Set VC-1 options

With the VC-1 Settings in Microsoft Expression Encoder, you can precisely refine your Windows Media encoding options to create a file optimized for your particular playback or streaming scenario.


The VC-1 Settings are visible only if you choose Windows Media or IIS Smooth Streaming as your Output Format. For more information about output formats, see Set Output formats.

To set the VC-1 options

  1. In the Media Content panel, select the video that you want to process.

  2. Click the Encode tab.

  3. On the Output Format menu, choose either Windows Media or IIS Smooth Streaming.

    For more information about output formats, see Set Output formats.

  4. Click Show/Hide advanced properties Ee341422.2f8a79a9-68d2-4878-8b75-c76ceb921b3b(en-us,Expression.40).png to reveal the VC-1 Settings category, and adjust the options according to the following descriptions (the options will vary depending on your Output Format choice):

    • Video Complexity   Specify a number for the encoding complexity of the video stream. This value determines the ratio of speed to quality when encoding. In general, processing time doubles with each increase in value. Choose 3 for most encoding operations geared toward streaming. For live encoding, choose 0 or 1. For storage, or for offline playback, choose 2 through 5.

    • Adaptive Dead Zone   Specify an option here to help optimize bit distribution within an image by adjusting the amount of fine detail that the codec retains. Click Off to bypass the optimization. This is recommended for high-quality, high–bit-rate encoding. Click Conservative to apply a lower level of optimization, which will discard only a small level of detail, or click Aggressive to apply a higher level of optimization, which will discard more detail. The higher the level of optimization, the lower the image detail in highly-textured areas.

    • Differential Quantization   Also referred to as DQuant. Set these options to allow smooth, gradient, or dark areas in I-frames, P-frames, and B-frames to be compressed at a ratio lower than that of the rest of the image, yielding more accurate details and color transitions in those areas. Click Off to bypass the quantization. Choose any of the other frame types to apply this optimization to the respective frame type.

    • Force 16 pixel dimensions   Select this option to constrain the width and height values to multiples of 16. Codecs perform better when the video size is a multiple of 16. If this setting is not selected, the width and height values will be constrained to multiples of 4.

    • In-Loop Filter   Select this option to deblock, or reduce blocking artifacts at encoding time so that future P-frames and B-frames don't carry forward the blocking artifacts when your video is decoded.

    • Overlap Filter   Select this option to help reduce blocking in video by smoothing borders of adjacent macroblocks. This is a good option to select if your video has a high compression rate and you want to deliver it on the web.

    • Denoise Filter   Select this option to improve the quality of noisy video sources, such as grainy film, analog video, or digital video shot at low light.

    • Noise Edge Removal Filter   Select this option to remove noisy edges from captured analog video. You normally would not select this option unless you are encoding captured analog video.

    • B-Frame Number   Select this option to specify the number of consecutive bidirectional predictive frames (B-frames) that the codec will use between I-frames and P-frames. B-frames improve the efficiency and seek ability of encoded video, but the more B-frames you add, the larger the file may be. A setting of 2 is generally a good setting.

    • Adaptive GOP   Select this option to allow the combined set of I-frames, P-frames, and B-frames that make up the group of pictures (GOP) to be of variable length.

    • Closed GOP   Select this option to allow easier editing of encoded video by making sure that each GOP has no dependency on adjacent GOPs. Closed GOPs are used mainly for chapter points on optical discs; they are not required for Windows Media.

    • Filters   Select these options to refine the look of your video by restricting blocking artifacts and removing noise. You can select any combination of these options. Hover over any option to read an explanation of the option.

    • Motion Chroma Search   Select the options on this menu to determine whether and to what degree the codec should use the chroma (color) content of your video when determining motion. These settings control how the codec searches for motion in the frame. These settings can have a significant effect on quality and can also greatly influence encoding time. Using chroma in motion estimation can significantly improve the quality of encoded video, especially in cases where, in the same video, chroma changes happen but luma (light) changes do not. For example, motion graphics, cell animation, and screen recordings can be significantly improved with this setting.

      • Click Adaptive Integer Chroma or Adaptive True Chroma to apply chroma search to only 50 percent of the blocks in the frame. This offers a good compromise between quality and performance.

      • Click Luma Only or Full True Chroma for the highest-quality video but reduced performance.

      • Click Full Integer Chroma for good quality and good performance.

    • Motion Match Method   Set the options on this menu to select the search method used for motion estimation:

      1. Click SAD to achieve the best performance.

      2. Click Hadamard to achieve the best quality by using a Hadamard transform. This transform type is potentially processor-intensive.

      3. Click Adaptive to configure the codec to automatically assign either the SAD or Hadamard method to use on each macroblock. This can potentially reduce the load on the processor by performing a Hadamard transform only when appropriate.

    • Search Range   Set the options on this menu to control the size of the area that the codec will search in order to find a frame that has changed since a previous frame. The ranges are expressed in the number of pixels horizontally (H) and vertically (V) that comprise the search area. Larger search ranges can better detect fast motion, but require more processing time. Processing time doubles with each increase in search range. The chance of false positives also increases as you widen the search range, so make sure that you set a range that's adequate for the video size. Higher ranges are more suited for live encoding. Click Adaptive to instruct the codec to dynamically choose the most appropriate range for your content.

    • Motion Vector Cost   Set the options on this menu to indicate the method used by the codec to estimate the amount of processing required for motion-vector encoding. The codec uses this estimate, called the cost, to determine which features will be used in encoding. Click Static to use the same cost estimate for all the macroblocks, thereby using all the features equally; or click Dynamic to vary the cost between macroblocks, with the objective of obtaining maximum image quality.

    • Threads Used   Set the options on this menu to indicate the number of threads that the codec will use when encoding the content. If you are using a VC-1 codec, you are limited to choosing only the number of threads that corresponds to the number of cores in your system. Select Auto to specify that you want Expression Encoder to automatically determine the optimal amount.

    • Output Mode   Specify the type of video elementary stream that the encoder creates.

See also

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