Codecs and Video Formats

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One of the great problems when using video files in a digital format is the large amount of storage space these files require. This is what a codec is used for. The name is an acronym for compressor/decompressor, and that is exactly what this little piece of software does: compresses the information when the file is created, and then decompresses it to be displayed.


Unfortunately, there are many compressing algorithms available, and so, many codecs were created, each with it's advantages and disadvantages. You have to install the right one to view a particular video.   MaxTRAQ will try to display what codec it needs in order to play your video.  There are several good sites such as and to download codecs from.  A utility called GSpot can also be used to find out more information about what codec is needed and what codecs you have installed on your system  This fee utility can be downloaded from


To display information about the codec that the currently opened video file is using in MaxTRAQ, use File-Properties and select the Codec tab.



Video Formats


MaxTRAQ supports AVI and MPEG-1 file formats.  It can also read a series of BMP and JPEG files.  For best quality video we recommend to use uncompressed AVI format.  However these files can get very big.  Using the MPEG-1 format will give you a good size/quality compromise.


Note; The MPEG-1 format requires DirectX v9 or later



Creating a "Generic" Video


There are a number of issues to think of when creating a video that can be used on as many Windows platforms as possible.  MaxTRAQ is supported on Windows 2000, XP and Vista.  Windows 2000 comes with DirectX v7 (or v8) so in order to be able to use a video on this platform (without updating DirectX) we need to create a video that is non-interlaced.  We also need to stay away from MPEG-1.  Additionally, DV formats requires a DVSD codec to be installed on Windows 2000.  Camcorder normally create DV formatted AVI files.


To create a "Generic" video, you can use any of the available video conversion software.  there are a number of them available as shareware.  We recommend to use the Alparysoft DirectShow deinterlacer to create a non-interlaced video.


Video File Format



Series of JPEG Files

Can be used on any platform without additional software. 

Good compression.

Not very convenient with large number of frames.

Uncompressed AVI

Can be used on any platform without additional software.

Very large files.

AVI with MPEG-4 compression

Good compression.

Available on most XP and Vista systems

May require installation of a MPEG-4 codec.  This codec can be downloaded from here.

DV Format

Most camcorders use this format for AVI files.

Compressed files

Available on most XP and Vista systems

Can be deinterlaced to 50/60 Hz using the BOB deinterlacer

Requires the installation of a DVSD codec or upgrade to DirectX v9 on Windows 2000

Most camcordes creates interlaced DV files so a deinterlacer is required.