With the high demand for digital video products in popular applications such as video communication, security and surveillance, industrial automation and entertainment, video compression is an essential enabler for video application designs. This white paper provides an overview of key concepts in video coding and describes the compression standards legacy. A focus on the capabilities of the latest generation of CODECs including H.264/AVC, WMV9/VC-1 and AVS will be featured that will provide insights into compression and complexity trade-offs that each offers. In closing, this paper discusses real-time implementations and key trends in end-equipment segments that may influence choices between the popular video CODECs.