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File Format
Name MPEG-2
LoCFDD fdd000335, others
PRONOM x-fmt/386, fmt/585, fmt/640
Released 1996

MPEG-2 is an extended version of the MPEG-1 standard for video and audio streams. It is used in digital TV broadcasts and DVDs. The ISO/IEC 13818 group of standards specify the details of the standard.

A number of patents relate to various aspects of the format, but they are starting to expire as of 2012, with most expired by 2015 (but a few hanging on a little longer). As long as any of the patents are in effect, a licensing body with control over the entire patent pool demands royalties from everybody producing anything using the format.

The popular MP3 audio format is based on layer 3 of MPEG-1 and MPEG-2.

The AAC audio format is based on MPEG-2 Part 7.

Data within an MPEG-2 stream is divided into packets in the Packetized Elementary Stream format.


There are separate articles for these formats:

Other formats based on MPEG-2:


These documents are not free to download. This is not a complete list of the MPEG-2 Parts and Amendments.


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