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WMV VC-1 = WMV10?

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RoRK
WMV VC-1 = WMV10?
by
on May 12, 2006 at 1:24:30 pm

I just got out form the Microsoft Website and realised that they've made some announcement during NAB regarding their VC-1 CODEC. This new CODEC is available via their Encoder Studio and their SDK. It is different from WMV9.

I also read that Ben Waggoner mentioned a WMV10. I never saw such a reference to a CODEC at the Microsoft site. What's important is that Microsoft says that it is best to encode all new material using the VC-1 CODEC. TO confuse matters, the older, WMV9 Advanced profile seems to be unsupported by FLip4Mac products.

Can someone shed some light on what VC-1 is. SHould we navigate there or stick with WMV9? And what is WMV10 and where does it stand in relation to VC-1?

Thanks in advance.


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Craig Seeman
Re: WMV VC-1 = WMV10?
on May 12, 2006 at 2:08:18 pm

VC-1 is in many ways Microsoft's "answer" to H.264. How widely useful VC-1 will be depends on player distribution. Will there be a simple codec update to WMP10 and how many Windows users will update and how fast? I' bump into corporate clients who are still reluctant to use WMV9 because they're still using WMP7 (even though there's a codec update which allows WMP7.1 to play WMV9 files).

BTW, Flip4Mac can encode WMV9Advanced. It can't play it back yet but that, I suspect, will change at some point.


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RoRK
Re: WMV VC-1 = WMV10?
by
on May 12, 2006 at 6:12:34 pm

[Craig Seeman] "BTW, Flip4Mac can encode WMV9Advanced. It can't play it back yet but that, I suspect, will change at some point."

Yes, I noticed that in the Flip4Mac Techdocs. I thought that was strange. I've been doing some WMV9s using Microsoft's Media Encoder application and was quite pleased with the results. But for the life of me, I can't determine if its WMV, WMVA or VC-1. Sometimes, reading too much can be a bad thing.

The WMVAdvanced that you are alluding to with Flip4Mac is WMV9 and not VC-1 right?

I really like the WMV9 CODECs, which includes WMVA and WMV, right? They work great when played back at 200%.

Cheers

RoRK


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Craig Seeman
Re: WMV VC-1 = WMV10?
on May 13, 2006 at 2:12:35 pm

[RoRK] "The WMVAdvanced that you are alluding to with Flip4Mac is WMV9 and not VC-1 right? "

It's WMV9 (advanced), not VC-1. I don't doubt VC-1 support will happen. I suspect it's a mater of when regarding Flip4Mac.

I believe Microsoft announced a Beta of the next WME which will include VC-1 support. I'm going to grab and play with it as soon as I can.

When using WME you can examine the presets to see what they're using, as well as roll your own. Sometimes using Properties will let you know what's on the inside. On the Mac often using WMP9 File/Get Info or Quicktime(withFlip4Mac) Window/ShowMovieInfo, will show you what's on the inside even if it can't play the file.


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RoRK
Re: WMV VC-1 = WMV10?
by
on May 13, 2006 at 6:26:26 pm

[Craig Seeman] "I believe Microsoft announced a Beta of the next WME which will include VC-1 support. I'm going to grab and play with it as soon as I can."

You'll find the VC-1 in the beta of Studio Encoder. It's already out. I was thinking of tinkering with it myself but I'm on a job now and although Microsoft says that it's best to use VC-1 for compatibility with SMPTE etc. I'd rather reserve that judgement once the dust settles.

Cheers
RoRK


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Craig Seeman
Re: WMV VC-1 = WMV10?
on May 14, 2006 at 1:24:34 pm

Although I see an announcement for the Beta of WME I see no link on the Microsoft site. Please do post if you know of it.


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Craig Seeman
Re: WMV VC-1 = WMV10?
on May 14, 2006 at 1:33:05 pm

See this
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/forpros/encoderse/default.asp...

Note the words on the above page
A link to Windows Media Encoder Studio Edition Beta will be posted on this page as soon as it becomes available.


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Rich Rubasch
Re: WMV VC-1 = WMV10?
on May 14, 2006 at 3:17:55 pm

Also in that link, it alludes that VC-1 is an implementation of WM9. It reads to me that they have updated the WM9 codec to support multiple audio channels (5.1 surround?) and segment encoding, which will provide the best results. It also seems to allude to high def encoding and playback on home AV equipment even for delivery via web/satellite etc. Also, the clips can contain metadata so it becomes a more robust delivery for possibly even stations who want to store high quality high def in a small file size.

Let's face it...with the game machines ultimately becoming network boxes that can play various media, Microsoft wants to take their codec to the next step in home and broadcast applications.

In the short term, Windows Media 9 is probably the most compatible codec to use for delivery to corporate clients. If you want to encode to High def, VC-1 is probably the codec of choice for PC users once it becomes established.

I don't believe they have blessed VC-1 as WM10...but they could.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media


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RoRK
Re: WMV VC-1 = WMV10?
by
on May 14, 2006 at 7:25:13 pm

VC-1 seems to be SMPTE VC-1. So Microsoft may not have to call it WMV10 if they want their CODEC to have a wider adoption. I wonder how Flash's On2 CODEC will fare with VC-1.

Cheers
RoRK


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RoRK
Re: WMV VC-1 = WMV10?
by
on May 15, 2006 at 2:38:06 pm

My thoughts on segment encoding are that it sounds a lot like manual, 2-pass VBR. A lot of the features mentioned in VC-1 don't really interest me in as far as encoding videos are for the Web are concerned.

Cheers
RoRK


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Ben Waggoner
Re: WMV VC-1 = WMV10?
on May 17, 2006 at 7:20:55 pm

Well, segment-based reencode is an optional, manual 3rd pass. So, after your do your normal 2-pass VBR encode, if there are a few scenes or shots that don't look quite good enough, or look too good and could sacrifice some bits, you can change encoding settings for just those sections, reencode them, and they'll get muxed back into the original encode.

It's great to have when you need it, and can be ignored when you don't.


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cowcowcow
Ben Waggoner
Re: WMV VC-1 = WMV10?
on May 17, 2006 at 7:23:29 pm

There isn't any WMV10 - VC-1 is alternatively called WMV9-Advanced Profile

As for audio, WMA Professional has had 5.1 and 7.1 support since WMP9 was released quite a few years ago. All those WMV-HD DVD-ROM titles use it, for example.

WMA Pro also does 24-bit and up to 96 KHz. It's a great codec if you've got great source.


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RoRK
Re: WMV VC-1 = WMV10?
by
on May 14, 2006 at 7:23:39 pm

Sorry about that. There were, however, other literature on their site that made it seem that Windows Media Encoder Studio Edition Beta was already available.

Cheers
RoRK


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Ben Waggoner
Re: WMV VC-1 = WMV10?
on May 17, 2006 at 7:18:46 pm

Yes, the download is coming soon, but not quite here. I'll post here when it's up.


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Ben Waggoner
Re: WMV VC-1 = WMV10?
on May 17, 2006 at 7:17:45 pm

The codec update for VC-1 for WMP10 has been available for quite a few months already, in fact.


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Ben Waggoner
Re: WMV VC-1 = WMV10?
on May 17, 2006 at 7:17:09 pm

I sure HOPE I didn't mention a WMV10.

So, VC-1 is the SMPTE designation for our new codec, which is a slightly modified version of WMV9-Advanced Profile. In fact, when you get the Studio Edition encoder, it'll call its VC-1 implementation "Windows Media Video 9 Advanced Profile).

That said, it has a different 4CC (WVC1, instead of the old WMV9-AP's WMVA), which means players will need to be updated to support it.

More confusingly, but more good news for users, is that VC-1 Main Profile is the same as WMV9. So the implementation enhancements we've been doing for HD DVD will also lead to a big improvement in traditional WMV9 encoding (Main Profile isn't in the beta, but will be in Studio Edition later this year).


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RoRK
Re: WMV VC-1 = WMV10?
by
on May 18, 2006 at 6:00:59 am

[Ben Waggoner] "I sure HOPE I didn't mention a WMV10."

My bad. After reading WMP10, I realise that I missread the P for a V. I promise to get those right the next time. :-)

It's getting clearer now, but I wished there was one table/matrix that spelled things out with more clarity. As it is now, I understand that VC-1 is WMV9 Advanced Profile. And VC-1 Main Profile is the same as WMV Main Profile.

There are three things that I still need clarity on -
1) Where does one, now, find an encoder that does WMV Advanced Profile?
2) Since VC-1 (WMV Advanced Profile) works with a newer 4CC and requires players to be updated (to which version again?), woulnd't it be best, for compatibility sake, for the next few months, at least, to simply encode with VC-1 Main Profile (WMV9 Main Profile)?
3) For straight on encoding of SD video for Web, are there any major compression benefits to VC-1. Right now, the new features seem more placed to tackle HD material for the Web.

Thanks in advance.
RoRK





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