Windows 8 media playback support explained

Windows 8 may not be able to play back DVDs via its native media player without paying extra for Windows Media Center. However, Microsoft says it is working to add better audio and video playback in both Windows 8 and Windows RT. In the latest post on the official Windows 8 blog, Microsoft goes into some details on how the OS will achieve better media support while also optimizing such support for the best battery life possible.

The blog post, written by Scott Manchester, group program manager for the Windows Media Platform and Technologies team, states:

With Windows 8 running on a Windows 8 certified PC, video decoding for common media formats will be offloaded to a dedicated hardware subsystem for media. This allows us to significantly lower CPU usage, resulting in smoother video playback and a longer battery life, as the dedicated media hardware is much more efficient than the CPU at media decoding.

You can see that CPU utilization for Windows 8 while running 720p VC1/H.264 video clips and webcam capture previews is far lower in Windows 8 than it is in Windows 7 in the chart above. In addition, audio playback has also been improved. Manchester states, "By batching up large chunks of audio data and doing all the processing for that chunk at one time, the CPU can stay asleep for over 100 times longer (over 1 second vs. 10ms), which can result in dramatically increased battery life during audio playback."

In addition to video and audio playback, Microsoft is working to make Windows 8 handle the kinds of real time video and audio features that have been enable in applications such as Skype. One such feature allows for Windows 8 to run such apps in low-latency mode. At the same time, Windows 8 also supports the use of HD cameras.

Window 8 Metro apps also support a wide variety of video and audio files. You can see the full list below:

The blog also talks about Windows 8 support for streaming paid video content from services such as Netflix. Microsoft said the OS will support adaptive bitrate streaming for such services along with the PlayReady feature that enables content protection for both downloaded and streamed videos.

The blog also talks about the improved version of Play To which was first launched in Windows 7. For Windows 8, the Play To feature will still allow Windows 8 devices to stream videos to other Play To supported video screens and monitors. Windows 8 will find any Play To supported video screens on your home network automatically. However, streaming video from Windows 8 Metro apps can only be done with Windows certified Play To receivers. An upcoming update for Microsoft's Xbox 360 console will enable Play To support.

The blog post also goes over 3D monitor support for Windows 8 along with a number of other new media playback additions.

Source: Microsoft | Images via Microsoft

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The .MKV container is not utilized by any commercial content producer, as far as I know. It's use seems mostly limited to the ripping of commercial video content, and often for (illegal) file sharing. Given that, it's no real surprise that Microsoft and Apple don't support this container.

It's a shame because AC-3 audio is not formally part of the MPEG Part 4 standard, and so MP4/M4V files containing discreet surround audio can only be played on a very limited number of (generally Apple) devices. The MKV container does handle this, however, and would be a nice solution if there was more widespread playback support.

Silversee said,
The .MKV container is not utilized by any commercial content producer, as far as I know. It's use seems mostly limited to the ripping of commercial video content, and often for (illegal) file sharing. Given that, it's no real surprise that Microsoft and Apple don't support this container.

It's a shame because AC-3 audio is not formally part of the MPEG Part 4 standard, and so MP4/M4V files containing discreet surround audio can only be played on a very limited number of (generally Apple) devices. The MKV container does handle this, however, and would be a nice solution if there was more widespread playback support.

Some people are complaining about not having
MKV + 10-bit h264 support

If that is not admitting that you Pirate Japanese shows and expect everyone to support you, I don't know what is.

_heracles said,

Some people are complaining about not having
MKV + 10-bit h264 support

If that is not admitting that you Pirate Japanese shows and expect everyone to support you, I don't know what is.


"With Windows 8 running on a Windows 8 certified PC, video decoding for common media formats will be offloaded to a dedicated hardware subsystem for media."

And surprisingly enough, "Windows 8 certified PC" just happens to need certain components that a lot of current PC's don't have - meaning there's no real "optimization" but just moving the load from CPU to dedicated components.

You know, this all sounds awfully famili.. holy **** now I know; Amiga back in 1985 had dedicated components to offload content.

What goes around comes around I guess..

