MPEG-2 encoding was initially developed for lossy compression of television programs and for DVD. It includes a number of differing ‘profiles’ (the Simple Profile, Main Profile and 4:2:2 Profile (as used for Digital TV)) and levels, all of which contain different standard specifications for elements such as display size and data rate. It is suitable for preservation of low-quality digital video converted from analogue originals, since although lossy, the clarity (high image resolution) is moderate to very good. MPEG-2 can have many file extensions, which can sometimes be confusing, because for example the file extension .mpg can be MPEG-1, MPEG-2 or MPEG-4.
The FFmpeg tool can help you to convert almost any audio and video file from the command line. It is free to use, and is available for Windows, Linux and Mac operating systems. However, before depositing audiovisual material in the DANS Archive, please always contact DANS for discussion on the available formats/containers and possible migrations.
MPEG-2 is a DANS non-preferred standard for video.