Without any form of compression in video streaming, the network can’t transmit the raw data. Also, due to large file sizes, storing data on limited capacity of disk drives is not possible. That’s why we need to use compression, especially in video surveillance systems. Video compression removes redundant video data, so that the video file can be transmitted or stored effectively. Video content is encoded and decoded by using a video codec method, inside a container format, so the video quality is not degraded at the time of transferring over the network. We study the concept and some different types of video codecs and video containers along with their differences. Also, H.264 compression method is studied due to its popularity and efficiency in video surveillance. The reasons of transition to H.265 are described.