DNxHD is a video codec intended to be usable as both an intermediateformat suitable for use while editing and as a presentation format. DNxHDoffers a choice of three user-selectable bit rates: 220 Mbit/s with a bitdepth of 10 or 8 bits, and 145 or 36 Mbit/s with abit depthof 8 bits.DNxHD data is typically stored in anMXFcontainer, although it can alsobe stored in aQuicktimecontainer.On February 13, 2008 Avid reported that DNxHD was approved ascompliant with the SMPTE VC3 standard.DNxHD is intended to be an open standard, but as of March 2008, hasremained effectively a proprietary Avid format. The source code for theAvid DNxHD codec is freely available from Avid for internal evaluation andreview, although commercial use requires Avid licensing approval. It hasbeen commercially licensed to a number of companies including Ikegami,FilmLight,Harris Corporation, JVC, Seachange andEVS BroadcastEquipment.
DNxHD was first supported inAvid DS Nitris(Sept 2004), thenAvid MediaComposer Adrenalinewith the DNxcel option (Dec 2004) and finally byAvid Symphony Nitris(Dec 2005).Xpress Prois limited to using DNxHD 8-bit compression, which is either imported from file or captured using aMedia Composer with Adrenaline hardware. Media Composer 2.5 alsoallows editing of fully uncompressed HD material that was either importedor captured on a Symphony Nitris or DS Nitris system. Ikegami'sEditcamcamera system is unique in its support for DNxHD, and records directly toDNxHD encoded video. Such material is immediately accessible by editingplatforms that directly support the DNxHD codec.A standalone Quicktime codec for bothWindows XPandMac OS Xisavailable to create and play Quicktime files containing DNxHD material.Since September 2007 theopen sourceFFmpegproject is providing 8-bit(but not 10-bit) VC-3/DNxHD encoding and decoding features thanks toBBC Research who sponsored the project and Baptiste Coudurier whoimplemented it. It is included in stable version 0.5 of FFmpeg, released onMarch 10, 2009.