I'm tasked to use an API on a small embedded linux device. The use of the API is rather simple, but there are a gazillion of (face it, not documented) parameters to control multiple aspects of the codec. These parameters seem to be undocumented because they are not the responsibility of the codec supplier but core components to the h264 spec sheets.

I'd like to find more information with solid sources on this codec. So far the best I've found is wikipedia. It is a good start but I'm not really sure where to move to from there.

I'm asking here because I'd like to find something not too painful to read.

  • would this be the ffmpeg api?
    – Aditya P
    May 4, 2011 at 18:46

2 Answers 2


If you want to get a really in-depth idea of what's going on behind the scenes, I'd recommend The H.264 Advanced Video Compression Standard. In any case, you should take a look at the source code to x264, as well as the VLC documentation on H.264 playback.


The only real way is to go through the source for something like ffmpeg (together with a book for the general principles)

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