Microsoft debuts commercial HD DVD encoder SDK

Posted by Mark Raby

Las Vegas (NV) - At the National Association of Broadcasters, Microsoft is showcasing a new software development kit (SDK) that provides  developers the core HD DVD video encoding technology used by Hollywood studios today.

Building on the Windows Media Format SDK, the VC-1 tool promises improved picture quality, faster encoding speeds, and specialized encoding for online videos, according to Microsoft. The software offers  encode options for HD DVD/Blu-ray, MPEG2 for TV broadcast and IPTV, and saving in MP4 format, which is used in portable devices like the PSP.
 
Among the new feature list is a function to more easily add closed captions to any video.  Microsoft says the VC-1 software can also replicate high definition video as high as 1080p, the top commercial HD resolution currently available.

Sonic Solutions, a creator of video editing applications, will be one of the flagship software companies to use VC-1 technology.  Its upcoming Cinevision PSE for HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc is built with Microsoft's new encoder.

Microsoft said it will offer the VC-1 Encoder SDK as a set of application programming interfaces (APIs).