At some point in the life of a digital video clip, it gets compressed (often several times). The whole idea behind compression is to lower the amount of data in the video to reduce its file size, lower the date rate, or both. Smaller files take up less storage space, and are easier to move around, while video with a lower data rate can be streamed over the Internet, or played back on a slow computer. If it were not for compression, there would be no way to fit a feature film onto something as small as a DVD, or to record high-quality video on a tape as small as the Mini-DV format.

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