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Dirac: BBC Open Source Video Codec

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the knowing-is-half-the-battle dept.

Media 523

NickFitz writes "Need To Know this week has a piece about Dirac, a BBC R&D project to produce a video codec, which has been released as an Open Source project. From BBCi: 'Dirac is a general-purpose video codec aimed at resolutions from QCIF (180x144) to HDTV (1920x1080) progressive or interlaced... Our algorithm seems to give a two-fold reduction in bit rate over MPEG-2 for high definition video (e.g. 1920x1080 pixels), its original target application. It has been further developed to optimise it for internet streaming resolutions.'"

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Another one? (-1, Troll)

Aquatic (35016) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020661)

Really, why do we need another codec?

Re:Another one? (3, Insightful)

dubiousdave (618128) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020683)

Our algorithm seems to give a two-fold reduction in bit rate over MPEG-2 for high definition video (e.g. 1920x1080 pixels)

That seems to answer your question, even without reading the article.

Re:Another one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9020696)

RTFA please

Re:Another one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9020718)

Which actually sound nothing special, compared to MPEG4, Divx, etc.

it's open source! (5, Insightful)

g00bd0g (255836) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020684)

Because it's open source and being developed/supported by one of the bigger distibuters of video content on the web!

Re:Another one? (2, Interesting)

Phisbut (761268) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020703)

True... just give me one free and powerful codec and I'll be happy... Can't we just have a standard here?

Re:Another one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9020997)

no "because my codec ownz joo"

Re:Another one? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9020741)

Yes, why would anyone need a new, free high quality codec that is backed by a huge media company? Why not use one of the patented, commercial codecs that Microsoft or Real.com want us to use?

Re:Another one? (3, Informative)

HBPiper (472715) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020848)

Because this CODEC uses WAVELETS and Wavelet theory is probably one of the most useful tools for working with time varying signals that has been developed. It is especially useful in high quality compression algorithms. Here is a decent background article on Wavelets [beyonddiscovery.org] .

Re:Another one? (0, Offtopic)

SMOC (703423) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020931)

You USE a LOT of CAPITALS to MAKE your POINT

I'll shut up now.

Ahh codecs. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9020667)

The great thing about them is that there are so many to choose from and support.

Xvid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9020668)

Something wrong with Xvid?

Re:Xvid? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9020772)

Xvid is basically just a series of compressed jpegs (quality 30%). They take up too much disk space and processing power to compress and decompress. They are only limited to 160x120 resolutions, no more or less. Audio data can't be streamed alongside video, it has to be in a seperate file, or a seperate stream (for mac's, but who uses those anymore?) and it's limited to uncompressed 11khz 8bit sampling. For video, the least significant two bits of every color value are ignored.

Lastly, it's not supported on the Be operating system.

Re:Xvid? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9020857)

Who modded this pile of crap as informative?

From the Xvid FAQ [xvid.org]

What is XviD? XviD is an ISO MPEG-4 compliant video codec. It's no product, it's an open source project which is developed and maintained by lots of people from all over the world.

And don't get me started on all the other crap, audio? FFS, it's a video codec! You have to include audio an either mp3/ogg/wav/whathaveyou into the stream.

Re:Xvid? (1, Redundant)

imroy (755) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020870)

What the hell are you talking about? Clearly not the same XviD [xvid.org] that everyone else knows.

Re:Xvid? (2, Troll)

Jameth (664111) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020888)

This is total crap. Xvid can be interleaved with audio just fine and is enormously better than just a series of JPEGs.

The parent is completely full of crap.

Stop modding up your own AC posts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9020892)

Not even /. moderators are stupid enough to not see through this.

Moderators on ACID? (1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020907)

Parent post is either Troll or REALLY sarcastic....
NONE of his facts are true. NONE.

But in response to the greatparents post:
Xvid isnt free. Its opensource, but it violates MANY patents if you actually use it.

Re:Xvid? (3, Funny)

smu johnson (309071) | more than 10 years ago | (#9021009)

hey man

we were commissioned to be in charge of video archiving for our university and couldn't decide which codec to use to archive the student films and such for our school, let alone what software to use.

