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### Section 1: Introduction {#h-01-00}
This document describes the VP8 compressed video data format,
together with a discussion of the decoding procedure for the format.
It is intended to be used in conjunction with, and as a guide to, the
reference decoder source code provided in Attachment One
(Section 20). If there are any conflicts between this narrative and
the reference source code, the reference source code should be
considered correct. The bitstream is defined by the reference source
code and not this narrative.
Like many modern video compression schemes, VP8 is based on
decomposition of frames into square subblocks of pixels, prediction
of such subblocks using previously constructed blocks, and adjustment
of such predictions (as well as synthesis of unpredicted blocks)
using a discrete cosine transform (hereafter abbreviated as DCT). In
one special case, however, VP8 uses a Walsh-Hadamard transform
(hereafter abbreviated as WHT) instead of a DCT.
Roughly speaking, such systems reduce datarate by exploiting the
temporal and spatial coherence of most video signals. It is more
efficient to specify the location of a visually similar portion of a
prior frame than it is to specify pixel values. The frequency
segregation provided by the DCT and WHT facilitates the exploitation
of both spatial coherence in the original signal and the tolerance of
the human visual system to moderate losses of fidelity in the
reconstituted signal.
VP8 augments these basic concepts with, among other things,
sophisticated usage of contextual probabilities. The result is a
significant reduction in datarate at a given quality.
Unlike some similar schemes (the older MPEG formats, for example),
VP8 specifies exact values for reconstructed pixels. Specifically,
the specification for the DCT and WHT portions of the reconstruction
does not allow for any "drift" caused by truncation of fractions.
Rather, the algorithm is specified using fixed-precision integer
operations exclusively. This greatly facilitates the verification of
the correctness of a decoder implementation and also avoids
difficult-to-predict visual incongruities between such
It should be remarked that, in a complete video playback system, the
displayed frames may or may not be identical to the reconstructed
frames. Many systems apply a final level of filtering (commonly
referred to as postprocessing) to the reconstructed frames prior to
viewing. Such postprocessing has no effect on the decoding and
reconstruction of subsequent frames (which are predicted using the
completely specified reconstructed frames) and is beyond the scope of
this document. In practice, the nature and extent of this sort of
postprocessing is dependent on both the taste of the user and on the
computational facilities of the playback environment.
The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 [RFC2119].