The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) is an industry group created to work on industry-wide standards related to audio and video compression.
The MPEG is made up of audio, video, and technology industry professionals who come together for four annual meetings and work on compression standards and formats for audio and video content. The organization includes hundreds of professionals, representing over 200 companies and organizations, from over 20 countries.
The purpose and vision of the MPEG is the “development of international standards for compression, decompression, processing, and coded representation of moving pictures, audio, and their combination, in order to satisfy a wide variety of applications”. In other words, the MPEG aims to create standard formats, or what they term “generic formats”, for all types of media that can be used by a wide range of applications rather than proprietary standards that only have limited implementation.
Also See: MP3
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some of the important standards that have been created by the MPEG?
The MPEG standard most well-known is the MPEG-1 or 2 Audio Layer III standard, which is commonly known as the MP3. The MP3 revolutionized digital audio, made it possible for high-quality audio files to be stored using dramatically less space than was previously possible, and ushered in the era of downloadable audio files, digital audio players (MP3 players), and easy distribution of audio content over the Internet.
Other standards that have achieved broad adoption include:
- MPEG-2: One part of MPEG-2, Audio Layer III, has produced the MP3 audio file format. However, MPEG-2 also provides a standardized way for compression of video and is used by digital satellite TV services including Dish Network.
- MPEG-4: Certain compression standards described in MPEG-4, notably MPEG-4 AVC, are used for high definition video formats such as HD DVD and Blu-Ray. The important of this standard has been recognized by the awarding of not one but two Emmy Awards to the ISO.
- MPEG Media Transport: Part of the MPEG-H standard released in 2013, MPEG Media Transport (MMT) is the replacement technology for MPEG-2 TS to serve for over-the-air broadcasting as well as the distribution of video over the Internet. MMT is fully supported by HTML5 and provided a way to address the long-standing desire to have native support for video content in web browsers.
How are members of the MPEG selected?
The MPEG is a working group of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). In order to join the MPEG, a member must be approved by an appropriate ISO member organization from the member's country – a “National Standards Body”. For example, in the United States, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is the National Standards Body that would have to recommend that a member joins the MPEG working group. Membership in the MPEG is not a simple process. Only the most well-qualified organizations and media technology professionals are able to join the MPEG and participate in MPEG meetings.