Understanding Codecs: Part 1-h.264

Codecs are the most exciting yet most terrifying aspect of home theater PC’s. Nothing else can do so much yet cause so many problems at the same time. There’s a lot of confusion out there on what codecs are and what is needed, which is what spurred our very own Andy to write the Antipack guide hoping to prevent your problems. But if you want to learn the intricate super technical details, check this out.


As stated earlier, h.264 is great for a wide variety of uses. Notably, Blu-ray, European broadcast content as well as Apple video downloads. The format has also been adopted by DirecTV and Dish Network in the US and SkyHD in the UK. (Sky standard definition programming still uses MPEG-2) The reason for this is the built-in flexibility of the codec to be used for anything from HD content to video appropriately sized for cell phone and portable use. It is this flexibility that will allow h.264 to start replacing (if it hasn’t already) many of the codecs used for current applications.