What is Interframe Compression?
The video compression method, where the video file size is reduced by encoding only the differences between two consecutive frames instead of every frame, is referred to as Interframe Compression.
In basic terms, interframe compression is an encoding technique where only the changes between two consecutive frames are stored, resulting in significantly smaller file sizes.
Types of Frames
As far as interframe compression is concerned, there are two types of frames - Intra-Frames (I-Frames) and Inter-Frames (P-Frames or B-Frames).
I-Frames are complete images that contain all the necessary data and information needed to display that single frame.
P-Frames and B-Frames, on the other hand, only store the changes in the current image compared to the previous frame.
P-Frames, also known as Predicted Frames, encode the difference between two consecutive frames. B-Frames, which are known as Bi-Directional Frames, encode the difference between the current frame and the previous and next frames.
Features of Interframe Compression
- Compression Efficiency: Interframe compression can improve compression rates as it reduces the work needed to be done by only encoding and storing the difference between two consecutive frames.
- High-Quality Playback: Even though compression rates are improved, interframe compression maintains high-quality video playback using advanced and revolutionary encoding techniques.
- Reduced Bandwidth Requirements: Interframe compression can significantly reduce the bandwidth requirement of high-end streaming applications like live video broadcasting over the internet.
- Variable Bit Rate Encoding: With interframe compression algorithms, variable bit rate encoding becomes possible. This implies that the compression rate is not fixed but variable as per the complexity of the video content.
- Multiple Frame Types: Interframe compression uses a combination of different types of frames, including I-Frames, P-Frames, and B-Frames, to achieve the desired result as per the requirements of different video streams.
- Compatibility: Interframe compression is highly compatible with all major video codecs like H.264 and H.265.
Importance of Interframe Compression
Interframe compression is very important because it facilitates efficient video compression techniques. It encodes only the data or information between two consecutive frames, reducing the amount of storage and data consumed during the process.
Thus, interframe compression makes video transmission over the Internet easier, making it a standard procedure used in various important applications where bandwidth or storage might be an issue.
Drawbacks of Interframe Compression
- Interframe compression requires more processing power and has greater encoding complexity than intraframe compression.
- Using interframe compression might sometimes lead to quality degradation, especially when significant changes or motions occur between two consecutive frames.
- Interframe compression restricts the control of the user by not giving a lot of flexibility in terms of editing the video content.
- Interframe compression often results in increased encoding latency, causing problems in the case of real-time applications like live video streaming or video conferencing.
- Interframe compression requires stellar hardware support for efficient encoding and decoding, which can prove to be expensive.