Sunday, April 15, 2007

Microsoft Offers Commercial VC-1 Encoder

Microsoft announced a VC-1 Encoder software development kit (SDK) for manufacturers building video encoding solutions.

The commercial SDK offers substantial quality and performance improvements over the previously released Windows Media Format SDK. Improvements include better picture quality, faster encode times, new features optimized for various video distribution channels, and ease of integrating future updates.

Microsoft said that more than 90% of HD DVD titles authored in the United States currently use VC-1.

The new commercial VC-1 Encoder SDK allows licensees, for the first time, to deliver VC-1 video beyond the Windows Media Format container, utilizing Microsoft's high-quality encoder optimizations. Improved delivery scenarios include a program or transport stream for HD DVD or Blu-ray, MPEG-2 transport stream for broadcast and IPTV, Material eXchange Format (MXF) for easy interchange, and the MP4 file format container.

For broadcast and IPTV, in particular, Microsoft said it is now easier for tools manufacturers to implement closed captioning, improve interlaced encoding quality and performance, and enable output to MPEG-2 transport streams. Special features have also been customized for market segments such as high- definition optical discs; the Microsoft VC-1 Encoder SDK can enable parallel encoding for significant improvement in speed as well as segment-based re- encoding, which allows users to re-encode only the portion of the content that would benefit from another encode.