WMV - Windows Media Video

What is a WMV file

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.

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.

Here's a small, but not exhaustive list of programs that can open WMV documents:

  • MPlayer
  • Microsoft Windows Media Player
  • PowerDVD
  • RealPlayer
  • VideoLAN VLC Media Player
Extension WMV
MIME type video/x-ms-wmv
Useful links
Example Files
(33.91 MiB)
(11.17 MiB)
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