h.264 / MPEG-4 AVC files. The latest, greatest MPEG codec, which can’t seem to decide on a name. This is the same encoding technology used by Blu-Ray, but these are not direct Blu-Ray rips. These often come in the .MKV file format, which is simply an alternative to .AVI, but open-source and with more features. TV shows like CSI and Heroes often come in this format, and are usually 1.2 GB per 40 minute episode.
Xvid/DivX MPEG-4 files. These are becoming rare, as once you get up there in resolution and bit rate, the demands on the CPU are quite high. Still, they are out there. I have the full collection of BBC’s Planet Earth in 1080p XviD. Playing these files yields the highest CPU usage (over 30% on a Core 2 Duo 6800). Each 60 minute episode is about 3 GB...
How to play HDTV videos on your PC
Posted on Thursday, Dec 07 2006 @ 13:15 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
K-Rad explains what you need to play HDTV content on your PC: