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BitJazz Releases SheerVideo Pro Codec

Non-destructive codec offers 110 MB per second compression speeds By Dave Nagel
BitJazz has launched the final release version of SheerVideo Pro, a new video codec designed for professional film and video production and archival work. According to the company, SheerVideo is a non-destructive codec that offers faster and more efficient encoding than other QuickTime formats. It's available now for Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X.

SheerVideo is a set of QuickTime codec for use with professional video applications, including Apple Final Cut Pro, Adobe After Effects, Pinnacle Commotion and others. BitJazz says that SheerVideo is "designed to replace uncompressed studio-quality RGB[A] and Y'CbCr[A] formats, ... [and] simultaneously doubles both the speed and the capacity of storage and transmission devices while encoding and decoding on the fly with perfect fidelity." The company says that on a single 1 GHz G4 processor, SheerVideo can compress at 110 MB per second in RAM and can encode and decode standard-definition footage in real time, while 30 FPS high-definition footage (1,920 x 1,080) can be streamed over a single FireWire 800 connection. Compression averages 2.43 for 4:2:2 and 2.84 for 4:4:4 for native video (Y'CbCr[A]) footage and 2.20 for digitized RGBA footage. It currently supports 8-bit SD and HD, with 10- and 16-bit support "on the way."

SheerVideo is available now for Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X with multiprocessor support and AltiVec optimization. A Windows version will be available as an AVI codec later this year. SheerVideo Pro runs $149 for a single license or $99 per license in volume. For more information, visit

Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Mac OS, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at

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