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Monday, April 16, 2007
Microsoft Announces Commercial VC-1 Encoder SDK

Today at the 2007 National Association of Broadcasters convention , Microsoft announced the new Microsoft VC-1 Encoder software development kit (SDK), available to manufacturers building video encoding solutions.

Taking advantage of the same core encoding techniques major Hollywood studios rely on to deliver the high quality of HD DVDs (more than 90 percent of HD DVD titles authored in the United States use VC-1) and other high-definition optical discs, 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.

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 encoder optimizations. Improved delivery scenarios include a program or transport stream for HD DVD or Blu-ray, MPEG-2 transport stream for broadcast and Internet Protocol television (IPTV), Material eXchange Format (MXF) for easy interchange, and the MP4 file format container. For broadcast and IPTV, in particular, it is now easier for tools manufacturers to implement closed captioning, improve interlaced encoding quality and performance, and enable easy 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.

The new Microsoft VC-1 Encoder SDK will be delivered as a set of application programming interfaces (APIs), allowing companies that manufacture content-creation tools to integrate the latest updates from Microsoft without having to re-engineer their applications.

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