Giz Explains: Every Video Format You Need to Know

Once upon time, video codecs and formats were really only the concern of AV nerds, anime freaks and hardcore not-so-legal movie downloaders. Now, even the most part-time of geeks has to deal with them, whether they're trying to stream a flick across their house with an Apple TV, dump some video onto their phone or just trying to grab last night's episode of Dexter because they, uh, forgot to renew their Showtime subscription that'll work in their media player. It's messy and annoying, but we're here to clean it up. Take a deep breath.

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