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Uses of Dirac – the video codec – alternative to MPEG-4 and JPEG2000

Last updated Mar 14, 2023 | Published on Oct 13, 2010 | FAQ, Users Guides - Education, Technology - Engineering

Dirac is versatile. It is difficult to think of an application that cannot be covered. We suggest you try Dirac for:

  • Broadcasting
  • Clip Distribution
  • Live Streaming Video
  • Pod Casting
  • Creative Archive
  • Peer to Peer transfers
  • HDTV with SD Simulcast capability
  • Higher density channel packing
  • Desktop Production
  • News links
  • Archive Storage
  • Digital Intermediate Film Out file storage
  • PVRs
  • Multilevel Mezzanine 3 GBit/s into 1.5 GBit/s, 1.5 GBit/s into 270 MBit/s etc

Dirac provides support for all the formats that may be used in broadcasting and much more. If you want something to be coded by Dirac, the answer should be “yes”!

Dirac has the capability of compressing high resolution files for production, compression for broadcast content, and compression for web 2.0 applications. Compression can be either lossless or visually lossless. This is, of course, what is needed in the production environment.

Dirac Pro was created for high-end production applications. It uses a special profile of Dirac tools.

Alternatively Dirac can exploit lossy compression using long-GOP formats for broadcasting and other distribution outlets. The quality or compression efficiency is similar to that of AVC/H264 but without the encoding complexity or licence burden.

Most of the normal formats are built into Dirac as default settings. For the more adventurous, most parameters can be varied simply and effectively.

  • Direct support of multiple picture formats
  • 4K e-cinema through to QCIF
  • Supports I-frame only up to long GOP structures
  • Direct support of multiple chroma formats (e.g. 4.4.4/4.2.2/4.2.0)
  • Direct support of multiple bit depths (e.g. 8 bit to 16 bit)
  • Direct support of interlace via metadata
  • Direct support of multiple frame rates from 23.97 fps to 60fps
  • Definable pixel aspect ratios
  • Definable “Clean Area” for inputs within larger containers
  • Definable signal ranges and offsets
  • Multiple colour spaces with metadata to describe:
  • Colour Primaries
  • Colour Matrices
  • Transfer Functions
  • 32 bit frame numbers (more than 2 years at 60 fps) in both I frame only and Long-GOP
  • A choice from multiple wavelet filters (including filters optimised for down-conversion)
  • Definable wavelet depth

Are you paying out very large amounts of money for Codec license fees? Are you in search of the ideal video compression format? Do you find that one of your biggest challenges is the myriad of proprietary media formats? Does the stringent and complex licensing environment put you off making decisions? Do your customers operate on a range of different platforms? It is hard to choose the right compression system.

But there are many video compression systems, you may want to know what is special about Dirac.

If you are the sort of person that hopes that your content has a long lifetime, consider the upgrade policy of your existing suppliers. Can you handle a format conversion on a regular basis? Can you handle the lack of support for ‘obsolescent’ technologies? If you cannot, then Dirac offers a long-term solution for you. Because the source code for the software is available for operation on a variety of platforms, you can have confidence that Dirac can stand the test of time.

If you want quality, in your own specialist area, Dirac provides a simple, but powerful range of options which can be selected to fine tune the performance for your content.

If you want a cost effective solution, then the Open Source licence means that you are a customer that has to considered respectfully by your suppliers. You will have a choice of supplier, so you can select one who offers a service which you need, not which they want you to buy.

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