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Downloading videos, what format?

Old 11-19-04, 06:29 PM
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Downloading videos, what format?

A site I belong to has the following formats available for video download: mpeg, wmv, and divx. What are the advantages and disadvantages of choosing one vs another?
Old 11-19-04, 11:01 PM
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MPEG is the codec used for VCD's and has been around the longest, so it is the most universally compatible and has the lowest prcoessor power requirement for smooth playback. If VCD is your preferred viewing or archival format, then MPEG will be the most convenient since you can burn it directly without having to do any re-encoding. Also, if your PC is ancient, then MPEG will play more smoothly than either WMV or DivX.

WMV is a Microsoft proprietary format. Any modern Windows PC should be able to play these files, though it may require you to install the latest version of Windows Media Player. The video quality ranges from decent to excellent, but there is not as much support among burning/editing software for working with WMV files, compared to AVI files.

DivX generally comes as an AVI file. It's basically an implementation of the MPEG 4 spec, so its quality also can range from decent to excellent. As long as you have the DivX codec installed, most editing/burning software will support DivX AVI files.

Personally, I'd chose the DivX files. The quality is good and it's basically MPEG 4 so you're not locking yourself into a propreitary codec.

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