Video Compression: How It Works and Why You Need It

Video Compression How It Works and Why You Need It

In the current digital era, video material has ingrained itself into every aspect of our life. Videos are used for a variety of things in our everyday lives, from streaming films and viewing online lessons to participating in video conferences.


Large video file sizes can be problematic, too, particularly when it comes to storage and transmission. In this case, video compression is useful since it effectively decreases file sizes without sacrificing quality. Let’s investigate the world of video compression to find out how it works and why it’s so crucial to our daily lives.


Understanding Video Compression

Video compression is a technique that shrinks video files while preserving passable audio and visual quality. Removing redundant or unnecessary data from the video results in smaller file sizes that are easier to store and transmit, thus showing you how to shrink a video file size.

The Need for Video Compression

Uncompressed videos with their raw and detailed data require substantial storage space and higher bandwidth for transmission, which can be impractical, especially for online streaming and sharing videos over the internet. Video compression addresses this challenge by reducing file sizes, making videos more practical for various applications.


Video Compression Algorithms

To ensure compatibility and efficiency across various platforms and devices, several video compression standards have been developed, including:

H.264/AVC (Advanced Video Coding)

This standard is commonly used in video streaming platforms and Blu-ray discs, offering good compression ratios and maintaining decent video quality.

H.265/HEVC (High-Efficiency Video Coding)

As a successor to H.264, it provides even better compression, enabling higher video quality at lower bitrates.


The open-source video codec VP9, created by Google, is well-known for its high-quality compression and is widely used on websites and streaming services.


How Video Compression Works

Spatial Compression

A key method of video compression called spatial compression targets the reduction of redundancy within individual frames. This technique locates and effectively saves related regions inside a frame. For example, displaying static backdrops or sizable color sections is possible while using less data and keeping the visual look.


Temporal Compression

Temporal compression targets redundancy between consecutive frames. Video content often contains several frames with minimal changes from one to the next. Temporal compression utilizes this temporal correlation to encode only the differences between frames, thus reducing the overall data required to represent the video.

Transform Coding

Transform coding is yet another frequently used technique for video compression. It uses Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) to convert video data from the spatial domain to the frequency domain. By prioritizing low-frequency elements over high-frequency features, which often contribute less to the overall visual sense, this rearranging of pixel values permits greater compression.


When video data is quantized, the accuracy of the numerical values is decreased. It loses detail since it can only assign a small number of values to represent pixel information. By purposefully surrendering less important picture features, quantization is essential to attaining reduced file sizes in lossy compression.

Importance of Video Compression

Reduced Need for Storage

Reducing the amount of storage space required for videos is one of the main motivations behind video compression. Video files would be enormous without compression, making saving them on several devices difficult.


Faster Streaming and Transmission

Videos that have been compressed are easier and quicker to upload, download, and stream since they use less bandwidth during transmission. Users will experience smoother viewing thanks to this.

Enhancing Accessibility

In order to ensure that consumers everywhere may access video content regardless of their internet connection or device capabilities, effective video compression makes it possible for videos to be shared and viewed more efficiently over the internet.

Superior User Experience

Thanks to effective video compression, users may watch high-quality video material without experiencing long buffering periods or pauses when streaming.

Applications of Video Compression

Online Video Streaming

In order to offer high-quality streaming information over the internet, video compression is essential. Compression algorithms are used by video streaming services like YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu to deliver content to consumers globally.


Video Conferencing

Video compression enables real-time video conferencing by reducing the data size needed for transmitting live video feeds. This technology facilitates smooth virtual communication and collaboration.

Factors Affecting Video Compression


The bitrate refers to the amount of data processed per unit of time in the video stream. Better video quality is typically achieved at the expense of bigger file sizes when bitrates are higher. Lower bitrates, on the other hand, yield smaller file sizes but may lead to visible compression artifacts.


A video’s resolution is the number of pixels in each dimension, which is commonly expressed as width x height (e.g., 1920×1080 for Full HD). Higher resolutions generally require higher bitrates for quality retention during compression.

Complexity of Content

Videos with complex scenes, fast-paced motion, or a high level of detail are more challenging to compress without quality loss. Conversely, videos with simple scenes and less movement tend to compress more efficiently.



Video compression is a critical technology in the digital era, addressing the issues of large video file sizes. It reduces file sizes while maintaining quality, allowing smoother storage, transmission, and streaming. Spatial and temporal compression techniques and transform coding and quantization contribute to its efficiency. The importance of video compression lies in its ability to reduce storage needs, enable faster streaming, enhance accessibility, and provide a better viewing experience.


It finds applications in online streaming and video conferencing. However, factors like bitrate, resolution, and content complexity can impact compression effectiveness. Overall, video compression plays a vital role in distributing and consuming video content in our digital lives.


Pin it for later!

how video compressions works and why it is important

If you found this post useful you might like to read these post about Graphic Design Inspiration.


If you like this post share it on your social media!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on vk
Share on telegram
Share on whatsapp
Share on linkedin

You Might Be Interested On These Articles


Latest Post