MiukuMac said,
"With Windows 8 running on a Windows 8 certified PC, video decoding for common media formats will be offloaded to a dedicated hardware subsystem for media."

And surprisingly enough, "Windows 8 certified PC" just happens to need certain components that a lot of current PC's don't have - meaning there's no real "optimization" but just moving the load from CPU to dedicated components.

You know, this all sounds awfully famili.. holy **** now I know; Amiga back in 1985 had dedicated components to offload content.

What goes around comes around I guess..

Video has been offloaded to dedicated hardware sybsystems for media
SINCE WINDOWS XP

It is more and more efficient with each Windows iteration.

MiukuMac said,
"With Windows 8 running on a Windows 8 certified PC, video decoding for common media formats will be offloaded to a dedicated hardware subsystem for media."

And surprisingly enough, "Windows 8 certified PC" just happens to need certain components that a lot of current PC's don't have - meaning there's no real "optimization" but just moving the load from CPU to dedicated components.

You know, this all sounds awfully famili.. holy **** now I know; Amiga back in 1985 had dedicated components to offload content.

What goes around comes around I guess..

Comment/Troll fail. They talking about offloading the video decoding to the GPU, something that's been happening for years. They just are now enforcing that minimum GPU function in the "Windows 8 Certified" specs.

Yeah, i'd like to see MKV support as well. I use it when ripping my blurays to store on my server to stream to my HTPC. Blurays I own. And I have Dolby TrueHD/DTS MA HD so I have to use MKV. Would be nice if they supported it natively but I can get it up and running in media center with just a few clicks so no biggy.

drazgoosh said,
And that's why many will use Gom/VLC/other media players, as they can support many file types. Most importantly .mkv IMO

Maybe this is unusual, but for me the one and only time I ever saw an MKV was when downloading an episode of Fringe that I missed on TV.

drazgoosh said,
And that's why many will use Gom/VLC/other media players, as they can support many file types. Most importantly .mkv IMO

And oddly, something like 99% of Windows users never touch other media players because they don't have time or need for crap codecs from the *nix world that are no longer needed.

Lookup VLC, you can find articles claiming that 500 million people use it. (However, in the fine print on the actual VLC site, the actual number of users based on version downloads is around 60 million people around the world at best.)

The crazy thing is that most of the 'codec packs' and the alternative 'media players' bypass a lot of technology.

Sadly people that are tricked into a lot of these codecs/packs/players don't realize that these are the reasons that their notebook battery can't play a full a movie, or why they see crazy artifacts, and can't play music and games at the same time and their CPU utilization is 3 or 4 times what it should be and glitch here and error there.

The codecs that write over the Windows 7 hardware acceleration codecs are the worst and sadly it took the people distributing theses and even the codec makers a LONG time before they realize they were 'hurting' performance. Yet some package developers/authors still opt for the less compatible and high CPU utilization codecs because they read once that it was a .001% better quality when decoding something.

TCLN Ryster said,

Maybe this is unusual, but for me the one and only time I ever saw an MKV was when downloading an episode of Fringe that I missed on TV.


Im a pirate and unlike others, i openly admit... i ONLY encounter MKV with torrenting my series that will never air here (stupid dutch crap tv). The legit sources I visit are often MPEG's.

This reminds me. If Windows 8 is going Metro UI, then where is the Metro UI evolution of Windows Media Player? It doesn't seem a bit different since version 12

netsendjoe said,
This reminds me. If Windows 8 is going Metro UI, then where is the Metro UI evolution of Windows Media Player? It doesn't seem a bit different since version 12

You seem to be missing the point. Windows Media Player doesn't exist in Metro, it's a classic desktop application. Why would they evolve it?

Instead you have the video and music Metro apps (which granted at this stage are quite poor, but they are still in preview and lag behind OS development for obvious reasons). There will also be a host of other media player apps for Metro once the OS is released.

netsendjoe said,
This reminds me. If Windows 8 is going Metro UI, then where is the Metro UI evolution of Windows Media Player? It doesn't seem a bit different since version 12

Stoned, I'm guessing...

Ya, it isn't different for Metro because IT ISN'T MADE FOR METRO SINCE METRO HAS ITS OWN MEDIA PLAYERS. The Metro players do use the Media Player engine though, if that makes you feel better.

