Video Jargon Quick Reference
This is the latest in a series of Avivo Versus PureVideo articles, so some of the terms might justify re-explanation for those who are joining us fresh. For detailed explanations, we encourage the reader to check the other articles:
High-Definition Content Protection is an encryption scheme used by high-definition video to prevent the video data stream from being copied between the digital video output on your computer (DVI or HDMI) and your monitor. For it to work, the graphics card and the monitor must be HDCP-compliant. If both pieces are not compliant, the system will refuse to play the video.
The High-Definition Multimedia Interface is a digital audio/video output option, used mostly with high-definition televisions. HDMI has the distinction of being able to carry both digital audio and digital video information at the same time. If the hardware is compliant, then it can carry an HDCP signal.
The Digital Video Interface is another digital video output option, used mostly with computer monitors. It is only designed to handle video, not audio. If the hardware is compliant, then it can also carry an HDCP signal.
Referring to the horizontal resolution of high-definition content, 1080p, in this case, represents 1920 vertical lines by 1080 horizontal lines. The “p” means that the signal is “progressive,” which indicates that all 1080 lines are broadcast at once. An “i” instead of a “p” means that the signal is “interlaced” and only shows half of the total horizontal lines of resolution at one time.
Also referring to the horizontal resolution of high-definition content, 720p, in this case, represents a signal of 1280x720.
Linear Pulse-Code Modulation is a method of encoding digital audio. This is currently the only way of transferring eight-channel digital audio over a graphics card's HDMI output, discrete or integrated.
Video Codecs – H.264, VC-1, and MPEG-2
The term “codec” stands for “compression-decompression.” As high-definition video includes too much information to broadcast without compressing it, a codec must be used to fit movies on a Blu-ray disc. There are three video codecs used in Blu-ray discs today: H.264, VC-1, and MPEG-2.
H.264 is the newest and most demanding codec to play back, but it offers the best compression. The VC-1 and MPEG-2 codecs are a lot easier for the hardware to decompress, so they require less processing power. But they also take up more space on the disc.