Closed Bug 1127111 Opened 6 years ago Closed 6 years ago

Point Windows users at media codec service pack if they don't have it.


( :: Knowledge Base Content, task)

Windows Vista
Not set


(Not tracked)



(Reporter: rillian, Unassigned)


(Depends on 1 open bug, Blocks 1 open bug)


We wasted some time this week trying to figure out why YouTube's HTML5 player wasn't working in a vm. Turns out there are versions of Windows without platform-level mp4 playback support.

We thought it was worth adding something to our support pages about this, keyed to questions like:

"Why is YouTube video blurry/low resolution?"
"Why do I get flash instead of HTML video?"
"Why doesn't vimeo work?"

Apparently there's a service pack which adds the necessary decode software.
quoth :cpearce on irc:

We can detect whether a windows machine has the 
codecs installed, by testing 
HTMLMediaElement.canPlayType("video/mp4; codecs=\"avc1.42001E, 
mp4a.40.2\"") != "". The codecs strings have to be there for 
that to work.  So we should report that in about:support.
For Enterprise versions of Windows, users need "Media Feature Pack for Windows 8.1 N and Windows 8.1 KN", where "8.1" is the Windows version.

For Vista, users need the "Platform Update Supplement for Windows Vista" installed.
OS: Windows 7 → Windows Vista
Matt, Roland tells me you can make the support pages update happen. Can you help us out? I've no idea how to go about this.
Flags: needinfo?(mgrimes)
Hey Ralph. If you are talking about creating new support content, Joni Savage (cc'd here) can help you out. Let me know if your request is something different than that and I've missed the request somehow.
Flags: needinfo?(mgrimes)
Hi Ralph, I can work on getting a SUMO article up, if that's what you needed. Just so I understand this correctly, here's what the article should convey:

If they're having any of these problems ("Why is YouTube video blurry/low resolution?", "Why do I get flash instead of HTML video?", "Why doesn't vimeo work?"), users should do the following:
1. Check about:support for codecs string. What would the strings look like exactly? 
2. If the strings are missing, they need to install either the "Media Feature Pack" or the Platform Update Supplement".

Please let me know if I got this right.
Flags: needinfo?(giles)
Depends on: 1129140
Joni, that sounds about right. Except we don't seem to list codecs in about:support currently. I opened bug 1129140 about that.

In the meantime, could we do something like that without step 1? Perhaps base it on the "Windows N" OS versions cpearce mentioned in comment #2.
Flags: needinfo?(giles) → needinfo?(jsavage)
Hi Ralph,

We've set up a draft here:

I'll keep an eye on bug 1129140 and make changes when it's ready. Please let me know if the article needs any changes in the meantime
Flags: needinfo?(jsavage)
Thanks Joni. Does it show the links above if you visit from a windows machine? On my mac it just says, "please download the pack that's appropriate for your version of Windows: " with nothing after the colon. Can we make it show all urls if a visitor isn't on Windows to make it easier for them to help others?
Ralph, the links were only visible on a Windows machine, but I've removed the conditions so that everyone can see the links. Thanks for the suggestion.
Looks good, thanks!
Closed: 6 years ago
Resolution: --- → FIXED
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