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Which video format is best?

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I am attempting to use some "Video footage" in a game I am working on. I was curious which video format would be the best for my needs. I know there are ALOT of different compression types and algorithms used, but I am not sure which one is best. Here is what I would like. 1. As close to loss less as possible, well I dont mind "loss" as long as it dosnt cause "artifacts", or distortions. 2. It would also realy like if the image format "removed" colors that are not distinguishable by human eyes (I think wmv does that), because it saves ALOT of space. 3. The format would need to be able to be read using ANSII C++ calls, because I am aiming for open platform. 4. I would prefer not to have to pay for use of the extension, (cough MP3 cough). 5. Greatest bang for my buck compression wise. 6. And most importantly, I realy dont want to use a "third party" program to interpret the file format, then pass the data in. Cause I want to be able to swap frames as fast as possible. Thanx for any info you may have.

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