Moving Pictures Experts Group
MPEG is a standard for compressing sound and movie files into an attractive format for downloading--or even streaming--across the Internet. The MPEG-1 standard streams video and sound data at 150 kilobytes per second--the same rate as a single-speed CD-ROM drive--which it manages by taking key frames of video and filling only the areas that change between the frames. Unfortunately, MPEG-1 produces only adequate quality video, far below that of standard TV. MPEG-2 compression improves things dramatically. With MPEG-2, a properly compressed video can be shown at near-laserdisc clarity with a CD-quality stereo soundtrack. For that reason, modern video delivery mediums, such as digital satellite services and DVD, use MPEG-2.