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YUV is a color model - or color space - that consists of one luma (a.k.a. brightness) component, Y, and two chroma components, U and V. As expected, YUV represents color in a different way than RGB, making necessary a color conversion when switching from one format to the other.

The YUV color model is used in all video transmission and broadcasting systems (NTSC, PAL, SECAM) because of its compatibility with legacy black-and-white receivers, which can display only the luma (Y) channel of the signal.

Because of the gradual evolvement of the video transmission and broadcasting technology, there are today quite a few different YUV sub-formats, both interleaved and planar, such as for example YUY2 and YV12.

The Avisynth YUV color formats are:

Color format Image format Chroma resolution
YV24 planar 4:4:4 (full chroma)
YV16 planar 4:2:2 (chroma shared between 2 horizontal pixels)
YUY2 interleaved 4:2:2 (chroma shared between 2 horizontal pixels)
YV12 planar 4:2:0 (chroma shared between 2 horizontal x 2 vertical pixels) 
YV411 planar 4:1:1 (chroma shared between 4 vertical pixels)
Y8 (both) 4:0:0 (no chroma but IsYUV returns true)
(♦ = not supported in AviSynth version 2.58 or below)

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