I heard some stuff about xvid, divx, etc, and based on a bit of word of mouth, thought about giving xvid a try. I read your post. I honestly can't believe I was actually about to use xvid for the job. thank god i came across this page. The part that influenced the decision mostly was the +1 informative moderation backing up your facts.

later man

Patents (5, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020945)

The source is licence-free, but it is not patent free. Pay MPEG LA or it's illegal. For you and every other individual out there that might not matter, but the BBC couldn't use it without paying.

Kjella

licence-free = royalty-free, GPL-licenced. Doh. (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020968)

(n/t)

Sorry..always wanted to get first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9020672)

:D

Finally!!! (5, Funny)

WwWonka (545303) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020678)

BBC Open Source Video Codec

Finally a codec to convert all the dry witty intelligent British TV humor over to bland cliche' stale American TV humor!

Re:Finally!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9020834)

Not all American comedy is sale.. Have you ever seen meego. =P Im thinking of the fiery man covered in hot grits.. =P

Re:Finally!!! (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020881)

Firstly, :)

But since this is one of my pet whinges; You know, it works both ways. British TV stations often try to copy US comedy shows with the same degree of success. When will they learn? IT DOESN'T WORK!

Duplicating work? (3, Insightful)

bobbis.u (703273) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020680)

Seems like a bit of a waste of license payers money when there already a several open source video codecs (eg. Ogg Theora, 3ivx). What does this offer that those don't?

Re:Duplicating work? (2, Informative)

bobbis.u (703273) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020711)

I of course meant xvid, not 3ivx (3ivx isn't open source).

Re:Duplicating work? (4, Informative)

Trepalium (109107) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020810)

xvid is patent encumbered any may not be legal to use in the US and other countries. This one may not be.

Re:Duplicating work? (5, Informative)

Uzik2 (679490) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020732)

Theora doesn't have a working windows codec.
Windows is most of the marketplace.

Re:Duplicating work? (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 10 years ago | (#9021038)

Theora doesn't have a working windows codec. Windows is most of the marketplace.

How about porting the existing codec to Windows instead of re-inventing wheels on all platforms?

Re:Duplicating work? (3, Insightful)

breakinbearx (672220) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020740)

It seems as if their codec performs very well (losslessly?) at very high resolutions, i.e. the ones the Beeb would need for HDTV. This would provide better (visual) quality programs over existing lines e.g. cable, satellite. I have a feeling the codec will not have a practical use for everyday computer users, but will be used more for video production.

Re:Duplicating work? (5, Insightful)

dubiousdave (618128) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020958)

I have a feeling the codec will not have a practical use for everyday computer users

I don't know about that. I'd be rather pleased if MythTV could record twice the HD content on the same hard drive space on my computer, or, for that matter, if TiVo were to use it for the same purpose.

Re:Duplicating work? (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020751)

Our algorithm seems to give a two-fold reduction in bit rate over MPEG-2 ...

There wasn't even the need to RTFA.

CC.

Re:Duplicating work? (0)

bobbis.u (703273) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020963)

Theora and Xvid are MPEG4 based codecs and offer significantly better compression than MPEG2 anyway.

Re:Duplicating work? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9020753)

Codecs have varying quality/compression tradeoffs for different source material, intellectual property hassles (not all which are known up front), varying API support, etc. So the more that are available the better.

Re:Duplicating work? (3, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020759)

"What does this offer that those don't?"

Its British.

Re:Duplicating work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9020899)

So they finally figured out how to make a codec leak oil?

Re:Duplicating work? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9020939)

"What does this offer that those don't?"

Its British.

Its British what?

Re:Duplicating work? (5, Funny)

Mateito (746185) | more than 10 years ago | (#9021015)

I'm waiting for the Scottish version.

Same great compression, but when you encode video with it, all the actors end up wearing kilts, speaking with incomprehensible accents and getting into bar fights.

The Scotch? Drunken men in skirts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9021044)

"but when you encode video with it, all the actors end up wearing kilts, speaking with incomprehensible accents and getting into bar fights."

you don't have to look for scotch guys drunken men in skirts. for that. just go to Greenwich Village any Friday night.

Re:Duplicating work? (1)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020790)

maybe allot developement will be done out-side at no cost - since its open source. But part of the BBC's job apart from making programmes AFAIK is to provide a service for education and research to the public.

Re:Duplicating work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9020792)

An alternative.

