Dirac at the IBC

So I am just back from the IBC conference in Amsterdam. Enjoyed it a lot and got to see a lot of interesting new technology. Especially the SuperHighDefinition demonstration was pretty nice, although I think we have to settle with 1080p in the home for the forseeable future.

One interesting thing I noted was that a lot of booths was using the Big Buck Bunny video to demonstrate their technology. The BBC did this at the Dirac booth for instance, but also a lot of other vendors used this clip. Which do not surprise me as apart from Big Buck Bunny being of good quality it is next to impossible to get permission by right holders to get access to any of their source material to create a version of a trailer for instance using a specific encoder or codec. Don’t want to name and shame anyone, but I have for instance tried multiple ties in getting one of the major Hollywood animation houses to let us create a Dirac version of one of their trailers. While I gotten positive feedback from my (technical) contacts for doing this, getting approval from management and marketing has so far eluded us.

But there is some irony in that at a conference where companies in the broadcasting industry show their goods, they end up using something produced by a group of people outside their industry as getting permission to use the content they create themselves is to hard :)  (That said I should point out that the BBC also showed of a clip of their Torchwood sci-fi in Dirac HD, so the BBC did also manage to get permission to use some of their own content.

Another example of how crazy the rights jungle can be was that NuMedia who was demonstrating their DiracPro hardware products at the show even had to just write ‘Dirac was used by BBC to transfer video from Bejing 2008’ in their material, explaining how the BBC had used Dirac for their intermedia data transfer for the Bejing Olympics. Using the word ‘Olympics’ in their material was something they where told was not allowed.

Dirac Big Buck Bunny movie playing in Totem:
Big Buck Bunny Dirac Totem


#1 Giacomo on 09.15.08 at 17:49

Hello. Is the Dirac version of BBB available somewhere? I’d like to try it and compare it with the clips available from the website.

#2 Tristan on 09.15.08 at 18:08

Um… is Big Buck Bunny really 1 hour 33 minutes long when encoded using Dirac? ;-)

Giacomo: I don’t know of a downloadable version of BBB in Dirac, but instructions for doing it yourself (via GStreamer and Schroedinger) can be found on the wiki at http://www.diracvideo.org/wiki

#3 uraeus on 09.15.08 at 19:28

@Giacomo: we are going to put a Dirac version of BBB onto diracvideo.org as soon as the BBC guys are back from IBC

@Tristan: seems to be some seeking bug in the ts demuxer, it will be looked into.

#4 Joseph on 09.15.08 at 19:39

Wish NBC had gone with Dirac for their Olympicks coverage (deliberately misspelled to avoid copyright issues)

#5 Joseph on 09.15.08 at 19:40

Tristan: the dirac encoder is *so* cool that it even performs psychodelicious modeling, enabling it to gain even greater compression than any competing codec, by throwing out the boring parts.

#6 makomk on 09.16.08 at 09:30

The Olympics have always been a rights minefield. Officially, there are all sorts of insane rules about things like who can use the term “Olympics”, going far beyond trademark law. It’s interesting that it was considered safe to refer to it as “Beijing 2008” – companies have got into legal trouble for far vaguer references before.