CIF = Common Intermediate Format and
QCIF = Quarter-CIF
CIF is based on a progressively scanned format with 360 x 288pixels/frame at 30 frames/sec, while QCIF uses 176 x 144pixels/frame at 30 frames/sec. QCIF compatibility is required bythe ITU H.261 videoconferencing standard, which mandates that allcodecs must be able to operate with QCIF. In contrast, the higherquality CIF compatibility is optional.
CIF is used primarily for videoconferencing, while QCIF isbetter suited for applications like desktop videophones.