Here you will find six essays, each on a different facet of video compression. For the most part I have tried to make them independent of each other so they may be read individually and in any order. I do suggest though that Compression makes a good overview and Telecine should probably be read only after reading Frame Rate. But, if you know what you’re looking for, jump right in!
General topic of video compression covered. Light discussion of the basic nature of digital video and a few of the various methods used to squeeze it down to a more manageable size.
Some of the various colorspaces found in digital video. RGB, YUV, YUY2 (4:2:2), and YV12 (4:1:1 and 4:2:0) are covered and there are pretty pictures, too.
The mysteries of Aspect Ratio, particularly with respect to the DVD format, are covered here. Standard vs. Widescreen, how DVD and HDTV work with them, etc… And more pretty pictures.
What “Resolution” means both in terms of Analog and Digital video, and some resolutions of common video formats (DVD, VCD, SVCD, HDTV).
Some common frame rates and why they are what they are. Interlacing is also discussed here (primarily NTSC–PAL is out of scope).
The dark art of Telecining is discussed here, for those who dare to enter. What it is, why it is evil, and how to make it go away are all explained (and especially why it is evil).