Really?

Metro has it own library and music and video applications built in and Windows Media Player is not used in this context. Just like you don't see Windows Media Player on WP7 either, or the XBox 360...

netsendjoe said,
This reminds me. If Windows 8 is going Metro UI, then where is the Metro UI evolution of Windows Media Player? It doesn't seem a bit different since version 12

Getting phased out it would seem. The Zune software was so much better anyways. I was hoping they would evolve the Zune software into the desktop media player for 8, but no such luck there.

Ambroos said,

VLC still sucks when it comes to playback quality. Their renderer usually ****s up contrast.

If you want to play video files, use Media Player Classic Home Cinema (with MadVR on a powerful PC, otherwise just with standard things). For audio files, use Foobar2k. VLC is horrible.

example:
http://wizardofwinds.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/96dqtf.jpg

Hey.. just wana point out. I agree. The contrast is messed up in VLC but there is a simple fix. Whenever you play a vid just open the effects and increase the contrast by a notch and its all perfect!

ProChefChad said,
Step 1: Use VLC
Done

VLC is the IE6 of the Media Player World. It is a big joke.

You will get NO performance benefits Windows 8 provides using something as stupid as VLC.

_heracles said,
You will get NO performance benefits Windows 8 provides using something as stupid as VLC.
Yet it supports formats that Windows 8 doesn't. I have no interest in letting Microsoft dictate what I can and cannot watch, so I'll continue to use VLC. More importantly, Metro apps are incredibly cumbersome on the desktop and usually have a fraction of the functionality of regular desktop apps.

theyarecomingforyou said,
Yet it supports formats that Windows 8 doesn't. I have no interest in letting Microsoft dictate what I can and cannot watch, so I'll continue to use VLC. More importantly, Metro apps are incredibly cumbersome on the desktop and usually have a fraction of the functionality of regular desktop apps.

If you know anything about media players, MPC is the only way to go.

VLC is a joke. Only people who are not educated use it - whenever I see someone using it I know this person is the demise of our species.

Saying that you use VLC is the same as saying that IE6 is awesome. It is not and never will be.

_heracles said,

If you know anything about media players, MPC is the only way to go.

VLC is a joke. Only people who are not educated use it - whenever I see someone using it I know this person is the demise of our species.

Saying that you use VLC is the same as saying that IE6 is awesome. It is not and never will be.


hey! I use VLC when i come across formats WMP doesnt support. And tried a few MKV decoders, and quite frankly, the MKV decoder in VLC is hel of alot better then the ones for WMP.
Oh and sometimes when video files have build in subtitles, they are automatically on with WMP and no way to disable them (might've been with those MKV's tho, not sure) and if i can understand the language, i dont want subtitles And VLC lets me turn them off.

To each his own, but to generalize people just if they use VLC is quite frankly... retarded.

Oh i also use Winamp over WMP for music, altho this is mainly because of winamp remote WMP never hangs the music, Winamp does sometimes when the system is on heavy load

and yes, im a pirate, however a dutch pirate, so its legal altho its mainly for those american and brittish series they NEVER release here and ocasionally the movie i dont find worth buying or going to cinema for

_heracles said,
Only people who are not educated use it - whenever I see someone using it I know this person is the demise of our species.

Dude... what the ****?

Marcin Kurek said,

Dude... what the ****?


Person plays something in VLC, computer goes to sleep.
Person plays something in VLC, computer screen turns off.
Person plays something in VLC, it laggs.

Person plays something in VLC, his battery life falls of the cliff.
Person plays something in VLC, multi-tasking feels laggier.

Person plays something in VLC, doesn't use his GPU.
Person plays something in VLC, artifacts everywhere.

etc, etc

Normal persons use WMP, professionals use MPC:HC, and kiddies use VLC.
It is just how the world works.

Pikey said,
Still no FLAC support?

Really, still?

WMA Lossless is free, even for non-Windows users now. It is also better in speed and compression levels than FLAC.

So why do we need FLAC again?

thenetavenger said,

Really, still?

