Official MPEG2 format identifier 'drac' is registered!

July 8th, 2008

We received confirmation today that the format identifier for encapsulating Dirac video within MPEG2 transport streams has been registered with the SMPTE.

See for the official registration.

Schroedinger 1.0.5 released

July 3rd, 2008

New Schroedinger release 1.0.5 is out.

The new release brings:
-Improved compilation on win32 and OSX platforms
-Support for native win32 thread model
-Improvements to the gstreamer elements

Also note that liboil-0.3.15 is also released, most notably with build fixes for win32 and OSX.

Dirac and NHK

July 1st, 2008

This May, I found myself, along with David Flynn, John Zubryckzi and Andy Bower, standing in front of a group of Japanese students in the lobby of Japanese broadcaster NHK's research labs, talking about Dirac.

We were part of the first ever BBC exhibit in NHK's Open House, a week-long showcase where their research labs present their work to the public and industry. We were showing some of the results we had gained in applying Dirac to NHK's Super Hi-Vision format. This is a project to create a next-generation television standard way beyond HDTV. SHV picture are HUGE – a staggering 8000 by 4000 pixels (although there is a cut-down version of “only” 4000 by 2000 pixels) at 60 frames per second. The main target application for SHV is giant screen displays for sports arenas, but NHK are also looking to broadcast to the home for a truly immersive experience for those who have a free wall. There's only one problem: how to move these enormous pictures around. This is where Dirac comes in.

So the BBC has been experimenting with adapting Dirac to code SHV. In our first experiments, we managed to get excellent picture quality at 128Mb/s, which sounds huge but is equivalent to just 4Mb/s for HDTV. Our target is to get the bit rate down to less than 90 Mb/s. Then it will fit in a single satellite transponder. So far we have managed to get great results with plain vanilla Dirac, but in the future we'll see whether we need to have extensions added to the spec.

Schrodinger 1.0.3 released

April 22nd, 2008

We have released 1.0.3 of Schrodinger!
Quality and speed of the encoder have been significantly improved from
previous releases. Encoding should be about 3x as fast (No, really.)

And there are several potential crasher bugs that were fixed in both the
encoder and decoder.

Schrodinger in Google Summer of Code

March 25th, 2008

Schrodinger is part of this years Google Summer of Code. You find some of our ideas for what kind of projects you could do for Schrodinger
in our Ideas wiki. Interested students should follow the guidelines from Google for applying.
Be sure to choose Schrodinger Dirac as your mentoring organization.

Schrödinger-1.0.1 Released

March 14th, 2008

New Schrödinger release 1.0.1 out.

This is almost entirely a bugfixing release.

Also note that liboil-0.3.14 is out. It too is a bugfixing release,
but is not required to build schroedinger-1.0.1.


– Add API reference documentation for SchroDecoder.
– Restructure API reference documentation, although coverage is very
– Default GOP structure now uses 3 reference frames. This gives a
very slight improvement in quality.
– Fix encode/decode mismatch for low-delay syntax.
– Fix brokenness in CBR intra-only encoding
– Additional testing and code cleanups
– Eliminate artificial width limitation in encoder and decoder.
– Fix encoding/decoding of video offset and excursion.
– Fix granulepos calculation in GStreamer encoder element
– Set DELTA_UNIT correctly in GStreamer encoder element
– Update code path used when pthread is disabled.

Nothing to see here

January 12th, 2008

No really, nothing to see.