At its most basic level, compression is performed when an input video stream is analyzed and information that is indiscernible to the viewer is discarded. Each event is then assigned a code - commonly occurring events are assigned few bits and rare events will have codes more bits. These steps are commonly called signal analysis, quantization and variable length encoding respectively. There are four methods for compression, discrete cosine transform (DCT), vector quantization (VQ), fractal compression, and discrete wavelet transform (DWT).
Discrete cosine transform is a lossy compression algorithm that samples an image at regular intervals, analyzes the frequency components present in the sample, and discards those frequencies which do not affect the image as the human eye perceives it. DCT is the basis of standards such as JPEG, MPEG, H.261, and H.263.
Vector quantization is a lossy compression that looks at an array of data, instead of individual values. It can then generalize what it sees, compressing redundant data, while at the same time retaining the desired object or data stream's original intent.
Fractal compression is a form of VQ and is also a lossy compression. Compression is performed by locating self-similar sections of an image, then using a fractal algorithm to generate the sections.
Like DCT, discrete wavelet transform mathematically transforms an image into frequency components. The process is performed on the entire image, which differs from the other methods (DCT), that work on smaller pieces of the desired data. The result is a hierarchical representation of an image, where each layer represents a frequency band.
Stands for the Moving Picture Experts Group MPEG is an ISO/IEC working group, established in 1988 to develop standards for digital audio and video formats. There are five MPEG standards being used or in development. Each compression standard was designed with a specific application and bit rate in mind, although MPEG compression scales well with increased bit rates. They include: