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Indeo Video Codec, Version 3

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Format Description Properties Explanation of format description terms

Identification and description Explanation of format description terms

Full name Indeo Video Codec, Version 3

Bitstream encoding for video, originally developed by Intel. John McGowan states that Indeo 3 employs vector quantization. Before being supplanted by later versions, Windows implementations were distributed by Ligos Corporation and Mac versions by Apple.

Versions 3.1 and 3.2 are both covered by this document. Indeo versions 4 and 5 (Indeo_5) compress by means of wavelet transforms rather than vector quantization; nevertheless, they are listed as later versions below. As of December 2007, only version 4.4 (limited to OS 9) was being offered by Apple (link available through Internet Archive).

Production phase Generally used as an end-user delivery format.
Relationship to other formats
    Used by AVI_Indeo, AVI, Indeo Codec
    Used by QuickTime, Indeo Codec (not documented at this time)
    Has later version Indeo Video Codec, Version 4 (not documented at this time)
    Has later version Indeo_5, Indeo Video Codec, Version 5

Local use Explanation of format description terms

LC experience or existing holdings  
LC preference  

Sustainability factors Explanation of format description terms

Disclosure Proprietary standard with some public documentation
    Documentation Very limited documentation is available for Indeo_3. Some documentation available for its successor Indeo_5.

In early 2012, the Ligos website states, "The codecs (video versions 4 and 5, and audio codec version 2.5) were originally developed by IntelĀ® Corporation, and for years have been a popular solution for video and audio in CD-ROM games, computer training titles, encyclopedias and online media. Ligos continues to distribute Indeo software for legacy applications still requiring its use in Windows 95, 98, ME, XP and NT/2000 operating systems." Indeo is not supported for use with Microsoft Vista or Windows 7 operating systems, nor for Mac OS X. See Indeo Support (link available through Internet Archive) from Ligos.

    Licensing and patents Indeo codecs and software may be licensed from Ligos Corporation; some information in Ligos Indeo FAQ (link available through Internet Archive).
Transparency Depends upon algorithms and tools to read; will require sophistication to build tools.
Self-documentation Not applicable; provided by wrapper formats.
External dependencies None.
Technical protection considerations Ligos Corporation FAQ (link available through Internet Archive) states that developers can assign access keys to video files to protect them. These or additional protections may [also?] be provided by wrapper formats.

Quality and functionality factors Explanation of format description terms

Moving Image
Normal rendering Not applicable
Clarity (high image resolution) Moderate, given this is a compression format.
Functionality beyond normal rendering Not applicable.

File type signifiers and format identifiers Explanation of format description terms

Tag Value Note
Filename extension Not applicable.   
Internet Media Type Not applicable.   
Magic numbers Not applicable.   
Microsoft FOURCC IV31
Used when this codec is wrapped in Microsoft file formats, e.g., AVI and ASF; see the list of FOURCC codes, which also lists a number of additional IV FOURCCs. John McGowan states that IV32 is generally used for Indeo 3; IV41 for Indeo 4, and IV50 for Indeo 5. FOURCC codes are no longer managed by Microsoft, which has developed a new mechanism for identifying rich media types in general.

Notes Explanation of format description terms


Format specifications Explanation of format description terms

Useful references


Last Updated: 08/04/2021