5 reasons to use Sofdec2 for video playback

Tired of using your old video playback solution? Maybe you didn’t get any new features in ages? Or there is a poor audio support? Or maybe it is not ready for VR? Are you looking for an alternative? Look no more! Sofdec2 is the best video encoding and playback solution you will find on the market today, and here is why in 5 points.


1 – Great codecs

CRI Middleware has a long history of developing ultra-performant codecs, both audio and video. Sofdec2 fits perfectly in this category, providing high-quality and high-compression video encoding.

In addition to the video itself, the encoded movie can contain several audio tracks for the music and dialogue in various languages (as well as subtitles). These audio tracks can be encoded with one of the blazing-fast ADX2 proprietary codecs, which makes this solution even more interesting.

Sofdec2 5 Reasons - Data Path

Sofdec2 also supports the H.264 format so that you don’t have to worry about the different platforms specificities.

Videos encoded with Sofdec2 allow seeking to any position. It is also possible to embed custom data in the movie stream. This can become quite handy, should you want to synchronize vibration data with your video for example.


2 – Versatile playback features

More than a simple playback system, Sofdec2 supports movies with a transparency channel, subtitles and timing information.

It also allows for the seamless concatenation and looping of movies, while keeping the audio always in sync and without gaps or clicks.  Several movies can be played simultaneously. Either the full movies or part of them can be displayed on a polygon.

As shown below, thanks to Sofdec2, it is possible to combine alpha channel and additive blending. Only one movie is needed for what normally requires two, saving resources in the process.


3 – User-friendly tools

Preparing your encoded data and previewing it has never been that easy! The Sofdec2 Encoding Wizard will lead you through the various options available via a series of screens. The first step is to select your target platform, at which point most of the common options will already be automatically set for you.

Sofdec2 5 Reasons - Encoding Wizard

For more information about this, read our post about “Using the Sofdec2 Encoding Wizard”.


The Sofdec2 Viewer application can be used to preview a movie that has been generated by the Sofdec2 encoder. Several options are available to select the right music and dialogue tracks as well as the subtitles to display. The blending mode and the type of background (useful for alpha movies) can be selected as well.

Sofdec2 5 Reasons - PreViewer

Sofdec2 also comes with a command line version of the encoder. It is especially useful when you want the videos to be encoded automatically from your build pipeline or to encode movies in a mode that is not yet supported by the wizard. For example, this is how you will encode alpha plus movies (i.e. movies that combine alpha and additive blending).

Sofdec2 5 Reasons - Command Line


4 – Easy integration with Unity / Unreal Engine or your native code

In native projects, the Sofdec2’s API (CRI Mana) is very straightforward to use. The lower-level systems (memory, file management, timing…) can all be customized to fit with your game code.

The integration with Unity is as simple as adding a new CRIWARE plug-in to your project, dragging the “CRI Mana Player” component on the game scene and setting its parameters in the Inspector. For example, it is possible to define if the movie must start automatically, if it loops, what the volume of its audio should be, on what material it should be played, if it should be reversed and if it should use additive blending. You can also use a custom shader to play the movie.  More general settings -such as the maximum number of movies that can be played simultaneously- can be found in the “CRIWARE Library Initializer” component.

Sofdec2 5 Reasons - Unity

Without entering into the details, the integration with an Unreal Engine project is similarly simple.

Sofdec2 5 Reasons - Unreal


5 – Ready for VR!

Last but not least, Sofdec2 is ready for VR. It allows the encoding and playback of fully spherical videos with a 4K resolution and a rock-solid 60-fps frame rate, including α-channel on the whole VR space if needed.


Sofdec2 high-quality, feature-rich video playback system allows your game to seamlessly mix movies and gameplay.
Try Sofdec2 today by downloading the CRIWARE SDK:
Download the CRIWARE SDK now!

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