Any other questions?

Re:Duplicating work? (3, Interesting)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020838)

It's wavelet based, so presumably it doesn't suffer from the block artifacts of MPEG-2 & MPRG-4.

Re:Duplicating work? (1)

Frambooz (555784) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020991)

It's wavelet based, so presumably it doesn't suffer from the block artifacts of MPEG-2 & MPRG-4.

Then what other artifacts can occur?

no it will be washy rather than blocky (1)

johnjones (14274) | more than 10 years ago | (#9021051)

ok

limited know how but wont it just be washy (i.e. smooth it rather than jump)

ogg is a good container I hope they use ogg because it should be variable bit rate...

I dont really undersand why dont they concentrate on doing what apple has done and create a Pixlet like codec that people can get 25-to-1 compression rates at high def (HD like 35mm people)

pixlet like please

why dont the BBC open source all their R&D ?

regards

John Jones

Re:Duplicating work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9020947)

Well its better than paying for yet another f***ing house makeover programme!

Re:Duplicating work? No - better colour. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9020948)

US codecs incorrectly drop a vowel from colour, so a British codec is bound to look better.

Re:Duplicating work? (4, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020971)

there already a several open source video codecs (eg. Ogg Theora, 3ivx)

With Xvid, ffmpeg/libavcodec, and any others based on MPEG-4, the code may be open source, but you can't use it legally, without paying for an MPEG-4 license. MPEG-4 is a lot like MP3 in that sense.

Theora would be nice, but it's perpetually Alpha... I was excited about it at first too, but now it seems it's going to take another year before the code is even in beta, and probably two years before it reaches 1.0, when there will be ports to non-Linux platforms. By then, it will be about as advanced as MPEG-1 is today... Way behind the times.

However, VP3 (the codec Theora is based upon) is a rather good codec (despite the brain-dead review it got at doom9). It is free, open source, etc. There are encoders and decoders for Windows/Mac, and numerous decoders for Unix systems. It would really work great, and I have no idea why it hasn't been more popular to date.

If there was some program that could encode VP3 video on Unix systems, I would be using VP3/Vorbis excluively for encoding everything. However, avifile, MPlayer, ffmpeg, none can encode to VP3, so it seems Unix systems are out of luck.

That said, I'd bet the BBC will be doing their encoding on Windows or Mac OS machines anyhow, so I don't know why they don't use VP3.

Duplicating work? Not really. (5, Insightful)

Ride-My-Rocket (96935) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020989)

Seems like a bit of a waste of license payers money when there already a several open source video codecs (eg. Ogg Theora, 3ivx). What does this offer that those don't?

Does the current work being done on Linux seem like a waste of time and money, when there are already several other operating systems (Windows, Macintosh, Unix) available? And don't try and use the argument "but those are closed source; open source is better!" argument -- in the end, it's just software people use, regardless of the licensing / development model.

Getting back on-topic: apparently it offers the BBC something that warrants the time, effort and money required to fund such an undertaking. At the very least, it's yet another example of big companies using open-source to reduce costs and/or fulfill their own specific needs, and can only encourage other companies to fund future OSS development efforts.

Re:Duplicating work? (1)

da_reboot (683601) | more than 10 years ago | (#9021032)

To be fair, most areas of the open source movement contain duplicated work... More free choices = better, IMO

It's about time. (0)

BoomerSooner (308737) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020687)

Bravo, BBC. I knew there was a reason I liked them!

can I get a nice quality of 1 hour video on a CD? (3, Interesting)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020694)

right now I have good quality with 3vix but it is 1 gig.

if this can get me to 700 MBs at the same quality (about 85 in the 3vix) that would rock!!!

WOOO... NO MORE REAL PLAYER!! (3, Interesting)

koniosis (657156) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020706)

Hopefully the BBC will use this instead of RAM, silly real player!

Re:WOOO... NO MORE REAL PLAYER!! (1, Insightful)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020743)

and with a bit more luck, the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) [cbc.ca] will also ditch RealPlayer as well.

Re:WOOO... NO MORE REAL PLAYER!! (5, Interesting)

Telex4 (265980) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020747)

We can only hope!

Though FYI this was developed by their R&D team, which is, according to a bloke behind Dirac I spoke to at the recent Linux Expo in London, quite separate from other parts of BBC tech.

