In any modern media production environment, you will almost certainly come across many different types of video formats. How these formats differ from one another is often based on the way the video signal is compressed in order to make it play back smoothly on a computer or other device. A codec is the key to deciphering each video format in order to achieve this.
Most codecs and their proprietary derivatives are created with only acquisition and delivery in mind, and achieve their efficiency by removing quite large chunks of temporal and color information. Also, for the most part, they are designed to run on a dedicated chip, not a computer, which means that they often take considerably more power to compress, than to decompress, making editing these codecs a heavy load for most computers.
This is why intermediate codecs exist—as a compromise between uncompressed (high data-rate) video and long-GOP acquisition and streaming codecs (low data-rate, high compression). Specifically designed for editing and post-production, an intermediate codec:
- Can withstand re-encoding without significant quality loss
- Is built for high speed and low-CPU usage
- Allows accurate inter-frame cuts (not grouped around keyframes)
- Has well-defined chroma characteristics
Grass Valley HQX is an intermediate codec that has been designed to fulfill all of the above criteria and more. It is available for both Windows and Macintosh platforms, handles many different video resolutions up to and including 8K (DCI), incorporates an alpha channel for graphics handling, and is available in 8-bit and 10-bit versions.
Grass Valley HQX is a key component to resolving the many workflow and production issues faced today by content creators the world over.