Difference Between WMV and MPG

There are several video formats used by people today. With a multitude of options available, it becomes important to know different file formats to make the right choice.


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WMV and MPG are two video file formats that are popularly used by consumers today. While they may seem similar, there are comparable differences between WMV and MPG. 

Key Takeaways

  1. WMV (Windows Media Video) is a proprietary file format developed by Microsoft, while MPG (MPEG) is an open standard created by the Moving Picture Experts Group.
  2. MPG files offer better compatibility across various platforms and devices than WMV files.
  3. WMV files provide higher compression rates, which can result in smaller file sizes compared to MPG files.


WMV uses a proprietary algorithm developed by Microsoft, while MPG uses a standardized compression algorithm developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group. WMV files are typically smaller in size than MPG files, but this can vary depending on the quality and length of the video.


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WMV is a file format that was launched by Microsoft. It refers to a series of video codecs. It is a compressed video container format built for the Windows Media Framework.

The WMV format is commonly used to store videos in Windows. Consequently, several third-party programs employ WMV files for applications like short animations.

The file uses fewer disc memory to preserve the quality identical to that of the original file. 

MPG is a short form for MPEG. It is a working group that functions to develop international standards for various tasks, including compression, processing, and decompression.

Some popular MPG standards are MPEG-2, MPEG-3, MPEG-21, and MPEG-4. The MPG supports streaming and is supported in many browsers.  

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonWMVMPG 
Devices WMV is compatible with fewer devices than MPG.MPG is compatible with more devices than WMV. 
Type WMV is an industry standard.MPG is a proprietary format. 
Quality The quality of WMV is usually superior to that of MPG.The quality of MPG is superior to that of MPG. 
Origin WMV was launched in 1999.MPG was launched in 1988. 
Advantage The file uses fewer disc memory to preserve the quality identical to that of the original file. The MPG supports streaming and is supported in many browsers.

What is WMV?

WMV stands for Windows Media Video. It refers to a series of video codecs and their subsequent video coding formats. The developer of WMV is Microsoft.

There are several applications of the WMV files. WMV is a component of the Windows Media Framework. There are three different codecs present in WMV.

The initial video compression technology was developed for Internet streaming applications. 

The two other WMV components were WMV Screen and WMV image. The main objective of these components was to cater for specialized content.

Within the WMV family, the most well-known video compression format is the Windows Media Video. The main competitors of WMV are RealVideo, AVS, MPEG-4 AVC, and MPEG-4 ASP. 

WMV serves as a mandatory video format for PlaysForSure certified online devices and stores. The audio format used in correspondence with WMV is usually some version of Windows Media Audio.

There are several softwares that can play the WMV files. Some of these are RealPlayer, Media Player Classic, K-Multimedia Player, Windows Media Player, VLC Media Player, and MPlayer. 

It is possible to export videos in WMV format.

Some examples of such programs are Windows Movie Maker, Windows Media Encoder, Microsoft Expression Encoder, Telestream Episode, VSDC Free Video Editor, Telestream FlipFactory, Sony Vegas Pro, and AVS Video Editor.

WMV has often attracted criticism from its users. There is a dislike towards the digital rights management system that is linked with WMV files. 

What is MPG?

MPG stands for Moving Picture Experts Group. MPG is an alliance of working groups that came into existence with the combined efforts of ISO and IEC.

It sets the standard for media coding. The areas under its jurisdiction are compression coding of audio, graphics, video, and genomic data. MPG operates in several multimedia systems. 

The most popular MPG formats typically use MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4 AVC. The standards of MPG consist of different parts. Each component of MPG covers a particular aspect of the entire specification.

The standard highlights specific profiles and levels. MPG is, thus, a popular file format for audio and video. Usually, MPG file formats are shorter in size. 

The MPG file format employs sophisticated compression techniques. The MPG offers many simple and cheap decoders. An added advantage of MPG is that it is supported by all popular browsers.

MPG offers high picture resolution as well as multi-channel sound technique. It employs an asymmetric compression methodology. There are more than 30 years of operation of MPG. 

MPG provides users with a unique route to transform new technology into standards.

While this offers the advantage that MPG standards are mostly the best standards, there is a disadvantage as numerous patents may be required to practice the standards. MPG has the potential of being supported by a wide variety of devices. 

Main Differences Between WMV and MPG

  1. While WMV is a series of video codecs and their subsequent video coding formats, MPG sets the standard for media coding.
  2. The WMV offers a better quality due to the prevalence of compression algorithms as compared to MPG. 
  3. WMV has been a more recent introduction to the file format world than MPG. 
  4. An advantage of WMV is that it is compatible with all microsoft devices. In contrast, an advantage of MPG is that it offers high picture resolution as well as multi-channel sound technique. 
  5. The use of WMV formats have been rather limited as compared to MPG formats. 
Difference Between WMV and MPG
  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Media_Video 
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moving_Picture_Experts_Group 
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