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H.264/AVC is newest video coding standard of the ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group and the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group. The main goals of the H.264/AVC standardization effort have been enhanced compression performance and provision of a "network-friendly" video representation addressing "conversational" (video telephony) and "nonconversational" (storage, broadcast, or streaming) applications. H.264/AVC has achieved a significant improvement in rate-distortion efficiency relative to existing standards. This article provides an overview of the technical features of H.264/AVC, describes profiles and applications for the standard, and outlines the history of the standardization process.