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General Information
H.261 is a standard video-conferencing codec. As such, it is optimized for low data rates and relatively low motion.
Architectures Supported
Pros, Cons & Tips
  • H.261 is optimized for low data rates.

  • Not generally as good quality as H.263.
  • H.261 is CPU intensive, so data rates higher than 50 KBps may bog down most machines.
  • It may not play well on lower-end machines.

  • H.261 has a strong temporal compression component, and works best on movies in which there is little change between frames.

Ideal source material Low-motion video
Supported bit depths 16-bit color
Compression time Symmetrical, realtime
Temporal compression? Yes
Special features -
Encoder requirements Any MacOS or Windows
Decoder requirements PowerMac or Pentium
Encoder availability Built into QT Conferencing kit
Decoder availability Built into QT Conferencing kit
Algorithm Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) with Motion Compensation
(H.261 was the first video codec based on DCT)
Manufacturer Many, including Apple and Microsoft

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