This Recommendation | International Standard specifies coded representation of video data and the decoding process required to reconstruct pictures. It provides a generic video coding scheme which serves a wide range of applications, bit rates, picture resolutions and qualities. Its basic coding algorithm is a hybrid of motion compensated prediction and DCT. Pictures to be coded can be either interlaced or progressive. Necessary algorithmic elements are integrated into a single syntax, and a limited number of subsets are defined in terms of Profile (functionalities) and Level (parameters) to facilitate practical use of this generic video coding standard.

This third edition of this Recommendation | International Standard consists of ITU-T Rec. H.262 (1995) | ISO/IEC 13818‑2:1996, subsequently altered by four corrigenda and ten amendments:

1.     A first corrigendum adding a slice picture identifier, allowing  an application to define default colour description   parameters, removing a prohibition of field-structured  DCT coding in progressive frames, clarifying ambiguity on restricted range of reconstructed motion vectors, clarifying ambiguity of VBV at boundaries of sequences, and making various minor corrections.

2.     A second corrigendum altering the inverse discrete cosine transform requirements, altering temporal_reference for low delay, and making various minor corrections.

3.     A first amendment providing a method of obtaining and registering copyright identifiers.

4.     A second amendment defining a 4:2:2 profile.

5.     A third amendment adding a camera parameters extension and a multi-view profile.

6.     A fourth amendment adding an ITU-T extension.

7.     A fifth amendment adding a high level to the 4:2:2 profile.

8.     A sixth amendment reducing the upper bound for the number of lines per frame in the high level of all profiles from 1152 to 1088.

9.     A third corrigendum clarifying the description of the handling of reserved extension data.

10.   A seventh amendment providing an ability to send supplemental "content description data".

11.   A fourth corrigendum clarifying and correcting the specification of aspects relating to inverse discrete cosine transform precision.

12.   An eighth amendment updating and enhancing the specification of support for colour spaces.

13.   A ninth amendment specifying an additional level to support the 1080@50p/60p video format.

14.   A tenth amendment specifying a 'frame packing arrangement' signalling for stereoscopic 3D content.