floffe wrote:But the older MCE versions still used a proprietary format so that you had to re-encode them if you wanted to watch them in some other program than MCE itself.
doesn't strike me as being a proprietary
format, although the wikipedia article (incorrectly?) labels it as such. The definition of proprietary is that a party, or proprietor, exercises private ownership, control or use over an item of property, usually to the exclusion of other parties. However, converting DVR-MS to something else would be very easy using video processing APIs provided by Microsoft (e.g. DirectShow, which is a standard video API that XP--and Vista--both use to render audio and video). MSFT even has articles posted where they illustrate how to convert from DVR-MS to WMV
. From WMV, it'd be pretty easy to convert to whatever format one desired. I would call DVR-MS a "custom" format, but I would not call it a proprietary one. A proprietary format implies that the owner is denying other people the ability to work with said format, but that isn't the case with DVR-MS. DVR-MS in Vista is slightly different; it's now in an ASF format. ASF is a completely open format (I've written an ASF parser in C#, for example), and MPEG2/MPEG1 are licenced formats provided by the MPEG group. How is that "proprietary?"
To play on another device, the video would not need to be re-encoded
. It would need to be re-formatted
. The video is already in an MPEG2 format, and the audio is MPEG1 layer II; DVR-MS isn't a video compression type, but a wrapper format.
It is true that DVR-MS detects if incoming programs are marked as being copy-protected; they may still be saved, but they may not be played back on any device except the one that recorded it. I highly doubt that MSFT desired this "feature"; implementing this costs them money and effort, and hassles users. It is far more likely that they were legally forced to comply by content providers. That being said, it would still be trivial to convert it to another format, and strip out this information.
Lastly, why would you want to watch it in some other program besides MCE? This would be like recording video with a TIVO and then demanding to be able to view it on a PC; the use-case is weird, to say the least. It doesn't make sense to me that a consumer would want to use MCE to record video, but the abandon the application for actual viewing.
Anyways, I digress....back to finals.