WMA Lossless is free, even for non-Windows users now. It is also better in speed and compression levels than FLAC.

So why do we need FLAC again?

Proof?

thenetavenger said,

Really, still?

WMA Lossless is free, even for non-Windows users now. It is also better in speed and compression levels than FLAC.

So why do we need FLAC again?

Flac is FREE and Open Source.

Arceles said,

Flac is FREE and Open Source.

WMA is also free, and what would i care about open source, doesn't affect me.

thenetavenger said,

Really, still?

WMA Lossless is free, even for non-Windows users now. It is also better in speed and compression levels than FLAC.

So why do we need FLAC again?

And why do we need MS own media player ?

We have far better options you know like MPC-HC which is MILES ahead of windows media player.

MPC-HC is a Ferrari. WMP is a Lada.

LaP said,

And why do we need MS own media player ?

We have far better options you know like MPC-HC which is MILES ahead of windows media player.

MPC-HC is a Ferrari. WMP is a Lada.


your joking right? not a single other media player comes even CLOSE to the smoothness of WMP when it comes to running audio or video
This was with the ancient WMP that came with Win95 or win98 IIRC, then they had a bunch of bloated releases untill WMP in Vista and even better in Win7 and now even more so in Win8. VLC is at atleas DOUBLE the resource usage. and VLC is pretty much the best 'open-source' media player.
WMP even beats the crap out of Winamp when it comes to speed and smoothness. Altho in customiseability, WMP is really lacking.

Just the way WMP uses the hardware, GPU and barely any CPU to do its encoding, in a way no other media player is able to.
Maybe you should just try using WMP for once, last time was in winXP days i assume?

Strange. Just opened a simple avi in the lastest WMP for Windows 7. Simple 700MB xvid inside an avi container with low bitrate mp3 audio track and no subtitles. There's a slight lag when i seek. Takes around half a sec or close. In MPC-HC it's more smooth. Seek in instant.

I would try HD video but WMP doesn't have the proper codec. But HD videos are totally smooth in MPC-HC with my hardware anyway.

I'm playing a 8gb HD video inside a mkv container in MPC-HC right now and cpu usage is at 5%. My old Core i5 750 doesn't even work. Of course the gpu is but it doesn't slow down my pc so i do not care at all. Totally smooth. Seek is almost instant.

I will give you the audio part. I like WMP for audio and actually it is the player i use to play audio. Don't really care for lossless it takes too much space i have close to 100 legally physical CD to store on my HD i prefer to compress the files so lack of FLAC support is not an issue to me.

I just realised this was a reply to a post aboue FLAC. I thought i was replying to a post about mkv. For video WMP is still behind MPC-HC as far as i'm concerned.

Edited by LaP, Jun 10 2012, 4:28pm :

not supporting .mkv and vorbis natively is stupid! .mkv files are very popular, clearly they don't support it for piracy reasons. vorbis is used by all the other web browsers except for safari. Will MS be supporting Opus audio codec which will likely be the standard audio codec for html5 or will we have to wait until IE11 for that or will we get it as a windows update?

MS is holding back the web!

torrentthief said,
not supporting .mkv and vorbis natively is stupid! .mkv files are very popular, clearly they don't support it for piracy reasons. vorbis is used by all the other web browsers except for safari. Will MS be supporting Opus audio codec which will likely be the standard audio codec for html5 or will we have to wait until IE11 for that or will we get it as a windows update?

MS is holding back the web!

Really? Do you have a clue what you are saying or asking?

MKV is just another container, like MP4 or AVI.

AVI is Microsoft's container, and even it is no longer being fully supported, as it wasn't included as a container for WP7, and instead MP4 is used.

So you want Microsoft to go out and pick up another bastardized container technology, when they aren't even supporting their own container format?

And then Vorbis? Really? Why should ANYONE, let alone Microsoft care about Vorbis?

Oh, its free and magically 'open source'... Well, technically, the licensing and use of Vorbis is a bit more complex than people realize, because of it being open source, the patent issues alone are scary. (Go ask Motorola or Apple if they have any patents that affect Vorbis, cause they BOTH do.)

Vorbis AT BEST is Equal to the audio quality of WMA - according to their own studies and testing.

