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Avid DNxHR and DNxHD—Get beauty without the bandwidth

For Editors

As the demand for visually stunning, higher quality content continues to surge, today's film, television, and broadcast professionals are being challenged with managing and editing much larger files, thanks to the rising popularity of 4K media. But these files also ruthlessly bog down workflows and monopolize storage space due to their sheer size.

When HD first began its ascent as a media standard a few years ago, Avid created the Avid DNxHD codec, enabling media professionals to work with mastering-quality HD media at significantly reduced file sizes. Now we're doing the same for high-res with our new Avid DNxHR codec. Here's how DNxHR and DNxHD can help you take command of your high-res and HD workflows.

Avid DNxHR—Accelerate high-res workflows

Get even greater beauty without the bandwidth. With DNxHR, you can work with a greater range of resolutions than ever to fit the task at hand—from lightweight yet beautifully detailed proxies, to mastering-quality HD or 4K. Plus, DNxHR is completely backwards compatible with DNxHD, as it’s built on the same extensible, standards-based media codec, plus you can mix both types of media on the same timeline. If you’re working in an HD-capable facility, DNxHR—part of the full Avid Resolution Independence workflow—will help bridge the gap between your current infrastructure and working with high-res media.

  • Scale high-res media to the ideal format to fit your workflow, with full Avid Resolution Independence:
    • Choose a lightweight proxy for remote collaboration and bandwidth/storage-constrained workflows
    • Choose mastering-quality HD to edit HD projects, with beautiful imagery that's a fraction of the size of the camera originals
    • Choose mastering-quality 4K to edit high-res projects, with gorgeous imagery that's a fraction of the size of the camera originals
  • Experience highly responsive, real-time multistream performance
  • Work faster and more efficiently with high-res material
  • Get minimal degradation over multiple generations
  • Greatly reduce high-res media storage requirements
  • Enable real-time high-res sharing and collaboration—even when working remotely
  • Integrate your high-res, HD, and SD workflows, as DNxHR is backwards-compatible with DNxHD
  • Ingest, manage, edit, and deliver high-res content using your current systems and infrastructure

  • Supports Media Composer | Software, with support for more products and solutions across the Avid MediaCentral Platform coming soon
  • Get super scalability that fits a variety of workflows and addresses challenges:
    • DNxHR 444—4:4:4 color space; super gorgeous imagery, ideal for high-quality color correction and finishing
    • DNxHR HQX—High quality extended; beautiful imagery for color correction and mastering
    • DNxHR HQ—High quality; offers a great balance of beauty at a smaller bandwidth for editorial
    • DNxHR SQ—Standard quality; ideal for editorial
    • DNxHR LB—Low bandwidth; ideal for remote workflows and saving storage; LB 1/4 resolution and LB 1/16 resolution also available for the most bandwidth/space-constrained workflows

Avid DNxHD—Accelerate HD workflows

Avid DNxHD is a revolutionary HD codec technology engineered to create mastering-quality HD media at dramatically reduced file sizes, shattering the barriers to real-time HD productivity, whether using local storage or in real-time collaborative workflows.

Native HD camera compression formats are efficient, but simply aren’t engineered to maintain quality during complex post production effects processing. Uncompressed HD delivers superior image quality, but data rates and file sizes can stop a workflow dead in its tracks. Avid DNxHD delivers both efficiency and quality without compromises.

“ Avid DNxHD allows you to do things you couldn’t otherwise afford to do.”
- Joe Beirne, Executive Vice President of Technology, PostWorks

  • Work with optimal mastering picture quality
  • Get minimal degradation over multiple generations
  • Reduce your media storage requirements
  • Enable real-time HD media sharing and collaboration—even when working remotely
  • Experience improved multi-stream performance
  • Enjoy full-frame raster sampling and real-time HD multi-camera performance

Avid DNxHD features

Efficiency

Avid DNxHD is a revolutionary mastering-quality HD codec engineered for multi-generation compositing, with reduced storage and bandwidth requirements. For example, Avid DNxHD 145 8-bit media delivers HD quality while requiring approximately 20% less storage capacity than 8-bit uncompressed standard definition media.

The reduced bandwidth of Avid DNxHD encoding enables single editing systems to work in HD with a simple 4- or 8-way drive stripe set or even a single drive.

Avid DNxHD encoding enables the first truly collaborative real-time HD environment with systems.

 

Choice

To maximize efficiency, pick the Avid DNxHD bit depths and data rates that most closely match those of the source media. You have a choice of 8- or 10-bit sampling, as well as three user-selectable bit rates.

For larger projects that are even more sensitive to storage consumption, Avid DNxHD 36 is designed for progressive formats, providing full-raster HD offline pictures.

