WMV HD – Interesting video format

WMV HD is a special name for high-def videos encoded in WMV 9 codecs. It’s also known as VC-1 (I think).I’m not going to go into any more details than that, because I’m so lost reading about the format. But the picture quality is awesome. Check out this YouTube video, of one of the many downloadable WMV HD video demos on the showcase site. This one is called Stormchasers (IMAX).   

Wonderful, isn’t it? Really perfect quality. At least to my naked eyes. This format is already used in some DVD’s, like Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Total Recall, and a lot of others.

It’s also built into Windows Movie Maker, Xbox 360, and works on most computer configurations.

Recommended configuration

To play 1080/24p video with 5.1 surround sound

  • Windows XP
  • Windows Media Player 9
  • DirectX 9.0
  • 3.0 GHz Pentium 4 processor or equivalent
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • 128 MB video card
  • 1440 x 1080 screen resolution (4:3 content) or 1920 x 1080 (16:9 content)
  • 24-bit 96 kHz multichannel sound card
  • 5.1 surround sound speaker systems

Just judging on that video alone, I’m wondering why Microsoft doesn’t talk more about WMV HD. It seems like a great bit of technology. Their site is really bare on the details. From what I gather, Xbox Live Video Marketplace (what a mouthful!) uses it for HD videos. Though Zune Marketplace doesn’t (not to mention it’s small video library). Nor does Zune really support the format.

I’m also not clear about the difference between WMV HD and VC-1, though I guess searching a bit could help. Nor how it stands against DivX HD, H.264, and all those other high-res formats. But it looks good to me.

For more info., check out Wikipedia’s article, and this fan site (that’s legit, and updated often enough as of 7/29/2008).

Just thought you might want to check this out, if you didn’t know about it before.


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