So why Vorbis, oh ya, it is magically 'open source'. Well in the world of Windows, this is worthless, because WMA is actual 'standard' audio format, and is completely free of any licensing or usage fees.

So for WMA, even the 'must have Windows' licensing requirement is no longer in place as of 2009 for encoding.

See prior to 2009, to create WMA files, there were licensing fees, or you had to use Windows (Desktop or Server). So in the Linux world, they adopted other technologies like Vorbis, because they didn't want to pay the $100 Microsoft 'tax' to just encode audio files 'legally'.

However, as of 2009, Microsoft even removed this restriction, and WMA is more 'free' for use than even Vorbis. It also has 'patent' protection, so that if Google/Motorola or Apple decides they want to go after you, Microsoft catches the lawsuit. Using Vorbis, you are on your own.


I get the whole H.264 crap and licensing and the 'free for personal' use licensing they have 'for now' and all other issues with various codecs, but adding to the problems is helping nobody.

MKV is quickly becoming outdated, in the short window it had over 3 years ago when it offered a way to handle HD content easier than other containers.

However that was 3 years ago, and the other container options have caught up and passed MKV. Right now MP4 has less issues, especially in that more devices inherently support the container and the majority of codecs used in the MP4 container. You can do 3D and HD codecs and variable and anything you need in just MP4.


You don't need MKV, and the idiots that keep using crap like MKV and Vorbis need to be slapped up side the head and someone needs to explain to them we no longer need to use them, especially just because they are 'magically' open source. (Which means NOTHING when dealing with standards, it is far more important to have 100 guardians of the standard, than to be open source and controlled by one company or group.)

So this is why my PC crashes all the time when I play a video.. These are the changes that cause my display drivers to crash. So its pretty clear the problem lies with NVIDIA.. and not MS.

Zain Adeel said,
So this is why my PC crashes all the time when I play a video.. These are the changes that cause my display drivers to crash. So its pretty clear the problem lies with NVIDIA.. and not MS.

sure... everyone blames nvidia for microsoft's crap....

remixedcat said,

sure... everyone blames nvidia for microsoft's crap....


When it comes to drivers, that's not unreasonable. Not when other hardware venders produce drivers that don't crash.

remixedcat said,

sure... everyone blames nvidia for microsoft's crap....


What crap? Allowing Nvidia to release crappy drivers?

rfirth said,

When it comes to drivers, that's not unreasonable. Not when other hardware venders produce drivers that don't crash.

ummm... nvidia normally has more stable drivers then intel and ati does for thier gpus.

remixedcat said,

sure... everyone blames nvidia for microsoft's crap....

Its not MS crap. They actually made valid changes that allow for better buffering streaming and better hardware acceleration. Its just that maybe NVIDIA missed a thing or two that's causing all the unstability. Im sure they will fix it. Because it seem to be just in the new drivers and not the old one. So its something they added that's just not compatible with these changes in windows 8.

remixedcat said,

ummm... nvidia normally has more stable drivers then intel and ati does for thier gpus.


That's fine. But a lot of people are complaining about NVidia drivers with Win8 RP.

remixedcat said,

ummm... nvidia normally has more stable drivers then intel and ati does for thier gpus.

Have you forgotten what happened when Vista was released?

Zain Adeel said,
So this is why my PC crashes all the time when I play a video.. These are the changes that cause my display drivers to crash. So its pretty clear the problem lies with NVIDIA.. and not MS.

If you are using CP driver(296) for RP, Wait until nvidia creates new one for RP and stick with the one that Microsoft provided.

sat2012 said,
If you are using CP driver(296) for RP, Wait until nvidia creates new one for RP and stick with the one that Microsoft provided.

I cant.. they crash! im using 286.xx ... these are the ONLY one which seem to recover after crashing.. so the system blacks out..and recovers again in about 5 seconds instead of just crashing the whole system.

Zain Adeel said,

I cant.. they crash! im using 286.xx ... these are the ONLY one which seem to recover after crashing.. so the system blacks out..and recovers again in about 5 seconds instead of just crashing the whole system.

Have you considered the possibility that you might have an actual hardware issue?

