Chances are you are dealing with H.264 for your videos, but there's a big update coming down the line that's caught our attention.
It's called HEVC, or H.265, and its main claim to fame will be much better bit rates for the same quality as H.264. What's really interesting though, is videos compressed with this standard will be able to achieve a resolution of up to 7680 x 4320. A draft of the standard has reportedly reached a "milestone" this week, reports EDN.
In reality videos of this resolution won't be happening for some time. New codecs are designed to be scaleable, and by building in such high resolution support the group working on HEVC won't need to make another one for some time. While the 7680 x 4320 resolution has already been dubbed 'Ultra HDTV', the next step up from 1080p looks certain to be 4K (which covers a variety of screen sizes and aspect ratios but commonly means 4096 x 2160 in consumer playback devices).
In recent years, 4K video has received attention thanks partly due to devices like the Red One camera. Sony is also said to be releasing a firmware update for the PS3 that will allow the console to output 4K still images (handy, but not for gaming). The company has also announced a 4K projector in the US, capable of outputting a 200in picture.
Frankly, even 4K is a ridiculous resolution, but if the screen sizes do eventually get to this size, it's good to know movies delivered over the Internet or from a laptop won't look like pre-1999 screen captures.
As we've written about before, the H.264 (MPEG Part 2) standard is found in MP4 and MKV files, while the MPEG 4 Part 2 standard is used in DivX and Xvid files. Handbrake, used for ripping files, dropped support for DivX a while ago.
Video support and the trouble with MPEG4
HandBrake abandons DivX for ripping DVDs, should you?
How to: convert video footage with VirtualDub