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"Video codec" Definition:
A video codec is a device or software that enables video compression and/or decompression for digital video. The compression usually employs lossy data compression. Historically, video was stored as an analog signal on magnetic tape. Around the time when the compact disc entered the market as a digital-format replacement for analog audio, it became feasible to also begin storing and using video in digital form, and a variety of such technologies began to emerge.
Audio and video call for customized methods of compression. Engineers and mathematicians have tried a number of solutions for tackling this problem.
There is a complex balance between the video quality, the quantity of the data needed to represent it, also known as the bit rate, the complexity of the encoding and decoding algorithms, robustness to data losses and errors, ease of editing, random access, the state of the art of compression algorithm design, end-to-end delay, and a number of other factors.
(This definition is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Video codec".)
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