Technology / Multimedia

H.264 Codec

H.264 Codec

The LEADTOOLS H.264 Codec is a state-of-the-art DirectShow filter and Media Foundation Transform for compressing and decompressing video data using H.264/AVC standard (ISO/IEC 14496-10). H.264 is one of the most popular and advanced video standard developed jointly by ITU and MPEG. H.264/AVC provides a far more efficient algorithm for compressing video than most other compression methods available. H.264 typically outperforms all existing standards by a factor of three to four especially in comparison to MPEG-2.

In addition to the standard compression advantages H.264 brings, LEADTOOLS' implementation adds a proprietary "super compression" option, even further increasing compression while still having the ability to be decoded by standard H.264 decoders.

Overview of the LEADTOOLS H.264 Codec Technology

  • Full support for encoding, decoding and transcoding H.264/AVC-compressed video data adhering to ISO/IEC 14496-10 standard
  • Decode and play high definition format 720i, 720p, 1080i and 1080p in real time
  • Encode with hardware acceleration for optimal speed
    • Intel Quick Sync Video
  • Highly optimized to take advantage of multiple threads on multi-core machines
  • Achieves efficient compression by saving only the difference between motion vectors
  • Produce and consume RTP H.264 streams that work with video conferencing systems such as TANDBERG and Polycom
  • Generate High, Main and Baseline profiles for encoding onto Blu-ray media
  • Correct audio and video synchronization issues with automatic timestamp drift correction
  • Use Windows Media Server to stream H.264 encoded video
  • Preset compression options for iPhone, iPod and other devices and Smart Phones
  • User-defined motion estimation settings controls the balance between encoder speed and quality
  • Precise interprediction and network packet-loss protection achieved through multiple reference frames
  • Intraprediction may be performed either on 4x4 blocks or 16x16
  • Efficient computation through Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) as an integer transform
  • Motion vector prediction is performed before the frame is prepared for compression (pre-DCT), improving prediction and compression performance
  • Implements the SAD HADAMARD calculation to increase the compression ratio
  • Employs several contextual algorithms that improve both visual fidelity and compression ratios
    • Context-sensitive deblocking filter smooths out internal edges for improved visual quality
    • Context-Adaptive Variable Length Coding (CAVLC) to encode transform coefficients
    • Context-Adaptive Binary Arithmetic Coding (CABAC) method continually updates frequency statistics of the incoming data and adjusts the compression algorithm
  • Control the number and types of frames encoded into the video stream
  • Provides a mechanism for smoother playback of corrupted video data
  • Includes .NET (C# & VB) and C DLL libraries for 32 and 64-bit development

What is H.264?

H.264 is a high quality video compression algorithm and is suited for all types of applications with different ranges of bitrates. In addition to MP4 files, H.264 compressed video data can be stored inside AVI, OGG, MPEG-2 Program, MPEG2 Transport Stream, MKV (Matroska) and MXF files with the option of saving the file with or without the audio data. The technology is also known as AVC (Advanced Video Coding) or MPEG-4 Part 10 (ISO/IEC 14496-10).

Other LEADTOOLS SDK Technologies Related to H.264 Video Codec Technology

LEADTOOLS SDK Products that Include LEADTOOLS H.264 Video Codec Technology

Hover over each product for a description. Click for more details.

LEADTOOLS Multimedia Suite SDK

The LEADTOOLS Multimedia Suite SDK is a comprehensive collection of multimedia development technology that provides developers with everything they need to create enterprise-level multimedia applications for a wide variety of industries including defense, broadcast, security and more. By bundling features from the Multimedia SDK, DVD Module, Streaming Module, MPEG-2 Transport Module, Imaging Pro SDK and Distributed Computing SDK, Multimedia Suite offers a tremendous value for the world-class technology it includes.

LEADTOOLS Streaming Module

The LEADTOOLS Streaming Module is perfect for developers who need to stream audio and video across the Internet or corporate networks. This module adds on to the LEADTOOLS Multimedia SDK and offers a programmer-friendly set of tools for creating a wide variety of client/server applications including video conferencing, security/surveillance, IIS Smooth Streaming, Windows Media Server and more. In addition to the SDK features, the Streaming Module bundles together several of LEAD's world-class audio and video codecs which will reduce costs and improve user experience through reduced bandwidth requirements and high-quality playback.

LEADTOOLS MPEG-2 Transport Module

The LEADTOOLS MPEG-2 Transport Module adds advanced MPEG-2 Transport and MPEG-2 Program streaming, playback, capture and conversion capabilities to the LEADTOOLS Multimedia SDK. Developers can utilize robust UDP and TCP streaming with DVR and KLV metadata to create a wide spectrum of applications including security systems, HDTV playback, and UAV ground stations.

LEADTOOLS Medical Multimedia Module

The LEADTOOLS Medical Multimedia Module includes the LEADTOOLS Multimedia SDK and a collection of state-of-the-art DirectShow filters and Media Foundation Transforms for compressing and decompressing video and audio data within DICOM files. This feature-rich product is designed to eliminate the complexity from converting cine images and video streams to DICOM objects including X-ray Angiography (XA), Ultrasound (US), Visible Light (VL), Secondary Capture (SC) and much more. The LEADTOOLS Medical Multimedia Module utilizes the most advanced compression algorithms used in the industry and approved by the DICOM standard including MPEG-2, HD MPEG-2, Motion JPEG and Motion JPEG 2000.

NOTE: LEADTOOLS Video Codecs are very diverse and cover the gamut of multimedia features and technologies. Many codecs are included with the base SDK products above, while some can be added á la carte or bundled together with various add-on modules. See the Multimedia Product Comparison Chart for more details on how to obtain each video codec.

LEADTOOLS Online Documentation for H.264 Video Codec

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