Windows Media Video is a type of audio and video format that is used to digitally store audio and video information in a file. WMV is basically a developed by Microsoft that is used to hold several audio video codecs developed by Microsoft and to run on Microsoft supported operating systems and machines. Society of motion pictures and television engineers (SMPTE) initially standardized WMV format. Currently several physical file formats such as HD DVD and Blue Ray Disc are using WMV format as default format for media information storage.
History and Purpose
In the year 2003, Microsoft developed a new video format which was supposed to be contained by WMV 9 codecs, developed by Microsoft. This format was submitted for standardization purposes to SMPTE and was eventually standardized in the year 2006 as SMPTE 421M. Basic purpose of developing WMV was to develop a media format which can be uniformly supported by all the Microsoft Supported devices and operating systems. Another major purpose was to devise a media format that could be used for streaming videos over the internet.
There are several advantages of using WMV format over other formats.
- WMV format contains large quantity of video and audio information in smaller storage spaces. This makes WMV an ideal format for streaming videos over the internet.
- WMV format is designed specially to run on windows devices. Hence, it is compatible with all the windows powered devices. Even some devices use WMV as the default audio/video format.
- Older applications such as older versions of MS Power point supported few formats. WMV is one of those formats.
- According to Microsoft, WMV has 2x compression ratio as compared to MPEG-4.
Disadvantages and Cons
- WMV is a Microsoft’s Proprietary which means that it is not compatible with most of the other operating systems. It is not easy to find a Linux or Apple based media player to run WMV files.
- WMV files have digital rights management system associated with them which users do not appreciate because that makes it impossible to restore the licensing information attached with WMV files. This is the case with windows media player 11.
ConclusionWMV format, with a very good compression rate is a very good format especially for windows platforms but where compatible and portability is the priority, WMV format is not a good choice.