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SMPTE publishes V-Nova’s VC-6 video production codec as new standard

The codec leverages AI to offer contribution, production and workflow solutions for 4K and 8K.

SMPTE has published V-Nova’s VC-6 video codec as the SMPTE ST-2117 standard.

Ratification of VC-6 as a SMPTE standard came after a comprehensive peer review. VC-6 leverages artificial intelligence as part of how the video codec approaches compression. It does not rely on transforms, such as DCT or wavelet, said V-Nova.

The codec leverages a hierarchical series of Self-Organising Trees (S-Trees) and compresses video by reusing the same structures at different resolutions, which make VC-6 encoding fast when implemented in software.

The AI-powered hierarchical approach means full-resolution, full-quality proxies are intrinsically available, as is region-of-interest decoding. According to V-Nova, this reduces the demands placed upon data transfer and decode processing.

VC-6 is compatible with all major industry container formats, such as MXF and QuickTime.

The codec offers benefits in 4K and 8K production workflows. V-Nova added that VC-6 makes it possible to capture 8K RAW and never have to cross convert to other resolutions because the codec can automatically provide proxies and enable editing at multiple resolutions from a single file.

Initial uses show reductions in 8K processing by requiring just 12.5 per cent of the full resolution to be de-mosaiced, up to 60 per cent reduction of disc access for 4K files and 2x to 4x faster decoding than ProRes-based solutions.

VC-6 is available as part of V-Nova’s P.Link for contribution and remote production. The company is working on a multiplatform software development kit (SDK) and Cloud service deployment.