I asked him about their recent OGG trials, and he said that not only did he know nothing about it, his dept. didn't even play any part or have any influence. Crazy big corporations!

REAL codecs (5, Informative)

GeneticFreek (707820) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020795)

For those who don't like the Real player, you can get the codecs and use Media Player Classic on Windows.

Check out k-litecodecpack.com [k-litecodecpack.com] .

Sweet! (-1, Offtopic)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020710)

Now I can fit twice as much High Def porn on my hard drive!

BBC Archive (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9020713)

Could this be related to the archive of video content they are purported to be setting up? Seems like a very unnessecary step to accomplish that, unless they have some sort of conflict with the legalaties of other codecs out there...

Re:BBC Archive (1)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020950)

If anyone is interested in the BBC Archive that was announced last year, the /. article about it is here [slashdot.org] . If this did happen with the archive being stored in this format at a high-resolution, it really would be an incredible resource.

Re:BBC Archive (1)

dyefade (735994) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020999)

I would think it unlikely they would use this for archiving, they'd be more interested in a lossless format. Of course, if they're planning on serving the archive out to people, then maybe this could be useful for them...

The successor will be named... (1, Redundant)

JessLeah (625838) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020714)

Dalec. (The Dr. Who production team will use it.)

Re:The successor will be named... (1)

glam0006 (471393) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020768)

The Dr. Who mutants are called Daleks [wikipedia.org] .

Re:The successor will be named... (1)

JessLeah (625838) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020960)

I know that! Hence "Dalec". A play on "Dirac" and "Dalek". :P

Re:The successor will be named... (1)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 10 years ago | (#9021004)

I do wish you had avoided the impulse to make that joke. It is derivative and a step function in the wrong diraction.

And it only leads to convolved jokes like this.

Sweet! Now to just test this on my PVR PC... (1)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020724)

Well, I'll have to test it out first, but its a pain encoding in Divix, so I will have to see if this is a little less CPU intensive (or really IDE bus intensive). Capturing and converting live streaming video at 800x600 is intensive...

Anyway it can't hurt especially if it saves me some space (you would be surprised how fast you can fill up 1/2 a terrabyte with video capturing).

Re:Sweet! Now to just test this on my PVR PC... (1, Funny)

normal_guy (676813) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020781)

You would use less space if you stopped renting DVDs at Blockbuster to rip them to your HD.

Re:Sweet! Now to just test this on my PVR PC... (1)

tricops (635353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020925)

Right, and did you miss the PVR acronym and the words live streaming video? A PVR box sitting and recording TV shows constantly will fill up that space just fine. 1/2 TB is a fair bit of space, but you don't have anything resembling credible evidence to base that attack on.

Re:Sweet! Now to just test this on my PVR PC... (1)

silentbozo (542534) | more than 10 years ago | (#9021054)

I can back that. I have several replayTV units, and I routinely go through 300 GB every couple of weeks, archiving shows (eventually they'll be edited to trim commercials, and burned onto DVD.) A few months of that, and you've easily collected a terabyte's of shows, especially if you're recording them at high resolution (about 2gb per hour of video.)

The thing is, drive space is so cheap, that it's cheaper (timewise) for me just to buy more drives. Oh well, that's what college-age siblings are for - cheap editing labor come summer vacation.

Re:Sweet! Now to just test this on my PVR PC... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9020962)

Listen jackass he clearly stated PVR. He's probably capping more than a few full season shows not to mention movies. All of that capping really adds up and if he's been doing it for years he could easily fill up that much space without breaking a sweat.
So stick your "he's probably a warez monkey" attitude up where the sun don't shine.

Here's hoping it leads to more videos (4, Interesting)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020739)

I really hope this leads to more free educational videos online. The BBC has been doing a great job of making that material available for free, and any thing that helps improve the quality of that content is a good thing.

Their documentaries are so interesting that I often choose to watch them over other movies or shows I may have on my computer. Bravo BBC.

Re:Here's hoping it leads to more videos (1)

stephenry (648792) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020976)

Free to you yanks... 100 a year to us Brits, Gov'ner

outstanding! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9020752)

After reading the specs for this codec, let me just say that it blows the competition out of the water.

