SMPTE VC-6 Video Production Codec Standard Published

SMPTE VC-6 (ST-2117) is the new mezzanine codec to optimize a wide variety of production workflows. The technology is based on V-Nova technology.

According to V-Nova, VC-6 provides vital advantages over technologies like Apple ProRes and DNxHD including multi-resolution and region-of-interest decoding.

“Published as SMPTE ST-2117, VC-6 is the first video codec to leverage AI as part of its innovative approach to compression, which is not based on transforms such as DCT or wavelet,” said Guido Meardi, CEO and co-founder of V-Nova. “VC-6 employs a hierarchical series of S-Trees and achieves its compression by reusing the same structures at different resolutions – a capability that makes the codec extremely fast when implemented in software.”

The AI-powered hierarchical approach means that full-resolution full-quality proxies are intrinsically available as part of the format as is region of interest decoding. This reduces the demands placed upon data transfer and decode processing, while VC-6’s compatibility with all major industry container formats like MXF and QuickTime means it can be seamlessly incorporated into any workflow.

The codec is suited to 4K and 8K production. VC-6 allows the user to capture in 8K from RAW and never have to cross-convert to other resolutions. Instead, VC-6 can provide proxies automatically and enable editing at multiple resolutions all from a single file.

Initial use cases for the technology show dramatic reductions in 8K processing by requiring a mere 12.5% of the full resolution to be demosaiced, up to 60% reduction of disc access for 4K files, and 2-4x faster decoding than existing ProRes-based solutions.

Added Meardi, “With 4K and 8K production becoming the norm, the demand for intelligent and scalable video compression technology has never been more acute. Standardization by SMPTE confirms that VC-6 is the most innovative solution to these new production challenges. We look forward to introducing the capabilities of VC-6 to this important market.”

VC-6 is already shipping as part of V-Nova’s P.Link for contribution and remote production application, whilst the company is currently working on a multi-platform SDK and cloud service deployment of VC-6 expected to be made available via an Early Access Program later this year.

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