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SMPTE releases VC-1 standard

The SMPTE last week released its Standard for Compressed Video Bit streams.

Release of the VC-1 document with supporting recommended practices is intended to guide companies in building interoperable solutions using advanced compression technology.

Standardization of VC-1 took more than two years of work by more than 120 individuals representing more than 75 media and entertainment companies, according to Ingo Höntsch, chair of SMPTE’s Video Compression Technology Committee, which oversaw its development.

Standardization provides stability and allows for a high degree of confidence that users can interchange bit streams between products from different manufacturers, according to SMPTE Engineering vice president Peter Symes.

Formal standardization was proposed by Microsoft, which contributed decoder source code and other resources towards 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 bit stream 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 include:

  • SMPTE 421M-2006, “VC-1 Compressed Video Bit stream Format and Decoding Process”
  • Recommended Practices, SMPTE RP227-2006 “VC-1 Bit stream Transport Encodings”
  • SMPTE RP228-2006 “VC-1 Decoder and Bit stream Conformance”

The documents are available at

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