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what does the microsoft mpeg4 come with?

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i''m working on a commercial project that requires video compression and decompression. of the free ones, i think mpeg4 is the best. people have recommended against using divx because of some legal problems so i''m thinking about ms''s mpeg4. what do you need to have to have the mpeg4 codecs? i think xp includes them and the media tools 4 includes them too. but is there an easier way to download them? do the codecs come with the newest media player, directx 8, or ie? and microsoft''s mpeg4 v2 is legal for use, right (heard something about v3 is protected from public use)? thanks

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There are no legal problems using DivX 4 and 5 (these are legal problems using "divx :-) Hi" and "divx :-) Lo", but those are different codec''s [hacked versions of microsofts mpeg4, Lo is a hack of the beta version, Hi is a hack of the final version]). Blizzard Entertainment has even chosen DivX as its video compression technology for Warcraft III.

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I do not believe Windows (any version) comes with an mpeg4 compressor - only a decompressor.

You might consider mpeg2 - it's broadcast quality (indeed DVDs, Sony DSS, Dish, Comcast, etc... all use mpeg2). Mpeg4 is high compression, high quality, but low resolution - designed for internet & video conferencing type stuff. There are royalty issues using mpeg2 though, I'm not certain if it applies to media distribution, or only programs that use the codec.

Ligos and TMPenc (forget the company name) are two mpeg2 encoders. Though the rat bastards at Ligos never contacted me back. A company called Elecard makes a good mpeg2 decoder.

Dx8 comes with a mjpeg compressor (that's not mpeg), which is medicore quality and poor compression, but I think it's competely free.

An alternative is QuickTime, as they have a mass-market friendly distribution model (pay for coder, give away decoder), and you can add it to your game's installation. I believe thier format supports mutliple resolutions as well.

If the resolution of DivX4/5 is acceptable, they're the best option.

[edited by - Magmai Kai Holmlor on May 29, 2002 10:20:38 PM]

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My contract is almost ending (next months), so I don''t want to buy a codec (divx 5/6 and quicktime) because I''ll have no time to do the research about the costs/benefits/quality/etc; I just want to have something so whoever takes over will have something to work with. Divx requires licensing for commercial projects, especially when you need to distribute the codec (which I need to do).

quote:
I do not believe Windows (any version) comes with an mpeg4 compressor - only a decompressor.
You said it youself that Dx8 comes with a mjpeg codec. Codec is short for compressor/decompressor, and yes, I''ve been able to compress using mjpeg and mpeg4 without installing anything under XP.
I already got the whole DirectShow framework setup so compression using the AVI format is preferred. MJPEG is pretty good (we don''t need ultra small file sizes), but its compression speed is just too slow compared to mjpeg4.

Maybe I should just install a fresh copy of 98 and try installing Dx8, mediaplayer 8, etc. until I find which one installs the mpeg4 codec too (my old installation of win98 with all those programs installed can encode mpeg4).
Thanks for you guy''s help though, I''ll tell my supervisor about the Divx4/5 formats.

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dshow8 supports asf format with microsoft windows video video 8 (esstenially mpeg4 wrapped in asf with some tweaks). this includes compression and decompression. should do what you want.

being a game this should be more then acceptable. there is also bink as well.

seeing that this is an important part of your project (ie probably for cutscenes) i am surprised you waited till the end of the project (the time meant for beat testing) and are do research on this now.

why does the user need mpeg4 encoding support? they only need to decode. if they need encoding support then you should just enumerate the installed codecs and let the user decide what filters to use in the graph for various parts (dont need to allow chnages of everything, maybe just the video/audio codec and file writer (ie avi/asf/etc where applicable)). this would allow the greatest flexiblity and allow the user to install whatever codecs they want including ones they must purchase or even custom codecs they created for their own game. you dont really specify what you are doing and why the encoder is needed. on would assume the encoder is not needed beyond content creation for the app (which being the forum is a game).

clarify.

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Does anyone have any idea how much the commercial licensing is for Divx. The web site just states that they will "make it reasonable" and that it depends entirely on the project..

Just curious if anyone knows a ballpark figure.

#dth-0

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Uhh..thoose "pro-ms people" are really doing everything to keep that "divx is a hack" rumour still going, aren''t they.

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quote:
Original post by a person
being a game this should be more then acceptable. there is also bink as well.

seeing that this is an important part of your project (ie probably for cutscenes) i am surprised you waited till the end of the project (the time meant for beat testing) and are do research on this now.

why does the user need mpeg4 encoding support? they only need to decode. if they need encoding support then you should just enumerate the installed codecs and let the user decide what filters to use in the graph for various parts (dont need to allow chnages of everything, maybe just the video/audio codec and file writer (ie avi/asf/etc where applicable)). this would allow the greatest flexiblity and allow the user to install whatever codecs they want including ones they must purchase or even custom codecs they created for their own game. you dont really specify what you are doing and why the encoder is needed. on would assume the encoder is not needed beyond content creation for the app (which being the forum is a game).

clarify.

1. It''s not a game. Sorry if I mislead anyone, but I couldn''t find any other forum that is active and helpful enough. I tried to post it in "general programming" instead of "game programming" though.
2. Yes, the video portion is more than half the entire project. The product is not near finished yet; My contract is just near ending, and I don''t want to continue because of college. For now, it works, it''s just that the mjpeg codec that I''m using right now encodes a bit too slowly (MS''s MPEG-4 is around 3 to 4 times faster).
3. Yes, they(users) need encoding. I have already sucessfully used DirectShow to detect and connect Windows capturing devices. Since this application prefers high resolution, uncompressed video is unacceptable (90Megs/sec is too much for user''s memory to handle). Other free codecs like DV, MPEG-2, huffy simply will use up too much of the user''s HDD.
4. Enumerating all the codecs is a great idea. I''ll have to talk that over with my supervisor and marketing. I think they might think it will complicate the interface too much and confuse the user though.



xiuhcoatl: Yeah, I''m wondering too. Since I''m just a temporary contractor, I''m not sure if I''m the one that is supposed to do this kind of stuff (email them asking for pricing).


Ekas78: I would really like to use Divx. I know Blizzard is using it. But since this is a commercial company and the codec that I choice might just be temporary, I prefer a free 100% legit codec.

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Ekas78: stop being a niave moron.
divx 
(which is version 3 and earlier ARE hacks of beta MS codecs. divix4 and divx5 are completly independent versions from that hack.

thuned: allow choosing of codecs will not make the interface confusing if done well. think about things like a advanced vs basic options layout letting the user decide which mode they want. winzip does this, it has a wizrd mode that steps you thorugh the extarction of files, o the calsic mode which brings up an interface in which you can extract individual files, test the file, see the checksums, add files, remove files, etc.

nearly any useful video editing software allow the user to modify what compressors are being used. ussually the file writer is determined by the app (if its ms mpeg4, use asf, if its divx4 use .avi with mp3/wma audio, if mpeg use mpeg, otherwise use .avi).

its very important to allow this otherwise the user will feel troubled by the lack of choice. even if its a choice between 3 or 4 standarrd codecs its better then nothing. or even hi, med, lo quality settings, letting the app decide the appropriate codec options.

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