Home : File Formats : MPEG Definition


Stands for "Moving Picture Experts Group." MPEG is an organization that develops standards for encoding digital audio and video. It works with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to ensure media compression standards are widely adopted and universally available.

The MPEG organization has produced a number of digital media standards since its inception in 1998. Examples include:

  • MPEG-1 – Audio/video standards designed for digital storage media (such as an MP3 file)
  • MPEG-2 – Standards for digital television and DVD video
  • MPEG-4 – Multimedia standards for the computers, mobile devices, and the web
  • MPEG-7 – Standards for the description and search of multimedia content
  • MPEG-MAR – A mixed reality and augmented reality reference model
  • MPEG-DASH – Standards that provide solutions for streaming multimedia data over HTTP (such as servers and CDNs)

Using MPEG compression, the file size of a multimedia file can be significantly reduced with little noticeable loss in quality. This makes transferring files over the Internet more efficient, which helps conserve Internet bandwidth. MPEG compression is so ubiquitous that the term "MPEG" is commonly used to refer to a video file saved in an MPEG file format rather than the organization itself. These files usually have a ".mpg" or ".mpeg" file extension.

File extensions: .MP3, .MP4, .M4V, .MPG, .MPE, .MPEG

Updated: October 30, 2017

Cite this definition:


TechTerms - The Tech Terms Computer Dictionary

This page contains a technical definition of MPEG. It explains in computing terminology what MPEG means and is one of many file format terms in the TechTerms dictionary.

All definitions on the TechTerms website are written to be technically accurate but also easy to understand. If you find this MPEG definition to be helpful, you can reference it using the citation links above. If you think a term should be updated or added to the TechTerms dictionary, please email TechTerms!

Subscribe to the TechTerms Newsletter to get featured terms and quizzes right in your inbox. You can choose to receive either a daily or weekly email.

Sign up for the free TechTerms Newsletter

How often would you like to receive an email?

You can unsubscribe at any time.
Questions? Please contact us.