I've been trying to encode real-time high quality video and this is the only package that works on my P2-450. Seriously, this is the way to go.

GO BBC!

A bit wary (5, Insightful)

bsd4me (759597) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020771)

I would be a bit wary of a codec that claims to be all things to all people, ie supporting broadcast-quality HDTV and internet-quality video

Video codecs typically have ``sweet-spots'' for resolution and bitrate. The MPEG specs work well for higher bitrate video, and we have several codecs that work well for lower bitrate video.

Also, MPEG video quality can vary from encoder to encoder. The specs only define the bitstream, and the encoder can do what it wants. This is why there is a huge difference between the quality that Media Cleaner produces versus a multi-chip hardware encoder found in a cable plant.

Times change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9020863)

Traditionally codecs had lots of resolution dependent fixed overhead, and the balancing act between the fixed overhead and the motion/texture data had to be made at design time. This is an inherent side effect of VLC coding.

When all the resolution dependent information (including MB syntax for instance) is encoded with arithmetic coding you can be a lot more flexible.

H.264/Dirac are much more flexible than the standards of yesteryear.

Weird results.. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9020775)

Looks good, but why are all the male American comedy leads now in drag???

Re:Weird results.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9021055)

Looks good, but why are all the male American comedy leads now in drag???

They've finally come out of the closet?

MPEG4? (5, Insightful)

cybermace5 (446439) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020780)

Why would they compare it to MPEG2? In order to impress me, you'll have to compare quality and bitrates with MPEG4.

Re:MPEG4? (2, Insightful)

Jameth (664111) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020858)

MPEG4 is not that special at very high bitrates. MPEG4 is for low bitrates almost exclusively. This makes for small files which look good enough, but not files which look perfect.

Re:MPEG4? (3, Informative)

neurojab (15737) | more than 10 years ago | (#9021018)

>MPEG4 is not that special at very high bitrates. MPEG4 is for low bitrates almost exclusively. This makes for small files which look good enough, but not files which look perfect.

I've heard that before too, but if you compare an equal-bitrate Mpeg2 with Mpeg4, I think you'll find that Mpeg4 wins. The optimizations were designed for low bitrates, but help at high bitrates as well.

Re:MPEG4? (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 10 years ago | (#9021026)

MPEG4 is not that special at very high bitrates.

Not true... Same quality as MPEG-2 at half the filesize, I'd say that's quite special.

It just hasn't gotten all that popular because the hardware needed to decode it is much more complicated than MPEG-2.

Re:MPEG4? (4, Informative)

happyfrogcow (708359) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020895)

Isn't MPEG2 the standard for TV broadcasts?

Code (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9020802)

Codind and decoding.. its video data..Im so clever. mostly porn.. some movies.

Fantastic News (1, Insightful)

stephenry (648792) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020831)

This is absolutely brillant news!

Ever since I heard that the BBC plans to put their achive on the internet it was clear that they would be far better served developing their own video codec. As a British Citizen, I am glad that those who have paid television licenses do not have to pay an additional toll in the form of Real Player.

Blake 7 (0)

raidient (751898) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020837)

It sounds like it comes from the same coders who gave us ORAC.

great now when I download a fansub (-1, Redundant)

cyrax777 (633996) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020855)

I get to play the wonderfull game of "What fucking codec did this person use" Theres already so many between Xvideo, whatever .MKV stangs for theres also OGM and theres probly alot more im forgetting about.

Patent free (4, Interesting)

Telex4 (265980) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020869)

Even more impressive than the codec itself, in my opinion, is that they managed to develop a new video codec without infringing any patents! And given that it's the BBC, I assume they could go to court to defend themselves in prior art.

Very cool. But then all the engineers in their R&D dept. are apparently very anti software patents, and have been doing their bit writing letters to that effect :-)

Wavelet Theory (5, Informative)

Cocodude (693069) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020882)

I went to a day at the Research and Development facility with the BBC, and saw a demonstration of Dirac.

It does look quite impressive, and for those who are interested, I believe it works on wavelet theory. Lots of information on this is provided at http://www.wavelet.org/ but I believe its scalable frequency analysis enables significantly better compression than other codecs (typically DCT based?) out there.

