video Codec
XiWave
XWV3 is currently used to describe Xi-3 Video. Others are unused.
XXAN
?
Origin?
Codec useing Huffman and RLE encoding paired with basic interframing. This format is used in Wing Commander 3 and 4 movies.
The codec filename is xanlib.dll and a player, xanmovie, is available on the the Kilrathi Saga and Crusader game CDs.
Y16
16bpp Grayscale Video
Thermoteknix Systems Ltd.
A simple, uncompressed format for recording 16bpp grayscale images.
Y411
YUV 4:1:1
Microsoft
Supposedly 16bpp packed but 4:1:1 is usually 12bpp – odd. This is an uncompressed YUV format.
Y41P
Brooktree YUV 4:1:1
Conexant
This is an uncompressed YUV 411 format I registered about 7 years ago. I’ve stumbled on a few AVIs that use it, though, so I am listing it here. Download the ZIP and add VIDC.BT20=btvvc32.drv and VIDC.Y41P=btvvc32.drv to the [drivers32] section of your SYSTEM.INI to enable the codec
Y444
?
?
Format provided by the Windows 2000 drivers for the iRez Stealth Fire camera. Seems to be a copy of IYU2.
Y8
Grayscale video
?
Probably a duplicate of the uncompressed Y800 format. The 2 last characters are spaces. See also GREY which appears to be another duplicate
YC12
YUV 12 codec
Intel
?
YUV8
Caviar YUV8
Winnov
?
YUV9
YUV9 Raw Format
Intel
An uncompressed YUV format used by Intel Indeo video products.
YUVP
?
?
An uncompressed YCrCb 4:2:2 format using 10-bit precision components ordered Y0 U0 Y1 V0. I have no idea how the 10 bit samples are packed – sorry.
YUY2
Raw, uncompressed YUV 4:2:2
Microsoft (probably)
Yes, I know this isn’t a compressed format but I get so many questions about where to find a codec for YUY2 AVIs that it’s here to allow people to find the answer easily. I’m told “VirtualDub has been able to decode YUY2 internally since V1.3a. Newer versions of Ben Rudiak-Gould’s Huffyuv codec will also convert YUY2 or UYVY data to RGB”
YUYV
?
Canopus
Compressed YUV format. Some of the software on the Canopus download page may include this codec (I’m guessing – please tell me if this is true).
YV12
YUV 4:2:0 Planar
Microsoft or Apple?
Uncompressed format commonly used in MPEG video processing. You can find more informatio on the YUV formats page.
YV16
YUV 4:2:2 Planar
Elecard
Uncompressed format similar to YV12 but with twice the chroma resolution.
YV92
?
Intel
Codec used by Intel’s Smart Video Recorder product. Apparently a compresssed YVU9 format.
ZLIB
?
?
A generic lossless codec that you can download from here. Apparently also contains the MSZH codec. Algorithm info can be found here. May be the same algorithm used in compressing PNG images.
ZMBV
The DoxBox Project
DoxBox Capture Codec
A codec using ZLIB compression which is used to capture screen information.
ZPEG
Video Zipper
Metheus
?
ZyGo
ZyGoVideo
ZyGo Digital
Video codec usually packaged in Quicktime files. Investigations suggest that it may be a variant of H.263.
ZYYY
?
?
?

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