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Video Codecs

What is a Video Codec? (A Very Simple Guide)

Digital videos can come in a variety of formats and sizes, but have you ever wondered why some video files are so large and others pretty small? Today, we are going to look at a very simple guide to video codecs. Digital videos contain two elements, a container (or file extension) and a codec (found within the container). Simply put, a video codec is a software or device that compresses video. There are two different types of codec for video and they are Lossy and Lossless.

What is Lossy Video Compression?

“Lossy” compression basically refers to a video that has been made smaller or compressed by removing or losing data. In the case of a video with sound, this could be both a loss in picture quality and some of the sound quality. Video compression reduces the

bitrate of your videos (the amount of information stored on within your video) The higher the bitrate of your video, the higher quality the video. When selecting the bitrate you should always take into account the resolution of your video (to ensure that the quality of the video is good). Most video converters will have a default to help you decide the right settings.

What is Lossless Video Compression?

“Lossless” Codecs are often referred to as raw video. Lossless video codecs are high quality videos and usually large files. Lossless video codecs allow the video data within them to be almost perfectly reconstructed for a superior quality video. Lossless video compression is generally used when the quality of the video must remain high and all data should remain as close as possible to the original.
As a general rule, the more compressed a video is, the lower quality the video will become. It is important to remember that some codecs are more efficient than others and depending on your individual video settings and the different video codec(s) you use, will allow for varying levels of compression at higher or lower levels of video quality. Having said that, it is possible to significantly reduce the size of a video (around 100:1) without much visible loss of quality. The key is to get obtain a fine balance between video quality and video size.
Please note, here at Transcription City, we prefer to work with small, low-res video files, as we don’t need high quality video files for transcription or writing subtitle files. However, if you want us to produce open captioning (burnt on subtitles or captions) we will need a high res, master copy of your video.

If you would like to know more about the best type of video file to send to us for transcription, why not get in touch? We offer a range of transcription services that include time coded video transcription and subtitling. Feel free to contact us at any time, we’re always happy to help!

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Transcriptionist and Virtual Assistant. View all posts by Samantha