Quality

The Avid DNxHD codec is specifically designed for nonlinear editing and multi-generation compositing, including collaborative post-production and broadcast news environments, and has the ability to maintain image quality more effectively than other HD codecs. The chart below compares Avid DNxHD-encoded media to other popular HD formats:

Format
Avid DNxHD 145
DVCPro HD
HDCAM
Avid DNxHD 220
HDCAM SR
Bit Depth
8 -bit
8-bit
8-bit
8-bit and 10-bit
10-bit
Sampling
4:2:2
4:2:2
3:1:1
4:2:2
4:2:2 or 4:4:4
Bandwidth
145 Mb/sec
100Mb/sec
135 Mb/sec
220 Mb/sec
440 Mb/sec

Most popular compressed HD formats do not natively support the full HD raster. Most employ raster downsampling to reduce bandwidth. But downsampling can make HD images look softer, reduces the high-frequency detail in the image, and generate unwanted artifacts over multiple generations of post-production processing. Avid DNxHD encoding maintains the full raster of the active video, sampling every available pixel within the image. The table below shows the reduction in image size that is a characteristic of raster downsampling used in other HD compression schemes:

Format
Bit Depth
Resolution / Frame Rate
Y
Chroma
Using DNxHD Restored Y*
     
From
To
From
To
From
To
HDCAM
8
1080i/60
1920
1440
960
480
1440
1920
HDCAM
8
1080p/ 23.976
1920
1440
960
480
1440
1920
HDCAM
8
1080p/24
1920
1440
960
480
1440
1920
HDCAM
8
1080p/25
1920
1440
960
480
1440
1920
DVCPRO HD
8
1080i/ 59.94
1920
1280
960
640
1280
1920
DVCPRO HD
8
1080i/ 50
1920
1440
960
720
1440
1920
DVCPRO HD
8
720p/59.94
1280
960
640
480
960
1920
DVCPRO HD
8
720p/ 23.976
1280
960
640
480
960
1920

*C values are also restored

You can choose to encode 10-bit Avid DNxHD media to maintain pristine image quality over multiple generations of post-production processing. The increased bit depth provides the additional dynamic range necessary for precise color correction and contrast adjustments without clipping.

Real-time performance

Avid DNxHD encoding offers mastering-quality HD media at dramatically reduced file sizes, shattering the barriers to real-time HD productivity, whether using standalone local storage or in real-time collaborative HD workflows. In fact, the efficiency of Avid DNxHD encoding makes it possible to work with mastering-quality HD media on laptop systems.

Avid DNxHD encoding supports Avid's Emmy® award-winning Multicamera functionality with up to three real-time streams of Avid DNxHD 145.

Engineered for open data interchange

The source code for the Avid DNxHD codec is licensable free of charge, available to anyone who wants to compile it on any platform. Now media professionals and developers can be confident that media files will always be accessible—with or without Avid equipment. If you're a developer or product manufacturer who is interested in working with Avid to implement Avid DNxHD encoding into products, please complete Avid DNxHD codec form for more information.

Avid has also created a QuickTime HD codec that can be downloaded free of charge, for Mac OS X and Windows. With this codec, DNxHD media can be used seamlessly in QuickTime compliant applications such as Adobe After Effects or Apple Final Cut Pro.  The Avid DNxHD codec enables additional flexibility on systems without having to have Media Composer installed to fit any type of workflow needed.

Furthermore, Avid is using the MXF standard to wrap its media, including DNxHD, ensuring that media can be more easily exchanged with any other MXF-compliant system.

Engineered for the future

Avid DNxHD encoding is a scalable, enabling us to add different formats, resolutions, and data rates easily, as required by the marketplace. As demand moves to higher and lower bit rates, we will create an Avid DNxHD resolution to meet those needs.

For Developers

DNxHR and DNxHD for Developers

Avid DNxHD is one of the most widely recognized and adopted codecs in the media and entertainment industry and is supported by a variety of companies across a vast spectrum of products, including digital cameras, transcoders, archive middleware, and more (see our Avid DNxHD licensees). And with our new Avid DNxHR codec, which accelerates high-res workflows, we expect to see the same rapid adoption as the demand for 4K continues to surge.

Join us and get on the platform

If you’re inspired by our Avid Everywhere vision and are looking to get your products and solutions on the Avid MediaCentral Platform, used with Media Composer and other systems, and into the hands of creative media professionals worldwide, join us and become an Avid DNxHR and/or DNxHD licensee.

If you’re a product manufacturer who’s interested in working with us to integrate DNxHR and/or DNxHD encoding into your products, contact partnerprograms@avid.com for licensing info. We look forward to collaborating with you.

And if you’re looking to access and explore the DNxHR and DNxHD codecs for non-commercial development and extend their capabilities for personal use, we’ve made the source code available to download free of charge. To request access, please fill out and submit this form.