Announcing Expression Encoder 2 SP1

Since the release of Expression Encoder 2 back in May of this year, we’ve been hard at work on new features. Today we are announcing Expression Encoder 2 SP1, which we plan to release by the end of the year as a free upgrade to Expression Encoder 2. There are a wide variety of enhancements across many areas of the product in this release and you’ll find a comprehensive list below. The three top-line features are: Silverlight 2 templates, H.264 support and WebDAV publishing available out of the box. Additionally, and consistent with a service pack release, we’ve fixed a decent number of bugs.

Silverlight 2 Player Templates

Our SIlverlight Player templates provide a quick and easy way to get a Silverlight video experience created including rich functionality such as DVD style chapter navigation, subtitles and metadata. With the advent of Silverlight 2, the first Silverlight release to including the .NET CLR, we have completely rewritten our player from the ground up.

MediaPlayer control

For starters, we’ve made a Silverlight 2 custom control called MediaPlayer. This is a core component shared by all of our new templates. It is completely customizable via our integrated “Edit in Blend”, just like the Silverlight 2 intrinsic controls.


Some of the new properties of the player include

  • Utilization of Silverlight 2 controls e.g. buttons, sliders that can be independently styled
  • Use of the Visual State Manager to enable declarative states e.g. for fullscreen mode
  • Adaptive layout for better resizing
  • Playlist support in all players (including metadata display)
  • Byte-range seeking: When a user clicks forward on the timeline into a non-downloaded region, the player will cancel the current progressive download and start a new one from the point that has been seeked to.

You can use the MediaPlayer control outside of our player templates simply by referencing the project (source code included in the box). It is quick and easy to get up and running in XAML. Reference the control and instantiate thus:


When editing in Blend, rich UI is available for editing properties (e.g. playlists as shown here:)


Finally, we’ve removed all of the complex JavaScript needed to invoke the player from an HTML page; this is now accomplished with a simple <object/> tag.

H.264 encoding for devices

Since we shipped our V1 release, we’ve heard loud and clear from customers that they’d like more output formats than just VC-1. One of the most common scenarios that kept cropping up is content producers that are embracing Silverlight for web video but also wish to make the content available as a Podcast for devices.

We are therefore happy to announce that, starting with V2 SP1, we are adding H.264/AAC encoding to the product. For this release we are supporting two device profiles: a baseline 320x240 for smaller flash memory based devices and a 640x480 profile for larger screen resolutions.

Since it has been announced that Silverlight is going to support H.264 you can expect us to broaden our encoding support for the format in the future.

A/B compare enhancements

Band mode allows you to drag out a number of bands (as many or as few as you need) to better discern the difference between original and encoded videos. As before, you can play back in the mode and rotate the bands through 90 degrees.


Diff Mode plots the degree of difference of the source vs encoded as a luminance map. If the encoded clip is identical to the source, its difference would be rendered all black (this can be inverted by double-clicking).


Audio Overlays

Audio overlays work just like video overlays only they now enable you to overlay an audio track complete with relative level and fade in / out.

They also enable a workflow for adding an external audio track to a mute video source and outputting a muxed A/V output.

We’ve also enabled the audio from a video overlay to be enabled / mixed in if desired.

WebDAV publishing in the box

Publish to IIS, Sharepoint and other servers that support the WebDAV protocol.


Bug fixes / minor features

There is a reasonably large list of small fixes that have gone into this release, many too minor to mention. The following are the more noteworthy:

· Copy/paste markers and script commands: e.g. to/from Excel

· Cancelling multi-file encode no longer deletes completed items

· Removing items from jobs no longer deletes output

· Enhanced trimming of overlays (from front, drag middle)

· Run encode as background priority: so you can still use your machine for other tasks. Controllable via a setting

· Mouse wheel support for zooming, mouse pan support

· Enhanced Warning Triangles

· Better default for cropping output. E.g. If you have a 16:9 video that only had 4:3 video inside it, if you choose 4:3 output and select crop, we’ll automatically crop out the correct portion in the middle.

