Video FOURCCs

Many video formats have FOURCC codes assigned to them. A FOURCC code is a 32-bit unsigned integer that is created by concatenating four ASCII characters. For example, the FOURCC code for YUY2 video is 'YUY2'.

Various C/C++ macros are defined for declaring FOURCC values in source code. The MAKEFOURCC macro is defined in Mmsystem.h, and the FCC macro is defined in Aviriff.h and various other header files. You can also declare a FOURCC code directly as a string literal simply by reversing the order of the characters. Thus, the following statements are equivalent:

DWORD fccYUY2 = MAKEFOURCC('Y','U','Y','2');
DWORD fccYUY2 = FCC('YUY2');
DWORD fccYUY2 = '2YUY';  // Declares the FOURCC 'YUY2'.

(In the last example, reversing the byte order is necessary because Windows uses a little-endian architecture. 'Y' = 0x59, 'U' = 0x55, and '2' = 0x32, so '2YUY' is 0x32595559.)

Some of the DirectX Video Acceleration 2.0 APIs use a D3DFORMAT value to describe a video format. A FOURCC code can be used in this context as well:

D3DFORMAT fmt = (D3DFORMAT)MAKEFOURCC('Y','U','Y','2');
D3DFORMAT fmt = (D3DFORMAT)FCC('YUY2');
D3DFORMAT fmt = D3DFORMAT('2YUY'); // Coerce to D3DFORMAT type.

FOURCC Constants

The following table lists some common FOURCC codes.

FOURCC value Description
'H264'H.264 video.
'I420'YUV video stored in planar 4:2:0 format.
'IYUV'YUV video stored in planar 4:2:0 format.
'M4S2'MPEG-4 part 2 video.
'MP4S'Microsoft MPEG 4 codec version 3. This codec is no longer supported.
'MP4V'MPEG-4 part 2 video.
'MPG1'MPEG-1 video.
'MSS1'Content encoded with the Windows Media Video 7 screen codec.
'MSS2'Content encoded with the Windows Media Video 9 screen codec.
'UYVY'YUV video stored in packed 4:2:2 format. Similar to YUY2 but with different ordering of data.
'WMV1'Content encoded with the Windows Media Video 7 codec.
'WMV2'Content encoded with the Windows Media Video 8 codec.
'WMV3'Content encoded with the Windows Media Video 9 codec.
'WMVA'Content encoded with the older, obsolete version of the Windows Media Video 9 Advanced Profile codec.
'WMVP'Content encoded with the Windows Media Video 9.1 Image codec.
'WVC1'SMPTE 421M ("VC-1"). Content encoded with Windows Media Video 9 Advanced Profile.
'WVP2'Content encoded with the Windows Media Video 9.1 Image v2 codec.
'YUY2'YUV video stored in packed 4:2:2 format.
'YV12'YUV video stored in planar 4:2:0 or 4:1:1 format. Identical to I420/IYUV except that the U and V planes are switched.
'YVU9'YUV video stored in planar 16:1:1 format.
'YVYU'YUV video stored in packed 4:2:2 format. Similar to YUY2 but with different ordering of data.

 

Related topics

Video Media Types
Video Subtype GUIDs

 

 

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