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Blu-ray group mandates Microsoft codec for BD-ROM

VC-9 added to HD-DVD rival

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The Blu-ray Disc Association (BRDA) has selected Microsoft's VC-9 video codec for future BD-ROM content, the organisation said today.

The decision follows the release of the BD-ROM physical specifications early last month.

The BRDA is pitching BD-ROM as the alternative to HD-DVD, which is likewise being groomed as the next generation of the DVD format.

The choice of VC-9 doesn't force content providers to offer movies and so on encoded using Microsoft technology - the BRDA said it was committed to offering "a variety of compression codecs to suit their various needs", according to Maureen Weber, general manager of Blu-ray member HP's optical storage solutions business. The BD-ROM spec. also includes MPEG 2 and MPEG 4 support.

However, it does force hardware vendors to license the codec if they wish to ship Blu-ray branded players. They will also have to license it if they intend to offer HD-DVD hardware, since VC-9 is also part of the DVD Forum's next-generation disc spec.

VC-9 is also known as VC-1, by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE). ®

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