FAQ

General questions

What is xvc?

The xvc codec is a next generation block-based video coding format built using world-class compression technologies.

In which scenarios can I use xvc?

xvc is a modern codec with a strong focus on low bitrate streaming applications, for example Over-The-Top (OTT) Video-on-Demand (VoD) applications. The receiver that runs the xvc decoder software can be anything from a smartphone or a tablet, to a PC or smart TV.

In which scenarios should I not use xvc?

The xvc codec is designed with connectivity and flexibility at its base. It is not well suited for long-term archiving or static storage on physical media, such as optical disks.

How does it compare to other codecs?

The xvc codec provides higher compression efficiency than all other available video codecs. The performance page shows examples of bitrate savings for xvc compared to AV1, HEVC (both HM and x265), and VP9.

What are the key benefits of using xvc?

When using the xvc codec, a streaming service provider can compress its assets to less than half of the bit-rate used by existing H.264 solutions. This allows providers to save on CDN costs by sending less data to consumers without affecting the video quality. For use-cases with very constrained bandwidth, such as 3G networks, xvc enables a significantly improved viewer experience due to improved utilization of the available bandwidth. The online demo at the Divideon webpage demonstrates this quality improvement.

What is the patent situation?

By signing the xvc License Agreement (found here) you receive all required patent rights to use the technology as well as indemnification from patent trolls on the usage of xvc. In this way Divideon offers a one-stop shop license that covers all usage of the codec without having to seek licenses from various patent pools.

Can I evaluate the codec for free?

Yes, the xvc License Agreement allows free usage for non-commercial purposes including research and internal evaluation without having to send a signed copy of the xvc License Agreement to Divideon. See the license page for more information.

What platforms are supported?

The xvc codec library is a platform neutral software and has been verified to run on most major software platforms including Windows, Linux, Android and iOS.

Do you have hardware support?

The xvc codec is a software focused video codec that does not require any specific hardware for encoding or decoding. The xvc decoder utilizes low level processor SIMD extensions to achieve improved performance and reduced power consumption.

What is the impact on battery life?

We have performed experiments with xvc software decoding on mobile devices, see performance page for more information.

Is there any support for DRM and content protection?

Yes, xvc can be used in combination with common schemes for content encryption and forensic watermarking.

Who is behind the xvc codec?

The xvc codec is developed and maintained by Divideon. More information can be found at divideon.com.

Do you have a specification text for the xvc codec?

The xvc codec is defined by the reference software as described here. There is no specification text available for xvc, and xvc is not (yet) standardized by any Standards Developing Organization.

Licensing questions

What are the benefits of the xvc licensing agreement?

The xvc license agreement offers the following benefits:

  • Right to use and distribute the xvc codec in source and binary form.

  • Right to use patents owned by Divideon.

  • Right to use patents licensed from third-party through Divideon’s patent licensing program.

  • Indemnification protection from patent trolls on the usage of xvc technology.

How much does xvc cost?

The xvc licensing terms and fees are available here.

What is included in the xvc license?

Divideon offers a one-stop shop licence that covers the rights to use and modify the xvc software as well as all required patent rights for producing (encoding), transmitting and decoding xvc bitstreams.

Do I have to pay other patent owning entities for using xvc?

No, Divideon offers a one-stop shop licence covering all costs and royalties required to use the codec. However, the xvc License Agreement does not prohibit the existence of external, alternative, or complementary agreements for specific patents, such as cross-licensing agreements.

I have a patent covering the xvc technology what should I do?

Great, Divideon wants to compensate research and technology companies for their hard work in developing video compression technology. By submitting which of their patents maps to technology used by the xvc codec, the patent owner is granted a share of the codec licensing revenue. See the patents page for more information.

How do I remove my patented technology from xvc?

If you have identified that the xvc reference software includes your patented technology, you are entitled to get your share of the xvc licensing revenue. But if you do not want to your patent to be used by xvc you can instead request for it to be removed. In that case, simply submit which patent you own and want to have removed from xvc and it will be removed from the xvc codec within 60 days. Please visit the patents page for more information.

How does the xvc license relate to the HEVC patent pools?

Although the xvc codec has several technologies in common with HEVC, there is no level of compatibility between xvc and HEVC. Users that only use xvc do not need to acquire licenses from the HEVC patent pools.

Developer questions

Where can I find the source code?

The xvc source code is publicly available on github.com/divideon/xvc

What are the platform requirements?

The xvc reference software is developed using C++11 for ensuring support on all major platforms.

How to do I build xvc?

The software is built using CMake. See the README text file in the source code repository for instructions.

Is there an xvc API?

Yes, the xvc encoder and decoder libraries have public C language interfaces defined in the two header files; xvcenc.h for the encoder api and xvcdec.h for the decoder api. The interfaces are the preferred way to integrate the codec with third-party software. See the software page for more information.

How do I integrate the codec into my encoder or playback software?

Writing an integration towards the codec typically involves writing a platform specific codec module using the included C language API. Divideon has developed several proof of concept integrations for xvc playback using ExoPlayer, VLC and ffmpeg. Feel free to contact support@xvc.io if you have any questions or need help integrating with your platforms.

How can I contribute to the codec?

Any ideas for improving the xvc codec or reference software are welcome from both personal contributors and companies. Please visit the developers page for more information on how to become an xvc contributor.