Tips and Training >> Definitions >> Codec

What is a Codec?

The word Codec is a combination of two words "coder" and "decoder". There are many variants of codecs and they all perform this "encode" and "decode" function with some form of compression or reduction in size of source video and/or audio.

The H.264 codec is used in many applications from DVD's to YouTube videos. It is a standards based codec that many manufacturers have adopted and therefore when this codec is implemented, broad cross-compatibility between video enabled devices is possible.

Codecs in Videoconferencing

When used in video communications such as video conferencing, as the name implies, a Codec (Coder/Decoder) must be at both the source and destination of a communications link. The coder compresses the signal for data transmission and the decoder expands the signal when received. In order for two video conferencing systems to communicate they must negotiate their video and audio codecs at the start of the connection.

Video codecs commonly used in video conferencing applications are: H.264, H.263+, H.261. Common audio codecs are: G.711, G.728, Siren Audio.

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