MPEG2 Tutorial

Introduction and Contents

Copyright 1999 Wayne E. Bretl and Mark Fimoff. Posted on January 15, 2000

This tutorial Covers both video compression and data transport aspects of MPEG 2, and also particular constraints and extensions related to the US DTV standards, both FCC  mandated and ATSC voluntary.


Introduction and Contents (this page)

Authors' Copyright and Disclaimer



Video Compression Basics



Transform Coding

Lossy Coding


Variable Quantization

Run-Level Coding

Encoder Configuration


MPEG 2 Video Compression

Introduction to MPEG 2 Video Compression

MPEG Coder/Decoder Diagram

Profiles and Levels

Frames, Fields, Pictures (I, P, B)

I P B Picture Reordering

Pixel Positioning

Compression tools

MPEG 2 Video Data Structures


MPEG 2 Data Transport

Transport Packets

Transport Packet Diagram

Transport Header

Transport Adaptation Field

Transport Payload


Timing and Buffer Control

Timing Model

Timing Model Diagram

PCR - Program Clock Reference

STC - System Time Clock

SCR - System Clock Reference

PTS - Presentation Time Stamp

DTS - Decode Time Stamp

Multiplexed Programs

VBV - Video Buffering Verifier

Buffer Synchronization and Startup

Low Delay Mode

Decoder STC Synchronization


MPEG Program Specific Information (PSI)


ATSC Program and System Information Protocol (PSIP)


ATSC Doc A/53 Constraints on MPEG

Annex A - Video Constraints

Annex B - Audio System

Annex C - Multiplex and Transport

Annex D - RF/Transmission System



ATSC Standards

MPEG Standards