What you describe sounds more like a GPU voltage or overheating problem when it is being stressed decoding the video stream.

I know for a fact the NVidia drivers are not perfect, and even the NVidia supplied RP driver that Microsoft ships with the RP is not perfect; however, full GPU failure, and requiring an OS level reinitialization sounds more serious than just a driver flaw.

PS You do realize if you were using any other OS other than Windows, when the GPU crashed, the system would be down, and not just blank the screen and reinitialize the GPU on the fly?

I see people bagging on Microsoft in this thread, but OS X or Linux would fail hard in this situation, and on Windows, the big 'flaw' even with bad GPU hardware is the OS blanking the screen for a moment.

(The OS/Kernel model for Linux and OS X can survive a GPU failure; however, any upper level and user areas of the system don't survive. On Linux, XWindows and WM drops, along with OpenGL and anything running dependent on graphics or the GPU or these frameworks. The same is true on OS X, as the whole Apple GUI set of services dump, and on OS X virtually everything, and everything the user 'sees' will crash because of a Video card crash.

Windows Vista/7/8 are the only OSes that can successfully fully recover low level GPU failure and dynamic flipping with application and even 3D application/GPGPU seamless recovery.

It is these little things that Microsoft and Windows don't get enough 'technical talk' or recognition.

remixedcat said,

sure... everyone blames nvidia for microsoft's crap....

Wow. Troll much? Did you miss the recently reported news of nVidia's Windows 8 driver debacle? Drivers that crash all the time and have graphic glitches?

TCLN Ryster said,

Wow. Troll much? Did you miss the recently reported news of nVidia's Windows 8 driver debacle? Drivers that crash all the time and have graphic glitches?

It's funny... I never had any of those.... I hate to admit this but win 8 has been very stable for me in any of the systems, physical or virtual that I run.

Even my Creative sound card drivers work fine. ;-)

rfirth said,

When it comes to drivers, that's not unreasonable. Not when other hardware venders produce drivers that don't crash.

I haven't had any problems with nVidia drivers on Windows 8 and I just installed the regular Windows 7 drivers. nVidia will be releasing updated drivers soon anyway.

remixedcat said,

ummm... nvidia normally has more stable drivers then intel and ati does for thier gpus.


...and yet it was shown back in the vista days that NVIDIA drivers were the cause for almost a majority of outright OS crashes.

remixedcat said,

ummm... nvidia normally has more stable drivers then intel and ati does for thier gpus.


the AMD drivers run like a charm with Win8, not a single crash so far. Far better then the catalyst drivers from Win7 RC/RTM times
So it isnt a Win8 problem.
thenetavenger said,

Have you considered the possibility that you might have an actual hardware issue?

What you describe sounds more like a GPU voltage or overheating problem when it is being stressed decoding the video stream.

I know for a fact the NVidia drivers are not perfect, and even the NVidia supplied RP driver that Microsoft ships with the RP is not perfect; however, full GPU failure, and requiring an OS level reinitialization sounds more serious than just a driver flaw.

PS You do realize if you were using any other OS other than Windows, when the GPU crashed, the system would be down, and not just blank the screen and reinitialize the GPU on the fly?

I see people bagging on Microsoft in this thread, but OS X or Linux would fail hard in this situation, and on Windows, the big 'flaw' even with bad GPU hardware is the OS blanking the screen for a moment.

(The OS/Kernel model for Linux and OS X can survive a GPU failure; however, any upper level and user areas of the system don't survive. On Linux, XWindows and WM drops, along with OpenGL and anything running dependent on graphics or the GPU or these frameworks. The same is true on OS X, as the whole Apple GUI set of services dump, and on OS X virtually everything, and everything the user 'sees' will crash because of a Video card crash.

Windows Vista/7/8 are the only OSes that can successfully fully recover low level GPU failure and dynamic flipping with application and even 3D application/GPGPU seamless recovery.

