Hybrid codec - in terms of video encoding, it is a model of video codec that incorporates motion estimation and compensation algorithms, block-based transform, and an entropy stage. This model usually is described as a hybrid DPCM/DCT codec model. The most known hybrid codecs are H.261, H.263, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 Visual, VC-1, H.264/AVC, H265/HEVC, H266/VVC.
Another meaning of a Hybrid codec is an encoding solution some parts of which are implemented as software modules and some as hardware modules.
In general, video encoding solutions can be divided into three groups: software, hardware, and hybrid. Usually, the tradeoff between hardware and software is a tradeoff between speed and quality, between static and flexibility. The hybrid codecs are supposed to be designed to combine the benefits of both techniques and avoid their disadvantages.
The cross table below shows those encoding solutions features:
There is no unambiguous ‘right’ approach, so understanding specific needs and circumstances is crucial to making the best decision.