Thursday, July 12, 2001
Happy Machines ships 3ivx Delta 3.5
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Happy Machines announced today the release of
their highly efficient MPEG-4 video codec, 3ivx Delta 3.5.
3ivx Delta 3.5 brings several breakthroughs:
"The new 3ivx Delta 3.5 codec gives customers better low-bandwidth
video quality than 3ivx Delta 3 due to core algorithm improvements,
the new Data Rate Tracking (DRT) engine and an optimized Artifact
Reduction Mode (AR). 3ivx Delta 3.5 delivers 5 to 10 times the
compression speed of 3ivx Delta 3, and has excellent frame to frame
latency. Yes, Stuart Espey, our CTO, and his development teams have
done some extraordinary work." said Jan Devos, President of Happy
Machines, "We continue to offer Test editions for free, and to offer
Personal codecs for only 10US$ because we believe people appreciate
good work and they are prepared to pay a fair price in appreciation
for all the possibilities they find in 3ivx."
The multi-platform approach taken by 3ivx interests both users and
industry because it saves time and money. 3ivx Delta 3.5 is available
for QuickTime users on Mac OS X, Mac OS 9 or Windows operating
systems. There are also free test versions available for Windows
Media Player (Decoder Only), Solaris, Linux (x86 & PPC), Amiga
(WarpUP and PowerUP) and BeOS (x86 and PPC).
The 3ivx Delta video codec is, unlike most competitors, based on the
MPEG-4v3 Video Specification. The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG)
defines ISO standardized video compression specifications for the
coding of audio-visual information (eg. movies, video clips and music
videos) in a digital environment. Happy Machines is a member of MPEG,
and strives to be the first in the industry to strengthen these
standards, and the delivery of products that support them.
Stuart Espey, CTO, explains:
"3ivx Delta 3.5 is a really nice codec, with it you can use one video
codec to compress video in bitrates as low as 32kbps and up to about
4mbps. That covers everything from streaming video to modems and
broadcast quality video archives."
"What's even more impressive is we managed to achieve some major
performance breakthroughs on the encode side, bringing up encoding
performance by a factor of 5 to 10 over Delta 3, while actually
preserving more detail and generating higher quality output! Now with
Delta 3.5 you can live stream near dvd quality video to broadband
"Delta 3.5 is also fully forwards and backwards compatible with Delta
3, so you can watch D3.5 encoded movies with D3 and a D3 movie with
D3.5. We're also doing some terrific work with the Linux community,
we're currently sponsoring the OpenQT project to provide a reliable
modular system for reading and generating QuickTime format content on
Linux, and we're helping with the GStreamer project, which is a
really great media architecture for linux and unix systems.
"3ivx is available for the Windows family of operating systems, and
works well, but its been hard to make use of it in the past, so we
have been working on a few solutions, our first one, a 3ivx plugin
for FlaskMPEG is coming along well, and should be available soon."
At 32kbps (or 4KB/s), 90 minutes of video would use just 20MB and can
be streamed over 56K modems. Using just 1mbps the same 90 mins can be
easily stored on a single CD-ROM at near DVD quality, and 2hrs could
be stored with only slight image degradation. With an encoder which
is 5-10 times faster a commodity PC could encode 320x240 TV quality
video in real-time, a faster machine would be able to encode larger
frame sizes in the same time.
The Personal Edition has the compression controls for Data Rate
Tracking (DRT) and Advanced Artifact Reduction mode (AR). This allows
users to attain the quality they want in a bitrate they specify, with
a minimum of fuss and experimentation. The Plus Edition includes all the Personal Edition's features and support for Optimal Compression (for both better block compression and near perfect key-frame placement) and Data Rate Sensitivity.
Data Rate Tracking combined with Data Rate Sensitivity gives a
professional the fine control over the generated video-stream
required when targeting video for low bandwidth or constrained
bandwidth environments, such as the internet, or when trying to find
the optimal compression settings for varying material, from
interviews to sports coverage.
3ivx Delta 3.5 Plus Edition can be used to squeeze normal video
footage down to 4KB/s while still having an acceptable picture
The free 3ivx Delta 3.5 Test Edition is available at
. 3ivx Delta 3.5 Personal & Plus Editions (Macintosh and Windows versions) are available now and can be purchased via the Web at . Customers can also find a list of local 3ivx resellers on the web site.
Pricing is set at $10 for the Personal Edition and $400 for the Plus
Edition (commercial use). Current 3ivx Delta 3 Personal & Plus users
have already received an upgrade for FREE.