Windows 7 Limited on VC-1 Video Codec Use

Microsoft last week acknowledged that the VC-1 video codec has limited performance on multicore systems running Windows 7.

VC-1 currently does not use all of the cores in processing video on three-core and six-core computer systems, according to a Microsoft support article. Microsoft is currently investigating the issue, the article states, without indicating when a resolution will be found.

VC-1 follows standards set by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) and is formally known as "SMPTE 421M." Microsoft contributed the VC-1 technology in its Windows Media Player 9 video player product for the SMPTE standard, according to a Microsoft technical overview article, which describes the two technologies as being "functionally equivalent."

The patents for technologies used in VC-1 are held by a number of companies (including Microsoft) under MPEG LA, which controls licensing of the video codec. VC-1 is supported by various devices, such as Blu-ray disc players, mobile devices, video cameras, set-top boxes and game machines, including Microsoft's Xbox 360 video game console.

Lately, video codecs have made the news, mostly because of disputes among browser makers with regard to HTML 5 support. The HTML 5 spec, currently under development by the Worldwide Web Consortium, promises to enable native Web browser support for video playback. However, the spec doesn't indicate which video codecs will support HTML 5.

The Table shows currently announced browser maker support for the three main video codecs with HTML 5. Mozilla and Opera only support open source video codecs (VP8 and Ogg Theora). Google launched VP8 into open source in May as part of the WebM open Web media project.

Browser Support for Video Codecs With HTML 5
H.264 Ogg Theora VP8
Apple Safari - -
Google Chrome Google Chrome Google Chrome
Microsoft IE 9 - Microsoft IE 9
- Mozilla Firefox Mozilla Firefox
- Opera Opera

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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Reader Comments:

Mon, Jan 20, 2014

Good post. I completely agree with yourhttp://y DOT that Apple needs to do more to compete with Flash. There's really no reason for Quicktime to fall this far behind. A few comments on your suggestions:Re #1: This should be priority one. A recent project involving QT Plugin, Javascript and SMIL left me constantly mumbling to myself, I wish I had access to such and such . Clearly, a huge problem for anything beyond basic scriptingRe #2: As someone who's done a lot of JMF work in the past (and watched the API wither on the vine), I hope Apple doesn't follow suit. The QTJ update a year ago was a good sign that there's stlll interest but haven't seen anything since so who knows what will happen now.Re #3: If Apple is taking the corporate road with MPEG4 (that is, trying to get studio's to jump on board), then developers are in trouble. As far as I can tell, no studio or production house has any major plans to take full advantage of MPEG4 capabilities. I hope I'm wrong on this. MPEGJ doesn't seem to be on anyone's map.Re #6: I'm of two minds on this point. On one hand, being able to deploy QTSS and do the app development all in one environment does seem like a nice, convenient setup. On the other hand, it seems that QTSS usually gets deployed within a larger web setup with Apache handling the app support. I guess it would nice to have the flexibility to go either way.

Sun, Jan 19, 2014

What liinartbeg knowledge. Give me liberty or give me death.

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