Compressed: DVD Video on a CD-ROM
What we are presenting here is almost a sensation. Just imagine: With the help of a small tool it is possible to store the content of complete DVDs on a CD-ROM without any noticeable loss of quality. This makes buying an expensive DVD burner with limited memory capacity obsolete. On top of that: The nifty program can be downloaded from the Internet for free and is quite versatile.
To copy a video with up to 9 GB from a DVD to a CD-ROM requires a lot of computing power and time. After all the data volume must be reduced to about a 12th of its original size to accommodate the 700 MB of limited storage capacity of the CD-ROM. A data compression of this magnitude for digital video is only possible with the new video compression standard MPEG-4. Generally speaking MPEG-4 is an extension of the MPEG-2 technology, but MPEG-4 can be used more universally.
The history of MPEG goes back to the year 1987. MPEG stands for Motion Pictures Expert Group, a worldwide organization that develops manufacturer and platform independent standards for video compression. The first result was introduced as MPEG-1 in 1992. It was the basis for the less successful European Video-CD. Because of its limited resolution of 352 x 288 pixels, MPEG-1 is only suitable for the home environment, and the achievable video quality in relation to the data rate is rather low from today's point of view. MPEG-2 was introduced in 1995 and is mainly based on MPEG-1. The higher resolution with a maximum of 720 x 576 pixels is a major improvement enabling a significantly better video quality. The newest format is called MPEG-4 and was released by the MPEG group only recently in December 1999.