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Indeo Video Codec, Version 5

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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 5

Proprietary bitstream encoding for video, originally developed by Intel. The technology was sold in 2000 to Ligos Corporation. John McGowan states that Indeo 5 employs a wavelet algorithm and other encoding features; its predecessor Indeo 4 employs a presumably similar "hybrid wavelet algorithm." Windows implementations of Indeo have been distributed by Ligos. Apple distributed Mac versions for "classic" operating systems through OS 9, but there is no MacOS support for Mac OS X.

All versions numbered 5 are covered by this document; there is no separate document for the presumably similar version 4, nor for Indeo XP developed for Windows XP and Vista but only briefly available on a test basis. Note that version 3 (Indeo_3) compresses by means of vector quantization rather than wavelet transforms; nevertheless, it is listed as an earlier version below.

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 earlier version Indeo_3, Indeo Video Codec, Version 3
    Has earlier version Indeo Video Codec, Version 4 (not documented separately)

Local use Explanation of format description terms

LC experience or existing holdings  
LC preference  

Sustainability factors Explanation of format description terms


Proprietary standard with some public documentation.


Partial documentation is available in (link available through Internet Archive) and (link available through Internet Archive).


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 Achive) 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).


Depends upon algorithms and tools to read; will require sophistication to build tools.


Not applicable; provided by wrapper formats.

External dependencies None beyond a codec.
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 to encoding.
Clarity (high image resolution) Moderate, varies according to levels of compression and picture size; the maximum of which is about four megapixels, with no dimension exceeding 8,188 pixels. Does not support interlaced playback.

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 IV50
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