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So you want H.264 support in Silverlight?  So do we.  In fact we will be showing a preview of H.264 and AAC support in Silverlight at the International Broadcasting Conference (IBC) this week in Amsterdam.  Scott Guthrie comments on this saying:

At IBC 2008 we will be demonstrating a technology preview of H.264 video and Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) audio playback support in Silverlight, and H.264 authoring using Microsoft Expression Encoder and Windows Server 2008 for delivery. Until now, Silverlight has supported the SMPTE VC-1 and Windows Media formats, as well as MP3 for audio, enabling customers to take advantage of broad support across the Windows Media ecosystem, including third-party tools, service providers and content delivery networks.

We’ve always wanted Silverlight to support a variety of formats, so today we’re announcing that H.264 and AAC support will be available in a future version of Silverlight, which will offer content owners greater flexibility and choice to deliver video and audio.”

One thing that I didn’t know was that Microsoft has been an active member in the standardization of H.264.  Microsoft’s Gary Sullivan was the chairman of the Joint Video Team (JVT) which developed the H.264 standard.

This is exciting news for the future of Silverlight.  I hope that this is good news to the implementers of media and Silverlight.  You can find out more information about the IBC here and a full Q&A with ScottGu here which also gives some great information about the results of viewing at NBCOlympics.com and where other uses of Windows Media Server were implemented (CCTV for example).

UPDATE: To clarify, this support will be in a future version of Silverlight.


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9/9/2008 8:19 AM | # re: H.264 and AAC support coming to Silverlight
Wow, this is pretty sweet news! Support for H.264 video should shut some people up - and open some nice doors.

Next I'm looking forward to seeing BMP/WAV or raw API equivalents, now that the hard formats are out of the way. :)
9/9/2008 8:24 AM | # re: H.264 and AAC support coming to Silverlight
Tom: WAV support would be sweet for some high-fidelity situations! I worry thought that people would abuse it and have serious bloat in their apps? But I know it would definitely help audio loops/gaming where smaller/shorter WAV is used.
9/9/2008 8:42 AM | # re: H.264 and AAC support coming to Silverlight
Will this be included in Final SL2?
9/9/2008 9:07 AM | # re: H.264 and AAC support coming to Silverlight
shaggygi: No this will not be a part of the current plans for SL2 release, but rather a future version.
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9/9/2008 10:55 AM | # re: H.264 and AAC support coming to Silverlight
Tim: I think support for uncompressed formats is primarily of interest for content generated at runtime. I don't think there's much fidelity concern with using compressed formats given that Silverlight imposes no unreasonable constraints on bitrate and other format settings. There could be other benefits such as with looping and sample-accurate editing, though.

As for the bloat problem, I understand the concern. I still see people including BMP images on web pages every now and then, and it's never for a good reason. If this is a big hangup for Silverlight, maybe you could skip the file format support and instead add only APIs for accepting uncompressed data for images and audio.

Sorry to get off topic here. But thanks for the reply!
9/9/2008 3:34 PM | # WAV == FAIL, use FLAC
Just because you want high fidelity doesn't mean you have to waste bandwidth. Use ANY lossless compression, FLAC, SHN (shorten), even lossless WMA, but NOT WAV.
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9/9/2008 8:59 PM | # re: H.264 and AAC support coming to Silverlight
If Silverlight supports the WAVE format, we can write various audio decoders (Ogg Vorbis,G.726,MS-ADPCM,etc...)and make an uncompressed audio stream for MediaElements.

BTW, what container format(MPEG-4,ASF,RIFF,etc...) is used for H.264 and AAC support? PlayReady can support it?
9/9/2008 9:22 PM | # re: H.264 and AAC support coming to Silverlight
KKI: I'm not sure the containers/PlayReady stuff has been worked out -- at least I've not been told of it. When it does, I'll be sure to note it.
9/10/2008 8:38 AM | # re: H.264 and AAC support coming to Silverlight
this is good news, although like some others, the format I am really waiting for is WAV. Obviously the point of this is not to stream WAV files over the internet (very wasteful), but to process audio data at the sample level before handing it over to be played
9/12/2008 9:38 AM | # re: H.264 and AAC support coming to Silverlight
What does Future release mean? 2009, 2010? Thanks.
9/12/2008 1:53 PM | # re: H.264 and AAC support coming to Silverlight
Matt: definitive dates for the next version of Silverlight haven't been determined, but we're hoping to be as agile as we can!
9/17/2008 12:00 AM | # re: H.264 and AAC support coming to Silverlight
Tim, do you have a roadmap / date for the RTM of Silverlight 2.0? We are in the middle of a decent sized 2.0 Beta 2 project and would like to know when the release is going to be ready. We'll have many clients NOT willing to install something that says "beta" on it given the nature of what we are building.

thanks.
9/19/2008 7:16 PM | # re: H.264 and AAC support coming to Silverlight
Paul: sorry, was on vacation :-) -- we have not yet disclosed the actual release date for Silverlight 2. We will ship by the end of this year.
1/6/2009 2:05 PM | # re: H.264 and AAC support coming to Silverlight
Tim,
In your earlier message, you mentioned about shipping new Silverlight release by end of 2008 - any updates on that?
Thx
Sophi
1/6/2009 2:36 PM | # re: H.264 and AAC support coming to Silverlight
Sophi: We shipped Silverlight 2 in October. You can get the release bits at http://silverlight.net/GetStarted
1/6/2009 3:37 PM | # re: H.264 and AAC support coming to Silverlight
Silverlight 2 doesnt have support for AAC right or does it? Thx for your quick reply
1/6/2009 3:41 PM | # re: H.264 and AAC support coming to Silverlight
Sophi: That's correct, the current shipping release version of Silverlight does not yet have the included AAC/H264 support mentioned here that will be in a future release.
1/13/2009 10:43 AM | # re: H.264 and AAC support coming to Silverlight
I don't mean to beat a dead horse, and I know that AAC/H264 will be released in the *future*, but what kind of *future* are we talking about? A couple months? 6 months? Next year?

I only ask because I have some very critical decisions to make soon. The outcome of AAC/H264 support will dictate which road we take.
1/13/2009 11:01 AM | # re: H.264 and AAC support coming to Silverlight
Hi Ammon, the closest information public I can provide is what ScottGu has already noted that H.264 will be in SL3 release (weblogs.asp.net/.../...impse-of-silverlight-3.aspx) but we haven't disclosed any specific timing of that. I'd recommend talking with your local Microsoft account team and see if you can talk with them about your decision process, your application, etc. and perhaps enter NDA discussions.
12/7/2010 3:50 AM | # re: H.264 and AAC support coming to Silverlight
Alas, given how Silverlight rendering works, decode is software only for the time being. Plus we need to run on,HP0-J38 systems without DXVA,and on XP where DXVA support, particularly for H.264 is... unpredictible. Plus we're also on Mac,HP0-S25 where there's really no infrastructure for hardware decode acceleration.However, it's one of those cases that the systems where,1z0-042 DXVA isn't a safe option are also the systems where you'd most want it from a perf perspective.Agreed that the codec perf difference isn't much of a factor when,1Y0-A09 there's some kind of hardware support, but we're some years away from that being a safe assumption for a browser plugin like Silverlight.



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