WMV, Windows Media Video (.wmv)

The WMV Video file format

WMV is contained by the Advanced Systems Format (ASF) container. These files often contain Windows Media Video and Windows Media Audio. WMV contained files have the option of supporting digital rights management, preventing users from copying the information. This makes the WMV file appealing to companies selling digital copies of videos and audio online. WMV files can be downloaded and viewed using Mac or PC. WMV is the most recognized video format in its family, competing with certain MPEG-4 types and Real Video. WMV files are used for online video sales, portable media devices, and Microsoft’s Zune, and Xbox 360.

Technical details of WMV files

WMV files are compressed for exclusive codecs developed by Microsoft. The ASF container format encodes using the WMV codec. Windows Media Video 9 Professional (WMV 9) allows the user to stream at resolutions exceeding 300,000 pixels (screen resolutions as low as 528x576) with a bit rate of 1000 kbit/s. The high definition abilities make WMV files ideal for HD DVD and Blu-ray disks. WMV 9 Advanced Profile is not compatible with previous WMV 9 formats. WMV 9 is the default for Microsoft Silverlight. WMV 9 is comparable to H.264 Main and High Profile but it does not support things like multiple reference frames and context-adaptive binary arithmetic coding (CABAC). The differences between WMV 9 and other competitors are more apparent at lower bitrates.

More information about the WMV file format

File extension .wmv
File category Video
Example file Download example.wmv file (33.9 MiB)
Associated programs MPlayer
Microsoft Windows Media Player
PowerDVD
RealPlayer
VideoLAN VLC Media Player
Useful links More information on WMV
File conversion Convert a file to WMV
Developer Microsoft
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