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VC-1 (also known as SMPTE 421) is a video encoding format that was initially developed by Microsoft as a video format Windows Media Video 9 in 2003. It was supposed to be a competitor to the H264 video encoding standard. VC-1 was designed as the official video format for the Xbox 360 console, but it is also supported in PlayStation 3 console.

Actually VC-1 specification contains 3 codecs:

  • WMV3 describes Simple and Main profiles of the VC-1 standard
  • WMVA was the original implementation of the Advanced profile. Deprecated in 2006 it was not fully VC-1 compliant.
  • WMVC (also known as Windows Media Video 9 Advanced Profile) - the final implementation of Advanced profile.

VC-1 standard supports resolution up to 2048 × 1536 with 24 fps and bitrate up to 135 MB/s. Most patents are held by Microsoft, Panasonic, LG Electronics, and Samsung Electronics.