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A device or program that translates encoded data into its original format (e.g., it decodes the data). The term is often used in reference to MPEG-2 video and sound data, which must be decoded before it is output. Most DVD players, for example, include a decoder card whose sole function is to decode MPEG data. It is also possible to decode MPEG data in software, but this requires a powerful microprocessor.

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