Help evaluate/understand Avid DNxHD codec situation
Open, LowPublic


email from Avid:

Hello Sebastian,

We’re happy to hear that your codec of choice is Avid DNxHD. We would like to license you for the Avid DNxHD codec, however the use case you propose is not typical. Avid DNxHD is intended for commercial use. How would you record the royalties due if the intended product, AXIOM is open source?

The Avid source code found on our website is for End User use only. This is not intended for commercial use or distribution.


Is an open source codec

A patent license is required for use of VC-3 as it falls under the DNxHD patents. The patent license grants you the right to use and even distribute the technology but, in no way can you reference the technology in the product as Avid, Avid DNxHD, DNX, etc. when it is from an open source. The use of VC-3 falls under the same schedule of royalty reporting under the patent license. In order to market your product as DNxHD from VC-3, Avid would need to test the product and a $10,000 fee for testing would be applied.

-a subset of DNxHD; Does not meet all SMPTE requirements

-Unsupported; as is codec

Avid DNxHD-

Any product that incorporates the Avid supplied DNxHD codec will have the most optimized level of the codec, which is why we urge third-parties to do so. The Avid Unified license grants the right to distribute and refer to the product as Avid DNxHD. There is no testing requirement when using the DNxHD codec. Marketing rights, for use of the DNxHD logo is included.

-Meets SMPTE standards

-Market recognition

-Provided updates and support

Any ffmpeg implementation is considered a subset of Avid DNxHD and would be subject to testing verification in addition to the royalties. The information in the link you provided below is inaccurate and is not affiliated with the blog, or its owner Olivier Amato,


VC-3 (aka Avid DNxHD) is a false claim. As explained earlier, VC-3 is a subset of Avid DNxHD and does not comprise of the full optimized codec, therefore cannot be deemed or suggested otherwise.

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Nik added a subscriber: Nik.EditedNov 9 2014, 8:57 PM

If "The Avid source code found on {Avid} website is for End User use only. This is not intended for commercial use or distribution."
Could a End User embed it by him self, when compiling the firmware from the source code?

As when one compiles a linux distro based on his pc hardware.

edits added a subscriber: edits.Nov 10 2014, 9:49 PM

Avid was very slow in implementing its 4k version of DNXHD, and whilst ProRes has gained a lot of support it is as proprietory as DNXHD (or Cineform for that matter).

Are you looking into Brendan Boles MOX project ? name

Apologies if this shouldn't be part of this discussion - this is my first contribution here.

@edits, this is exactly the kind of contribution we are after, so no worries :-)

We are in contact with Brendan, we'll see where it leads us. The key in our case is also to find a format that can be implemented for realtime, high frame rate, low power consumption goals (which are generally mutually exclusive :-)

Well, Apple can be a bit of a pain sometimes but they are opening up ProRes more and more so maybe it is an option. A few years back there was no official solution for ProRes writing on Windows and now different applications are getting the go for example.

Like you might have seen on the mailing list, Cineform is now open source.

kouci333 mentioned this in Unknown Object (Maniphest Task).Jun 8 2018, 4:30 AM