I think.

what is the bitrate for HDTV? (1)

Mildog (27114) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020889)

what is the bitrate for HDTV? I don't know how many bits per pixel it takes.

Thanks in advance,

Mildog

Re:what is the bitrate for HDTV? (3, Informative)

Kiryat Malachi (177258) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020942)

Presumably 24 or 32 bits per pixel, like most video. (8 bits per channel color, 8 bits transparency (optional and normally unused)).

So:

1920x1080 = 2073600 pixels per frame * 24 bits/pixel = 49766400 bits per frame * 30 frames per second =

177.98 megabytes per second, uncompressed.

Here's to Hoping Ogg Helps Out (1)

Jameth (664111) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020918)

The team working on Ogg Theora has done pretty good work, and I wouldn't want them to drop their project, but collaboration would be great. As the two codecs seem to have largely different aims (Ogg Theora is low bitrate, anything compared to MPEG2 is high bitrate) they aren't even directly competing. I'm certain they both run into the same issues all the time, however, and some code sharing would help everyone out immensely.

BBC = british government (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9020921)

Since the BBC is the media-organ branch of the British government, this means government-owned codecs. Is this a good thing?

Re:BBC = british government (5, Informative)

Cocodude (693069) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020975)

Er, BBC != british government

It's on sourceforge, and is entirely open. Its licenses, as stated by sourceforge are: GNU General Public License (GPL), GNU Library or Lesser General Public License (LGPL), Mozilla Public License 1.1 (MPL 1.1), so you could hardly say it's 'owned' by the BBC, let alone the british government.

Cocodude

BBC = british government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9021001)

The BBC is a subset of the British government. Technically, it is the exact same thing, as the British government as a set is larger than just the BBC.

"so you could hardly say it's 'owned' by the BBC, let alone the british government."

Since the BBC is a branch of the British government, it logically follows that if the Beeb owns something, the British Government does too. Stop claiming a division where none exists. It is like saying "Microsoft did not mess up my computer. Windows did it instead. Blame Windows!"

BBC Archive (5, Interesting)

enditallnow (177040) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020926)

Did you ever consider that they intend to use this for their plans to put their archives online? [bbc.co.uk]

The poster stated that "It has been further developed to optimise it for internet streaming resolutions" which is one way for such a thing to be distributed. Have a look here. [theregister.co.uk] The register states that "The BBC's new media director, Ashley Highfield, said that a P2P network will allow the BBC to handle the volume of traffic it expects when the Internet Media Player (IMP) goes live. The IMP will enable users to download or stream content to their PC, laptop or palmtop computer."

If this is the case then Aunty Beeb is well underway to providing the tools we will need for accessing their archives.

-- Enditallnow

My question is... (4, Insightful)

LilMikey (615759) | more than 10 years ago | (#9020952)

How are they going to convince set-top manufacturers to support their codec or conglomerates to broadcast it? It's already been proven a hundred times over the superior and/or open rarely win out to their more profitable brethren. All the article states is there's a 'hint of a chance' of it being adopted by big media...

Re:My question is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9020970)

Well given BBC R&D invented a whole bunch of the broadcast standard, and were heavily involved in MPEG, too, I think it's probably a pretty good chance.

Re:My question is... (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#9021041)

Who said they plan to broadcast it?

Sounds like this is geared towards their upcoming online archive, or achival in general.

40 years from now, players may not exist, but at least to code to watch those overrated monty python skits will exist.

Great news (2, Interesting)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 10 years ago | (#9021003)

This is really wonderful news. The BBC is sharing its work with the Open Source community - and most of the British Open Source community are BBC TV licence payers.

I am glad that the BBC has recognised the need for this codec to be Open Source. It means that everyone, not just those beholden to private corporations, will get the chance to experience BBC content. The BBC is also a highly influential body; I would be surprised if other European content providers did not display an interest in this. PAL was a joint development between the BBC and its German counterpart; SUSE is German.

This is going to be one to watch.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9021022)

Do we need PAL videocards and monitors to use this codec?

Here's the True Reason. (2, Interesting)

osewa77 (603622) | more than 10 years ago | (#9021049)

What do companies do when they have products which, though not being best of breed, require huge and increasingly unjustifiable Research and Development funds? They go Open Source! (no, I am not naming names... sap db netscape interbase ...
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