It is these little things that Microsoft and Windows don't get enough 'technical talk' or recognition.


nope, its often drivers. I had exactly the same with those crappy AMD drivers when Win7 was released... Took AMD months to release proper drivers for Win7... display crashed every 1-60minutes, 90% of the time windows recovered it, but sometimes it seems to've just given up and give me a BSOD
This way I learned quite a bit on the new GPU technologies in Win7 (and Vista) love that no other OS even today has anything similar..

btw on a side-note, Nvidia drivers replace OpenGL display drivers. It completely goes around OpenGL for its graphics at least, iirc

Yossarian1 said,
Still no .mkv ...

I understand that they don't support it, but at the same time
why should they even support it?
what importance is the .mkv media container to Microsoft that they should have built in support? whats the benefit?
who else supports .mkv files?

ctrl_alt_delete said,

I understand that they don't support it, but at the same time
why should they even support it?
what importance is the .mkv media container to Microsoft that they should have built in support? whats the benefit?
who else supports .mkv files?

In case you're not living in cave or under rock, .mkv video is widely used in media available on the internet, since 2009 I guess

MKV provides high quality encodes compared to divx, h264 etc

A lot of people will be happy if they can play mkv natively without converting or resorts for external codec or players

Eins.MY said,

In case you're not living in cave or under rock, .mkv video is widely used in media available on the internet, since 2009 I guess

MKV provides high quality encodes compared to divx, h264 etc

A lot of people will be happy if they can play mkv natively without converting or resorts for external codec or players

You know that MKV is just a container format, right? It was created to be a more versatile and royalty free container than AVI. The video formats it contains are typically h.264 and audio codecs are often mp3 or AAC, though in all cases other formats are accepted, for example Google's WebM format is an MKV container wrapped around VP8 video and Vorbis audio.

There is no difference in quality of encode, just in versatility and it's nature of being open

Yossarian1 said,
Still no .mkv ...

I dunno about playing mkv files in the metro video player but it could work once you install the codecs and mkv splitter like you've always had to. MS will never, at this point, support mkv OOTB.

Eins.MY said,

In case you're not living in cave or under rock, .mkv video is widely used in media available on the internet, since 2009 I guess

MKV provides high quality encodes compared to divx, h264 etc

A lot of people will be happy if they can play mkv natively without converting or resorts for external codec or players

you said all that and never did answer one of my questions. I'm sure I'm not living under any rock. I'm also sure I know what a Matroska file/container is. you did not answer why Microsoft should have the support built into the OS when they can easily leave it up the "Community" to make an .MKV player for WindowsRT the matroska media pack is already available for the windows desktop which I have installed at home.

the few people who download mkv video files won't die if Microsoft doesn't natively support it.

Eins.MY said,

In case you're not living in cave or under rock, .mkv video is widely used in media available on the internet, since 2009 I guess

MKV provides high quality encodes compared to divx, h264 etc

A lot of people will be happy if they can play mkv natively without converting or resorts for external codec or players

still did not answer any of my questions.
I know what the Matroska container is. I used to watch a lot of animes with it.
but at this point there is no importance to Microsoft for supporting it natively or not. so why should they? due to it's open nature it changes constantly, there's no standard affair. so wouldn't that be more of a burden than a benefit?

seeing that it changes constantly wouldn't it be much better for the user to download their own upto date version when it is released? I'm sure the 'community' can come together and make a WindowsRT player that supports the container, release it to the marketplace and update it accordingly (which means users will most likely always be on the most update version) at least they won't have to go hunt down an updated Matroska media pack like it is now.

_heracles said,
Imagine the news,
"Microsoft encourages piracy"

No.

MKV is just a video file container, it's not exclusively used for piracy. There are plenty of legitimate uses too.

That said, the only time I ever encountered an MKV file was when I downloaded an episode of Fringe that I had missed on TV ;-)

_heracles said,
Imagine the news,
"Microsoft encourages piracy"

No.

Then I guess Asus, Western Digital and a dozen others who's hard drive based media players support mkv are encouraging piracy as well?

Sadelwo said,

Then I guess Asus, Western Digital and a dozen others who's hard drive based media players support mkv are encouraging piracy as well?


No they are being stupid for not providing .mp4 media

Enron said,
MKV is used only for piracy.

