About RMVB Format
Real Media Variable Bitrate (RMVB) is a file format developed and owned by RealNetworks. It’s designed to be compatible with RealPlayer, the company’s proprietary media player software. RMVB files are encoded with a variable bitrate (VBR) format, as opposed to a constant bitrate (CBR). The VBR format allocates different output rates and storage space based on segment complexity in a music file; more complex data gets higher bitrates and more storage. The CBR format allocates constant rate and space throughout a music file. VBR typically produces higher quality than CBR. The RMVB codec, or digitizing compression device, was the first codec designed by RealNetworks that supports variable bitrates.
The RMVB format is different from other RealPlayer codecs because it is not a streamed format. Any RMVB file downloaded to a computer is located entirely on that computer’s hard drive; no internet connection is required to view the content once it has finished downloading.
Due to its superior quality at exceedingly low bitrates, RMVB once very popular, and RMVB files are extremely popular for distributing Asian content, especially Chinese movies and TV episodes. RealMedia codec uses compression similar to MPEG-4 Part 10 codecs, such as X264. Limited support is available on some media players, generally on the Windows platform, including the proprietary RealPlayer 10 and the open-sourced Media Player Classic, using an appropriate DirectShow filter or Real Alternative. RealPlayer and some other programs such as totem are able to play real video or RMVB files in Linux/UNIX-based x86 machines through the use of WIN32 DLLs or native closed-source libraries. In late-2008, standalone players capable of decoding RMVB files have begun to be available on the market.
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