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Forums Compression Techniques (avc1) vs (h264)

  • (avc1) vs (h264)

  • les nemeth

    April 1, 2011 at 8:44 am


    I have two video files. One of them is an AVCHD 1080p video (MTS file) straight from my digital camera, the other is a video segment I compressed in Handbreak using H.264 in MKV container.

    I view the videos in VLC player. When I get a media info about the playing files in VLC, it reports that the codec for one of them is:

    “H264 – MPEG-4 AVC (part10)(h264)” – this is the AVCHD MTS from the camera
    and the other is:
    “H264 – MPEG-4 AVC (part10)(avc1)” – this is the one I compressed

    Can anyone tell me what is the difference between the bolded items in the parenthesis? Eg (h264) and (avc1)? This is the only value that is different between the two reported codec.

    Thank you!

    PS: In case you wonder, the reason I’m curious, because the original AVCHD MTS file plays back fine on the Sony SMP-N100 media player, but the file I compressed (H264 in MKV container) does not. The media player DOES play back MKV files, but it is highly sensitive about codec compression and who knows what else factors. I’m guessing the (h264) vs. (avc1) values in the codec description indicate something why one file plays back and the other does not.

  • Craig Seeman

    April 1, 2011 at 8:40 pm
    Some software programs (such as VLC media player) internally identify this standard as AVC1.

  • les nemeth

    April 2, 2011 at 12:35 am

    Thanks! I guess it means something else is the issue. Will investigate further…

  • Micheal Espinola

    May 18, 2020 at 11:13 pm

    Almost 10 years later, but here is your answer – if you never found out on your own:

    One is a raw stream, and the other is not. Streams are saved in small bits (.mts files) that do not have “start codes” indicating where they stop and end. When you save (concatenate/recombine) a stream to a proper file, the start codes are added.

    The codec is the same, but the formalities of the file internally have different indicators.

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