Windows 7 Supported Audio/Video Formats

media, windows comments edit

In researching potential video formats for switching my DVD library from VIDEO_TS to something else (due to file access time issues) I found I had real trouble locating the list of audio and video formats that Windows 7 supports out of the box. The provided “supported formats” page really isn’t technical enough.

While I haven’t determined which video format to move my library to, I did get a response to my question about this on the forums. Here’s the info from there, for your convenience:

Format Name File Extensions Container Video Decoders Audio Decoders
MPEG-4 .mp4 (A, V, A+V), .m4a (A), .mov ISO MPEG-4, AVI H.264, MPEG-4 Advanced Simple Profile (ASP) and Simple Profile (SP) AAC, MP3
3GPP/3GPP2 .3gp, .3g2 (A, V, A+V) 3GP H.264, MPEG-4 Simple Profile (SP) AAC
AAC .aac (A) ADTS   AAC
ASP in AVI (Compatible with DivX 4-6 video, Xvid and 3ivx) .avi (V, A+V) AVI MPEG-4 Advanced Simple Profile (ASP) MP3, MS ADPCM
AVCHD .m2t, m2ts, .mts (A, V, A+V) MPEG-2 Transport Stream (TS) H.264 Dolby Digital, LPCM
HDV .m2t, m2ts, .mts (A, V, A+V) MPEG-2 Transport Stream (TS) MPEG-2 (Layer 2) MPEG-1 L2

Or, split/arranged a different way:

Category Supported Types
Video Decoders H.264/AVC Baseline, Main and High Profiles (new in Windows 7); MPEG-4 Advanced Simple Profile (new in Windows 7) besides Simple Profile; Subset of H.263 that overlaps with MPEG-4 SP; Motion JPEG (new in Windows 7); WMV variants including VC1 and WMV Screen; MPEG-1 and -2; DV
Audio Decoders AAC, HE-AAC, HE-AAC v2 (new in Windows 7); Dolby Digital Plus (new in Windows 7) besides Dolby Digital/AC-3; WMA family of music decoders and speech decoders; MP3; MPEG-1 and -2
Image Decoders HD Photo (JPEG-XR); JPEG; PNG; BMP; TIFF; GIF; ICO (Icon Format)
Containers MP4 and its close cousins MOV, 3GP, M4A (new in Windows 7); Media Center’s WTV (new in Win7 and Media Center TV Pack) and DVR-MS; MPEG-2 Transport Streams and its cousin AVCHD; MPEG-1 and -2 Program Streams; AVI, WAV; ASF; DVD; ADTS