Windows Media Foundation (WMF) handles standard audio/video playback and recording on the Windows Platform, however, WMF is also extensible.
By default, WMF supports a number of different formats, encoding, and file containers, but it can also be extended with the use of optional codec packs that can be downloaded and installed from the Internet.
What this means, however, is that certain users may not have a particular codec needed to decode and playback a media file.
In the past, Unreal Engine only supported default codecs that are supplied with WMF to ensure that everyone can handle and process media the same way.
There may be times when you want to use a different method of encoding your media or your own proprietary media encoder that you want to ship your game with (for example, you ship your game with an installer that provides the needed encoder).
You can now enable and allow non-standard codecs for WMF Media from the Plugins section of Project Settings.
By default, the player plugin will attempt to detect audio and video codecs that are not supported by the operating system (OS), requiring the user to install additional codec packs.
If the player plugin detects an unsupported format when accessing the media, a warning message is provided in the Output Log.
Additionally, you can see media asset information inside a Media Player asset in the Info panel.
When enabling Allow non-supported codecs, the Plugin player will skip the check and allow the usage of non-standard codecs.