· Edit in Visual Studio option for templates

· Couple of additional VC-1 advanced encoding properties

· We now index unindex WMV/ASF files

· Source Mode stream copying will now work even for cases where we don’t support the source CODEC as an output type in our UI e.g. WMScreen

So there we have it. As always, feedback gratefully received,

Hope this helps

The Expression Encoder Team

Comments (37)
  1. Expression Encoder 2 SP1 Announced

  2. The Expression Encoder team has announced the plans for SP1 of their product (announced, not released

  3. If you’ve been wondering what we’ve been doing for last few months we’ve now announced Expression Encoder

  4. Jack says:

    There is need for a FREE encoder.

  5. Bin gerade auf der photokina und ein wenig unter Wasser, daher keine deutsche Fassung des Artikels aber

  6. Service Pack 1 in vista per Expression Encoder 2

  7. Bavo Bostoen says:


    Please decouple the encoder from Silverlight, so it can be used more as a universal encoder, meaning:

    – multi channel sound support

    – full H264 (all profiles/levels…) support

    – why not also support MPEG2 encoding? A lot of us are still using DVD’s you know (even if it means you need to pay some more – you can always make it optional or something)

    – interlaced encoding

    – muxing video/audio streams into AVI/ASF-WMV/MP4/MPEG system & transport streams, and in the future ideally also MXF

    I bet a lot of people are interested in using it to encode to devices (Zune/Ipod/Iphone & other phones/DVD/Bluray) and NOT only for Silverlight.

    My thinking is: if the encoder doesn’t solve MOST of our encoding needs under Windows, then why would one use it?  Microsoft has enough resources to do this ; if a relatively small company like Mainconcept can do this with their Reference encoder (or else Elecard or a handful of others) – admittedly for a hugely inflated price – then why not Microsoft?  If you’re not ambitious in your support for media that are used in the real world, then you won’t matter.  I know you guys like ‘end to end experiences’ but I wouldn’t bet everything on Silverlight.


    Bavo Bostoen

  8. I have been inconspicuously absent on blogosphere for a while now. For my handful readers – I hope you

  9. Gute Neuigkeiten von der gerade abgelaufenen Photokina 2008: mit Service Pack 1 vom Expression Encoder

  10. Tom Giebink says:

    Is there a way that I can call Expression Encoder from within my silverlight app?  The SDK has a WPF example.. but the microsoft.expression.encoder dll can’t be included in my silverlight app.  “You can’t add a reference to Microsoft.Expression.Encoder.dll as it was not built against the Silverlight runtime.  Silverlight projects will only work with Silverlight assemblies.”

  11. Expression Encoder SP1 now available

  12. Tim Heuer says:

    Apparently “soon” means “the next day” to the Encoder team :-). On 28 OCT James Clarke told us all about

  13. &#160; Вчера вышло значительное обновление Expression Encoder, инструмента для преобразования видео и

  14. Ha sido lanzado el SP1 del Expression Encoder, el cual trae algunas cosas bastante interesantes, como

  15. Alikasqw says:

    Каждый из Вас в силах помочь детям!

    Each of you to help with forces to children!

    Jede von Ihnen in den Kraften, den Kindern zu helfen!

    Chacun de vous dans les forces a aider les enfants!

    Cada uno Ud en las fuerzas ayudar a los ninos!

  16. As you may have heard Expression Encoder 2 SP1 is now available to download . We’ve been putting the

  17. Dave Frailey says:

    So does it finally have multichannel audio support?

  18. Cosas relevantes sobre Silverlight que han ido saliendo. Las pongo todas juntas para no ir sacando un

  19. Oh, I’m a bad, bad blogger. The Expression Encoder Service Pack 1 has been out for MONTHS, and and it

  20. Bus ticket says:

    Is it possible to encode a single media that is available to all types of devices using Expression encoder?

    We are trying hard and looking at so many resources but not finding the way out, if any one has any experience with Expression encoder please let us know.


  21. Sam Stokes says:

    Sound doesn’t seem track correctly when using MP4 and Expression Media Encoder 2 SDK 1.  Is there a way to get the tracking in synch?

  22. Mopo3 says:

    This article realy help me ! Tnx!!!

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