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progressive encoding

progressive encoding A method of image encoding that uses multiple scans rather than a single scan. (A scan is a single pass through the data of one or more components in an image.) The first scan encodes a rough approximation to the image that is recognizable and can be transmitted quickly compared to the total transmission time of the image. Subsequent scans refine the appearance of the image. Progressive encoding is one of the options in the JPEG standard.

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