Session 0 isolation for Windows 8 services and the Media SDK

Session 0 isolation for Windows 8 services and the Media SDK


I recently learned that Windows 8 is supposed to
provide full access to the Direct3D APIs from within a session 0 service. See e.g.
on MSDN and/or the presentation given at a BUILD '11 session on Graphics
on the server
(e.g. slide #22).

That made me think of the Media SDK and the current major drawback it has for utilizing the excellent (GPU) hardware acceleration capabilities from within a windows services. This has been discussed in this forum thread #84258.

HW-acceleration within a service could be very useful in many different server/service based scenarios (e.g. transcoding video in a web service). The current drawback is that the Media SDK being tightly tied to DirectX (DXVA and D3D) graphics sub-system cannot invoke the hardware acceleration capabilities from within a Windows service due to the session 0 isolation introduced with Windows Vista that restricts access to the DirectX API.

Therefore, can anyone confirm that the Media SDK in its next version will be able to have its full HW-acceleration capabilities accessible in a
(session 0) service on Windows 8?

By the way, when is the next version of the Media SDK scheduled for?
Since the Windows 8 RTM date has been revealed to be in August, a new (beta?) version of the SDK supporting Windows 8 would be great to have around the same time.




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Hi Jay,

Thanks for bringing this up. We are aware of the new OS capabilities that may make Media SDK more usable in a service context. However, we have not yet been able to fully explore what this new capability means for the SDK and application usage.

Media SDK 2012 R2 is available now but it does not provide any samples detailing how to utilize the SDK via the DX11 framework.

We plan release of Media SDK 2012 R3 in August. This release is focused solely on providing updated samples with DX11 (geared for Win8) support.

Based on the new release we are very grateful for any experimentation or feedback the community may have on how to utilize the SDK in a server context. We are planning to explore this internally also, but at this point we cannot commit to a time frame.


Hi Petter,

We will try to pursue this internally and provide our feedback because the service use-case is of high importance to us. It seems that the new 2012-R3 is available now. We would also be grateful to learn from the experiences of others in the community in relation to general Win8 usage and in particular the use of MediaSDK from within a Win8 service.



- Jay

It seems that the issue is still present in the Media SDK 2013. Does anyone have update/time frame info about this issue ?

Best Regards,

Hello everybody,

Everything works perfect using the Media SDK 2013 R2.

Great job guys!!

Thanks a lot,
Best Regards,

Best Regards,

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