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In electronic communications, an endec is a device which acts as both an encoder and a decoder on a signal or data stream, either with the same or separate circuitry or algorithm. The combining of these names is a portmanteau.


The general difference between an endec and a codec (compressor / decompressor) is that hardware is usually considered to be an endec, while software is considered to be the codec.[dubious ] Similarly, the word "encoding" is usually used for hardware, while "coding" is usually used in regard to software.

A device or program which uses a compression algorithm to create MPEG audio and/or video is often called an encoder, and one which plays back such files is a decoder. However, this is technically a codec, especially if performed in software.[citation needed]


Examples of encoders, decoders, and endecs include: