Image Processing Reference
MPEG-4 Profiles and Levels
MPEG-4 is far more complex than earlier video codecs. Indeed, the video coding is
expressed only in Parts 2 and 10 of the standard, and these describe two completely sepa-
rate codecs. First, let's summarize the component parts in MPEG-4. After that, we will
examine the profiles and levels defined for MPEG-4 Part 2. These are many and complex.
The H.264 standards group defines a rather smaller set and hence the MPEG-4 Part 10 cod-
ing is also simpler. Those will be described separately from MPEG-4 Part 2.
Profiles are intended to define a set of tools that are available, and levels define the
range of appropriate values for the properties associated with them.
MPEG-4 Parts 1 to 21 with Amendments
Table G-1 is an outline of the different component parts and amendments of the MPEG-4
standard. New items are occasionally added to this list and it has grown somewhat dur-
ing the time this topic was being prepared. The amendments are included as child items
of each part. Some amendments have been omitted since they are not listed on the ISO
web site and therefore are not available at this time. There are also corrigenda to the stan-
dards, which have been omitted.
Table G-1 MPEG-4 Parts and Amendments
Systems layer that defines scene descriptions, multiplexing,
synchronization, buffering, and intellectual property protection.
Intellectual Property Management and Protection (IPMP) extensions.
SL extensions and AFX streams.
Use of AVC (Advanced Video Coding) in MPEG-4 systems.