E:sopa

Not true at all. The vast majority of pirated content on the Internet is still in AVI or MP4 format, both of which are supported out of the box. MKV is only really used for high definition rips, and if the argument can be made that AVI has legitimate uses then the same goes for MKV.

Javik said,

Not true at all. The vast majority of pirated content on the Internet is still in AVI or MP4 format, both of which are supported out of the box. MKV is only really used for high definition rips, and if the argument can be made that AVI has legitimate uses then the same goes for MKV.

I was kidding, but yes that's a valid point.

Enron said,
MKV is used only for piracy.

E:sopa

I use "makemkv" to rip my DVDs and Blu Ray onto my HTPC, no piracy. I love the ability to browse XBMC and just click on a movie to watch without having to go through all the FBI warnings, selection screens...etc. Also like just having one container file vs. the DVD/Blu Ray folder/file breakdown.

Edit: Just saw your "kidding" post. ha

Enron said,
MKV is used only for piracy.

E:sopa

This is idiotic. MKV is a container, nothing else. The MKV container was not created to aid piracy. Just because many pirated videos happen to use mkv does not mean ANYTHING. Just as many pirated videos use the .avi container. Does windows support piracy because it supports .avi? No. Windows supports h.264 and xvid out of the box, the two most common formats for pirated content, does this mean windows supports piracy? No.

MKV is a perfectly legit container format, and it is kind of silly that its not supported out of the box.

Enron said,
MKV is used only for piracy.
I'm sure that's probably the main reason it isn't supported in Windows 8, though MP3 started off in exactly the same way. At the end of the day anyone that wants to play .mkv files will simply install VLC or any number of Metro apps which will inevitably support it.

ctrl_alt_delete said,

I understand that they don't support it, but at the same time
why should they even support it?
what importance is the .mkv media container to Microsoft that they should have built in support? whats the benefit?
who else supports .mkv files?

You're kidding right ????

Are you living under a rock? mkv is the most popular container for 720p and 1080p movies right now.

If you are serious about media player business supporting mkv is a given and i would even say a must. Yes you can install the splitter but i prefer my media player to support the must have formats out of the box and mkv in 2012 is a must have.

Edited by LaP, Jun 10 2012, 2:58am :

LaP said,

You're kidding right ????

Are you living under a rock? mkv is the most popular container for 720p and 1080p movies right now.

If you are serious about media player business supporting mkv is a given and i would even say a must. Yes you can install the splitter but i prefer my media player to support the must have formats out of the box and mkv in 2012 is a must have.


Yes, in piracy MKV is the most popular.

I hate the way windows 8 will start up the dopey Metro Music/video player when you have clicked on a media file from the desktop.

If I'd wanted to use the useless metro app's I wouldn't have gone to the desktop/explorer in the first place!

dvb2000 said,
I hate the way windows 8 will start up the dopey Metro Music/video player when you have clicked on a media file from the desktop.

If I'd wanted to use the useless metro app's I wouldn't have gone to the desktop/explorer in the first place!

The first time you open a file from the desktop you are asked to choose whether you want to open it in a Metro or a desktop app.

dvb2000 said,
I hate the way windows 8 will start up the dopey Metro Music/video player when you have clicked on a media file from the desktop.

If I'd wanted to use the useless metro app's I wouldn't have gone to the desktop/explorer in the first place!

Couldn't agree more. That's why I've uninstalled all metro apps so I don't risk ending up in that dumb fullscreen mode. Much easier and faster than changing the default file associations.


fobban said,

Couldn't agree more. That's why I've uninstalled all metro apps so I don't risk ending up in that dumb fullscreen mode. Much easier and faster than changing the default file associations.


Genious!

fobban said,

Couldn't agree more. That's why I've uninstalled all metro apps so I don't risk ending up in that dumb fullscreen mode. Much easier and faster than changing the default file associations.

Don't know about you but, I much prefer watching videos full screen then in some dinky really tiny window, like Windows Media Player defaults to.

SharpGreen said,

Don't know about you but, I much prefer watching videos full screen then in some dinky really tiny window, like Windows Media Player defaults to.

You must have a very tiny screen to be worried about that. In any case, double clicking on media player will maximize it to full screen if you really want that (not that I do).