The Moving Picture Experts Group, commonly referred to as simply MPEG, is a working group of ISO/IEC charged with the development of video and audio encoding standards. Its first meeting was in May 1988 in Ottawa, Canada. As of late 2005, MPEG has grown to include approximately 350 members per meeting from various industries, universities, and research institutions. MPEG's official designation is ISO/IEC JTC1/SC29 WG11.
MPEG has standardized the following compression formats and ancillary standards:
- MPEG-1: Initial video and audio compression standard. Later used as the standard for Video CD, and includes the popular Layer 3 (MP3) audio compression format.
- MPEG-2: Transport, video and audio standards for broadcast-quality television. Used for over-the-air digital television ATSC, DVB and ISDB, digital satellite TV services like Dish Network, digital cable television signals, SVCD, and with slight modifications, as the .VOB (Video OBject) files that carry the images on DVDs.
- MPEG-3: Originally designed for HDTV, but abandoned when it was realized that MPEG-2 (with extensions) was sufficient for HDTV. (not to be confused with MP3, which is MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3.)
- MPEG-4: Expands MPEG-1 to support video/audio "objects", 3D content, low bitrate encoding and support for Digital Rights Management. Several new higher efficiency video standards (newer than MPEG-2 Video) are included (an alternative to MPEG-2 Video), notably:
In addition, the following standards, while not sequential advances to the video encoding standard as with MPEG-1 through MPEG-4, are referred to by similar notation:
Moreover, relatively more recently than other standards above, MPEG has started following international standards; each of the standards holds multiple MPEG technologies for a way of application. For example, MPEG-A includes a number of technologies on multimedia application format.
- MPEG-A: Multimedia application format.
- MPEG-B: MPEG systems technologies.
- MPEG-C: MPEG video technologies.
- MPEG-D: MPEG audio technologies.
- MPEG-E: Multimedia Middleware.
A list of MPEG reference books can be found in