Image Processing Reference
their individual specialty. Some of them are proprietary and others are based on open stan-
dards. All of these are important things to consider when selecting a codec for your project.
In the context of your video arriving at some destination, Chapters 26 to 28 talk about the
client players for which you are creating your content. Using open standards helps to reach a
wider audience. Beware of situations where a specific player is mandated. This is either
because you have chosen a proprietary codec or because the open standard is not supported
correctly. That may be accidental or purposeful. Companies that manufacture encoders and
players will sometimes advertise that they support an open standard but then deliver it inside
a proprietary container. We will look at some of the pros and cons of the available players.
Learning to Fly on Your Own
By now, you may be eager to start experimenting with your own encoding. Maybe you just
took a job that involves building a compression system and that seems a bit daunting. Or
maybe you have some experience of using these systems and want to try out some alternatives.
Either way, Chapter 29 will help you set up your own encoding system. Along the way, we
examine the implications for small systems and how they scale up to commercial enterprises.
This should be valuable whether you're setting up large- or small-scale encoding systems.
Circuits and Bumps
We built the hardware in Chapter 29. In Chapter 30, we add the software to it. This is a lot
easier to do, now that open standards provide applications with interoperability. Whilst
you can still purchase all your support from a single manufacturer, it is wise to choose the
best product for each part of the process, even if different manufacturers make them.
Standards provide a compliance checkpoint that allows you to give evidence that some
corrective work needs to be done to an application. If you have some problematic content,
then standards-compliance tools can help you to isolate the problem so that you can feed
some informative comments back to the codec manufacturer. An integration problem can
be due to noncompliant export from a tool, or import mechanisms in the next workflow
stage that are incorrectly implemented.
Hitting Some Turbulence on the Way
In Chapter 31, we begin to discuss how to cope with the difficult areas in video compres-
sion. You are likely to hit a few bumps along the way as you try your hand at video
compression. These will manifest themselves in a particularly difficult-to-encode video