Profiles and Levels

MPEG-2 is divided into several profiles. We are concerned only with Main Profile.

   Main profile features:

   4:2:0 chroma sampling format

   I, P, and B pictures



Main Profile is subdivided into levels. We will discuss Main Level and High Level.


MP@ML (Main Profile Main Level):

Designed with CCIR601 standard for interlaced standard definition digital video in mind. This is the output of current standard definition MPEG-2 decoder chips (DSS).

Upper bound:

       720 x 576 (PAL) or 720 x 483 (NTSC)

       30 Hz progressive, 60 Hz interlaced

       Maximum bit rate is 15 Mbits/s


MP@HL (Main Profile High Level):

Upper bounds:

1152 x 1920, 60Hz progressive

80 Mbits/s


ATSC compliant formats include:

       1080 x 1920, 60 Hz interlaced, 30 Hz progressive

        480 x 704, 60 Hz progressive/interlaced, 30 Hz progressive

        720 x 1280, 60 Hz progressive, 30 Hz progressive

        480 x 640, 60 Hz progressive/interlaced, 30 Hz progressive


        Maximum bit rate is 19.4 Mbits/s for terrestrial broadcast

MPEG 2 Video Compression Topics:

Introduction to MPEG 2 Video Compression

MPEG Coder/Decoder Diagram

Profiles and Levels

Frames, Fields, Pictures (I, P, B)

I P B Picture Reordering

Pixel Positioning

Compression tools

MPEG 2 Video Data Structures