The extension WMV denotes a file in Windows Media Format. These files contain video and audio data. The WMV proprietary video compression technology was developed by Microsoft Corporation and is part of the Windows Media Platform. There are several versions commonly referred to as WMV 7 - 9. These are only compatible with each other downwards.
In addition to the Windows Media Player and numerous software players, many hardware players are able to play WMV.
WMV files can also be protected by digital rights management. In this case, you need the appropriate, possibly paid licenses to view the files.
WMV supports numerous resolutions and quality levels up to HD material. For the latter, there is also a special format called WMVHD available. An extended version of WMV is called VC-1 and is partly used on BluRays and HDDVD.
WMV-encoded videos may also be in other container formats. For example in asf, avi or mkv.
WMV is not available as a retrofittable codec, but must be directly supported by the player or operating system. Wmv files can also be streamed and are therefore widely used on the Internet.
Some programs can handle WMV plugins.