New Codec Support in Windows 7

An interesting bit of news from the doom9 forums. As anyone who is testing the Windows 7 beta has discovered, and as the above screengrab shows, Microsoft is breaking with tradition and including more codec support in the upcoming Windows bundle. Previous Windows versions did not even include MPEG-2 decoding, which proved to be quite mystifying to many users trying to watch a DVD in their computers for the first time. And, needless to say, Microsoft stayed far away from any of the more esoteric codecs, including the key MPEG-4 ASP implementations such as DivX and Xvid. However, the beta of Windows 7 includes the ability to play back DivX, and Xvid, and even the next generation MPEG-4 AVC, better known as h.264. More intriguing is news that Microsoft may be working on an implementation of the Matroska container (MKV) for Windows7. Why is all of this important? Read the rest of this entry »

7 thoughts on “New Codec Support in Windows 7”

  1. I noticed this last night, actually. Pulled a Divx movie from my main laptop onto my Dell Mini 9, which is now running the Win7 beta. I actually had to walk through the WMP setup steps, but then boom, played it just fine. It couldn’t have been easier.

  2. It’s interesting (and maybe a bit sad?) how Microsoft products/projects don’t move in lockstep. I’ve been enjoying Xvid and MPEG-2 playback on my Xbox 360 (usually via USB stick, sometimes streamed) for awhile. I assume the initial lack of MPEG-2 in Windows was to save a few bucks in licensing? Who knows…

  3. MS should just make Win7 DivX HD (or whatever fancy name DivX is using for MKV support) certified and update 360 too. That’d be another shot at Sony — PS3 is DivX-certified (unlike 360) and it’s widely expected/hoped that Sony will get the new certification.

    @ Bruce: I think most Blu-Ray rips now are actually DTS and not AC3. At least, there’s enough MKVs with DTS audio for Popcorn Hour to release a little converter program that downmixes DTS to AC3.

  4. yea, noticed this. i’ve been running the beta for almost a month or so (got it from my works msdn account) and it has been great. the only problem i’ve encountered is waking up from hibernation seems to be busted with my pc, it’s probably me.

  5. @Ivan the change to DTS is happening very quickly, you are correct. I haven’t really followed the discussion as to why the encoding groups are doing that, but it does make a certain sense.

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