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Microsoft's VC-1 codec is now a standard

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 05 Apr 2006 10:27 User comments (16)

Microsoft's VC-1 codec is now a standard After being submitted for standardisation in 2003, Microsoft's VC-1 codec has been officially released by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE). The event paves the way for the technology's use on next generation DVDs and other things. Adoption of Windows Media will now be easier for companies as the need to negotiate directly with Microsoft is gone. Microsoft's approval is no longer needed for devices to natively support VC-1.
SMPTE will collect the licensing fees and Microsoft will be paid for the use of its patents. The Redmond-based company embraced standards to provide the industry with better and easier access to high quality video compression. Both HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc include VC-1 in their specs and at least Warner Bros. plans to encode and release movies using the VC-1 format.

Peter Symes, SMPTE Engineering Vice President said the 2 year+ process to standardize WMV9 as VC-1 was complicated. "The work was contentious at times, and initially some people thought that SMPTE would just 'rubber stamp' the Microsoft document. In fact, many individuals and organizations contributed to the final documents over the two-year development period," he said. The process required over 120 individuals from 75 different media and entertainment companies.

"The SMPTE VC-1 standard went through a very rigorous and formal open due process procedure involving committee members from all segments of the Media, Entertainment and Computer industries" added Mike Dolan of Television Broadcast Technology (TBT). "This process has resulted in a clear, comprehensive and completely open standard for development of compressed video bitstreams."


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16 user comments

15.4.2006 12:28

I dont know if this is good or not... I am assuming it will make things a bit cheaper in the long run? no? i'm just guessing here.

25.4.2006 15:23

Can someone please explain to me what is the vc-1 codec and why it is important?

36.4.2006 6:54

V1 codec is MS's MP4 codec thats default in XP its kinda like MP4.1 in the fact its alittle diffrent from normal MP4 codecs,codecs of corse decode video prehaps this is a moive to make standard a DRM frendly codec?

46.4.2006 11:36

IMHO -This is BAD. REALLY, REALLY, BAD. MS already has a near monopoly on OS. Their DRM and .WMx media formats are headed twards becoming defacto standards on the net and also for any non-apple leased music downloads (yes, I mean LEASED. Read the EULA, you don't OWN a damn thing...). Now they are getting their grubby, greedy hands on industry standard video codecs? WE ARE IN TROUBLE. Let's throw Vista and TPM into the mix to make the future look a little more dark.

56.4.2006 15:34

Micro..soft.....sooo.....evil... Dude, whatever! Standards are needed, this crap with companies making everything proprietory is so bad for the consumer. I can't afford to go out and buy 2 or 3 different devices so I can play, watch, or listen to exclusive content on "their" equipment. I get the gaming but for everything else...come on. Then the damn HD-DVD - Blu-ray deal. When will it end More power to anyone and everyone who can simplify lifestyles and make everything compatible, U-N-I-T-Y baby...get on board.

67.4.2006 23:06

This news cannot be worse for consumers, technicians, a competitive marketplace, multimedia quality, innovation, price, etc. It makes the Microsoft monopoly a lot stronger. We just need to let the multi-media oligopoly that we will NOT use any format that is vomited from Microsoft, will look never to purchase new media from them and look for alternative sources. If you buy, buy used, purchase from alternative channels in other nations, go to the BBC.COM site and capture, Support Creative Commons BIG TIME. Use you vote on dollars to be more patient and wait for alternative sources of multimedia to purchase. Be united against the giant Monopolies and Oligopolies that unemploy thousands, attempt to remove creativity and innovation and are about the Control. This hurts artists as well. No negotiation power when there are no choices. Jon

77.4.2006 23:22

I am totally with you psyantist, I could care less about Blu-ray and HD-DVD. I never, ever have or will use iTUNES. Although I do download from ALLOFMP3.COM, NO DRM and I the will encode for you. The funny thing is that I just sent a email to Creative about their portable audio players. I asked them about what codecs they support and will there be new firmware and/or any allowence for customers to add other codecs. Just like the incredibly inflexible Ipod, WMA and MP3 and of course DRM with those. No firmware changes on those and no way for customers to add or update any of the allowable audio formats hard coded into their firmware. BY the way, the portable audio units are made by South Korean's Cowon. You might have seen the iAUDIO players. Check out the formats it supports in both losless and lossey. In general, multimedia product, accessory and media supplied by a U.S. company will be of the highest in price, worst in support (cheap, untrained offshore contractors), and manufactered taxes can be evaded, governments are the most corrupt, abuses of labor will be the highest and innovation at its lowest. No incentive for quality. To slightly change the subject, I just read about Whirpool and Maytag, which means that the new company will own 70% of the appliance biz. Their product has degraded over the years and both of them own a bunch of other names. I am sure glad that I purchased the best Diswasher on the market and cost less to run than any other and have virtually NO BELTS to replace, The LG, from South Korean company LG. I will keep looking out for independent and smaller creastive companies in Europe and Asia.

88.4.2006 2:47

Dont forget that the current Hi def is handicaped and the new true Hi def is DRMed hardware style 0_o

98.4.2006 6:44

I'm getting tierd of all the bad talk about DRM. People deserve to make money. Without DRM there wouldn't be a secure way to offer multiple uses for digital media. Now with that said some DRM sucks including; Propritary schemes (ie apple) and DRM that takes away your Fair Uses Rights (ie DVD and Sony Music CDs). If a DRM standard can be implemented that allows me to experience my music and movies where and how I want to then its not not a bad DRM scheme. Meaning when I buy a song I want to be able to rip-it, stream it, burn-it, or listen to it at home or on-the-go. The same with movies too. Ced

108.4.2006 6:53

diabolos you have a point but they will never stop enforceing thier "leaseing" shcemes 0-o Thats why most of us buy smartly and boyycott the rest.

1110.4.2006 5:27

Blu-ray and HD-DVD are both dead ducks even before they make it to the shelves. Technology has already left both in the dust. So who cares.

1210.4.2006 10:32

The VC-1 codec is not about physical media formats. HD-DVD & Blu-ray have little to to with it. It is about Microsoft gaining control of just about every aspect of delivering digital media content. If you can't see why that is bad for consumers, well, I don't know what else to say...

1310.4.2006 13:08

Why is that bad, there is no monopoly? Its an "Open" standard not Microsofts standard. Its based on Windows Media Video 9 but it can be changed by the industry as it sees fit. All this means for Microsoft is that they will now be takin serious in the world of A/V encoding and decoding. Its a rare honor. MPEG-2 is still the king but will soon be over takin be MPEG-4 complient standards such as; VC-1, AVC, and DivX-HD. Open Standards... Back to DRM iTunes doesn't require any leaseing? The machine used "must" be authorized but there is never a fee to keep it authorized. Is there? Ced

1410.4.2006 13:24

diabolos Still MS is knowen for its tweaking of thigns into a monoplopy 0_o AS for Itunes you still dont owen the songs becuse you cant resell them or even give them away in your Ipod...

1512.4.2006 10:10

ZIppyDSM Thank you. To those of you who think it's all good, get in line and enter the shower room when instructed.

1613.4.2006 3:34

(VC-1) I'll agree to disagree about the monopoly theory... We will see what happens. (iTunes) Well, you never have that right to resale or freely destribute music. Even when you buy a CD (with-out DRM) artists don't want to sell one and have that master copied for everybody else. iTunes lets you archive the music to disc in an uncompressed PCM format (that has no DRM) to make a standard audio CD. It is also possible burn the files to disc in there compressed format using any burning app. The only limit on iTunes files is what apps and hardware (iPod/Mp3 players and PCs) can decode the files. Ced

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