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SMPTE Releases VC-1 Standard

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) announced the release of its much anticipated standard for compressed video bitstreams. Release of the VC-1 document, along with supporting recommended practices, will guide companies in building interoperable solutions using advanced compression technology.

Formal standardization was proposed by Microsoft Corporation, which contributed decoder source code and other resources toward development of the process.

SMPTE’s Compression Technology Committee has also formed a new working group dedicated to providing maintenance of the test materials and documents, as well as the administration of a bitstream exchange program. Microsoft has contributed source code for an example encoder that is available to committee members participating in this program.

The VC-1 documents are SMPTE 421M-2006, “VC-1 Compressed Video Bitstream Format and Decoding Process”—the standard itself—as well as two supporting recommended practices: SMPTE RP227-2006, “VC-1 Bitstream Transport Encodings” and SMPTE RP228-2006, “VC-1 Decoder and Bitstream Conformance.” All three documents can be purchased on the SMPTE Website at