Why You Shouldn’t Install Third Party Codecs on Windows 7

Another quick update for this evening.

What many people may not know but Windows 7 actually supports a wider range of codecs (i.e. COmpression / DECompression software) compared to Windows XP and Vista, specifically:

  • H.264 (popular for Apple devices and web streaming),
  • AAC (a popular audio format also preferred by Apple),
  • DivX,
  • Xvid.

As a result, people may simply be installing various codec suites such as the K-Lite Codec Pack but unknowingly overriding the beneficial hardware acceleration offered by the built-in codecs. This may be a force of habit for some who are used for filling in some of the feature gaps in Windows with third party solutions.

It’s well worth noting that not all third party codecs lack hardware acceleration (which means that either hardware such as video or sound cards undertake the workload or special instruction sets in the CPU are employed to more efficiently execute the work) but I would still recommend using the built-in codecs to keep things clean and retain system stability.

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