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Microsoft Releases Expression Encoder 4 SP2

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Expression Encoder users should hurry to download the second service pack for the popular encoder. According to the product's blog, the update includes over 300 bug fixes.

The service pack goes well beyond that, however, and adds worthwhile new features, as well. Pro users will gain GPU-accelerated encoding with the Intel HD Graphics GPU included in Sandy Bridge processors. NVIDIA CUDA support has also been improved.

The program now offers 1- and 2-pass variable bit rate encoding for H.264-based Smooth Streaming (in the Pro version), support for more bitrate and sample rate options when using the AAC codec, and support for SRS audio encoding.

For live video, the service pack lets users create, restart, or update publishing points on an IIS Smooth Streaming Server (Pro version only); crop live material; and choose 1-pass VBR encoding for H.264 live Smooth Streaming.

The screen capture feature can now follow the user's cursor, and templates have been improved. The developers added five C# and six VB.net SDK samples, including a thumbnail generator, a performance tool, and a Live console application. 

Even free users will gain something, as the 10-minute screen capture limit has been removed.

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