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Windows 7: Windows 7’s new “play all” decoders, encoders and transcoding capabilities

15 Nov 2008   #1
NormCameron

Vista X32. Windows 7 32bit
 
 
Windows 7’s new “play all” decoders, encoders and transcoding capabilities

Windows 7’s new “play all” decoders, encoders and transcoding capabilities

"If you have had any theories Microsoft was conspiring with the media conglomerates to protect their interests and not the user’s, throw them in the bin, pour jet fuel and remotely detonate them since Microsoft can’t be any bolder than building in DivX and Xvid native support in Windows 7. Yes, all your favorite Family Guy episodes will play in Windows Media Player. Yes I’m looking at you. You may have also heard there’s also native H.264 and AAC support. But that’s not all. After all, decoding is only one part of the equation.

In a presentation titled “Video Improvements In Windows 7” at WinHEC 2008, Microsoft also revealed new encoding and similarly transcoding capabilities in Windows 7. The new “Media Foundation” decoders are as follows,

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In Windows 7, encoding is extended to widely adopted MPEG-4 and 3GPP standards with H.264 video and AAC audio encoders built in, on top of the WMV, WMA and MP3 encoders built-in to Vista today - after all, hardly anyone uses Windows Media outside of the Microsoft ecosystem. Speaking of which the Zune even supports H.264 and AAC natively.

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Bear in mind however these encoders are not a replacement for commercial alternatives. The limitations include simple profiles, maximum bitrate and resolutions.

With this new pool of decoders and encoders, Microsoft’s also doing some building in some interesting transcoding (decoding and re-encoding from one format to another) technology in Windows. From what I can at least gather from the presentation, transcoding is actually built right into the Windows 7 shell. That is, if you drag and drop a video from your desktop to your portable media player, the conversion will happen automatically. Personally, anything that removes unnecessary third-party bloatware to add content to portable devices gets my vote.

Microsoft also recognizes that software transcoding is less than ideal - a movie will usually take hours, so Windows 7 will also support a new breed of dedicated hardware transcoders which could ideally become a standard motherboard chipset feature.

Windows 7’s new “play all” decoders, encoders and transcoding capabilities - istartedsomething
"






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15 Nov 2008   #2
mansrm81

Windows 7 Ultimate x64/ Windows Vista Ultimate x64
 
 

Good read Norm.

I liked that you didn't have to download any codecs to play videos.
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15 Nov 2008   #3
z3r010

 

I did find that xvid playback was pretty poor with the built in codec but at least it's there.
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15 Nov 2008   #4
swarfega

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

I wouldnt imagine the need for the likes of free-codecs.com will vanish with the release of Windows 7 since people will probably want better quality.
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15 Nov 2008   #5
NormCameron

Vista X32. Windows 7 32bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by NormCameron View Post
so Windows 7 will also support a new breed of dedicated hardware transcoders which could ideally become a standard motherboard chipset feature.
That's my favourite bit
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15 Nov 2008   #6
z3r010

 

If I get chance later I will check out how well it handles streaming various formats to my 360 extender
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18 Nov 2008   #7
hdjunkie

Windows 7
 
 

I've been playing xvids, and divx shows/movies for the past couple weeks with my 360 but I've been unable to play mkvs. The video plays (sometimes studders) but I can't get any sound. (dts, ac3, dd5.1, or anything else).
Has anyone had success streaming mkvs to the 360?
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04 Jan 2009   #8
Emptysoul

Windows 7
 
 

My only problem with this is that you now no longfer have any control over codecs being used in WMP12 and MC. For example, a lot of my of my DVD rips have quite low volume so I use FFDShow to boost the volume slightly. Now Windows doesn't even use FFDShow so I can't do this.
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04 Jan 2009   #9
johngalt

 

For the average user, though, simplicity is the key - they just want a couple of simple steps for their videos to play.

Those that are into high quality renders, those that manually edit videos already, and those that want complete control will still be using third party solutions.

I mean, come on - Win XP had CD burning capabilities - how many of us used no other solution? It had Windows Defender available as a DL and was installed by default in Vista - sis most of us not use a 3rd party AV suite?

M$ can and *will* only provide limited support for some things, and for those things we will continue to use better, more robust 3rd party solutions.
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04 Jan 2009   #10
Emptysoul

Windows 7
 
 

But if you want to use Media Centre then you CAN'T use third party codec solutions because (as far as I can see) there is no way to turn off the inbuild support in WMP12. If there was then it wouldn't be an issue. It's perfectly possible for MS to maintain out-of-the-box functionality for ordinary users yet still allow power users to keep control over how their media is rendered.

Hopefully this will be addressed in later releases.
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 Windows 7’s new “play all” decoders, encoders and transcoding capabilities




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