What’s The Difference between MPEG-1 And MPEG-2

Image by http://bit.ly/1mQimDb

On video.online.convert.com, you can convert movies and video clips into the most popular and widely supported video formats like AVI, MP4, MOV, WMV… and MPG. However, there are two very common standards for saving and converting your videos as MPG files: MPEG-1 and MPEG-2.

In this blog article we want to give you a little guide in how to distinguish those two formats. What’s the big difference between MPEG-1 and MPEG-2? What do they have in common? Read on and find out!


The Difference Between MPEG-1 And MPEG-2

Before we concentrate on the differences, lets first look at what both video encoding standards have in common.

  • Both are generic coding mechanisms for audio and video data.
  • Both standards use lossy compression.
  • MPEG-1 as well as MPEG-2 are widely supported by various video players, both software and hardware.

However, there are some striking differences between the two formats. The following table will give an overview of the most prominent ones.

  • standard for VHS video quality
  • lower quality
  • performs better in lower bitrates
  • standard for DVD quality
  • better quality
  • supports higher resolutions and bitrates

Generally speaking, MPEG-2 is a successor of MPEG-1, addressing and getting rid of some of the weaknesses of the MPEG-1 standard.


What Makes MPEG-2 Better Than MPEG-1

The problem with MPEG-1 had been that audio compression is limited to only two channels. Furthermore, the standardized profile used is incompatible with videos that have been taken in a high resolution. Also, the only one color space was supported.

MPEG-2 introduced a way better quality that was used for DVD productions instead of VHS. The standard is able to capture video and audio data in higher resolutions than MPEG-1 did. The overall quality of the content increased compared to MPEG-1.

Unfortunately, MPEG-2 streams are not compatible with MPEG-1 streams. Therefore, players that only support the older format do not support the newer MPEG-2 format.