Common Intermediate Format

What Does Common Intermediate Format Mean?

A common intermediate format (CIF) is a format for a new kind of color sequences for video transmission. CIF is a lower-resolution form of video encoding. It is used in closed circuit television, DVD or online video design. CIF is a choice for less ‘high-res’ applications, in contrast to higher-resolution megapixel results.


Techopedia Explains Common Intermediate Format

In terms of its data compression, CIF relies on a color designation that is called YCbCr. YCbCr is an alternative to the traditional RGB color standard and is used for MPEG compression in DVDs, digital TV and other technologies. The International Telecommunications Union or ITU maintains standards and technical information around the use of CIF and similar formats for YCbCr color coding. It’s important to distinguish the YCbCr system for digital color coding from the YPbPr system for analog use.

Using the CIF is a way to standardize pixel resolution for the YCbCr coloring sequence in video, and to translate color into the individual frames of a streaming video component. Experts point out that CIF and other similar designations are much lower on a scale of resolution than other formats described as megapixel. For example, in closed-circuit television camera setups, using a common intermediate format will maintain a lower resolution image than a multi-megapixel standard.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…