Media Playback Will Continue To Be Fast In Windows 8

Written by: Jon Charles - Published: Tuesday, June 12th, 2012 - Comments

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Microsoft details Windows 8′s media playback integration in latest blog post.


The Windows 8 Media Platform will provide a responsive music service by enabling the power of the hardware

Microsoft has announced the details regarding the Windows 8 Media Platform, which is the media playback service in Windows 8. Microsoft says high performance will be maintained as there will be lower CPU usage.

The company said video decoding for common media formats will be sent to a dedicated hardware subsystem for media, which allows the company to lower CPU usage. That will result in increased battery life and smoother video playback. Microsoft also said that this improves video decoding, including playback, transcoding, encoding, and capture scenarios.

The blog post also showed CPU usage between Windows 7 and Windows 8, and the latter is used less. Windows 8 will also reduce latency and, as The Inquirer said, decreased the end-of-end communication will create what Microsoft has described near-instant responses.

Steven Sinofsky, who wrote the blog post, said the media platform was designed to support playback-optimised and communication-optimised situations. There is a playback mode, which has high buffering, and the communications-optimised mode with a low delay.

Windows 8 will also support HD video cameras along with improvements in video communication, streaming and battery life. Sinofsky said Microsoft has made investment into the media platform to improve what it describes as pipeline latency, and supports H.264 messages.

It was also revealed, for YouTube videos, the enhanced adaptive streaming functions. The first frames of a YouTube video are streamed at a lower bitrate to improve the start-up time, which apparently reduces buffering time and increase responsiveness.

This all sounds good; we’ve seen from the video of Windows 8 booting up how the operating system is much faster than Windows 7, at around seven seconds. Having a lower CPU usage would only increase that.

I presume these changes are across the Metro and desktop sides of Windows 8. The Windows 8 Release Preview is available now to download.


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Written by: Jon Charles
Jonathan is a writer on the technology and video game industries. He is comfortable with using Mac OS X and Windows; he began using Windows with Windows XP during his early double-digit years, and started using OS X in 2009 on a MacBook Pro. He began gaming on the SNES back in the 90s.

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