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BitJazz Newsletter
November 2004


SheerVideo v2.0 is out at last, and I'd like to quickly tell you about some of the exciting new features we've added to the product since our last news bulletin came out at version 1.2, including:

You can download the latest version, v2.0.1, from


and use it for free for 20 days even if the 20 days for the first version have already elapsed.

For those of you who did not receive our beta news briefs for the 30 beta updates since the last official newsletter, I apologize for our long silence.

free upgrade

Beginning next week, all registered users of SheerVideo Pro v1 will receive a free upgrade to v2. To receive your new key(s), please email your old key(s) with your current contact information to


In the meantime, you can use the new version without a key for up to 20 days.

10-bit channels

SheerVideo now includes three 10-bit high-precision codecs, one corresponding to each 8-bit standard-precision codec, and the 10-bit codecs have all been integrated into the generic Sheer codec. Thus there are now a total of 7 Sheer codecs:

  • Sheer
  • Sheer RGB[A]8b
  • Sheer RGB[A]8b
  • Sheer Y'CbCr[A] 8bv 4:4:4:[4]
  • Sheer Y'CbCr[A] 10bv 4:4:4:[4]
  • Sheer Y'CbCr[A] 8bv 4:2:2:[4]
  • Sheer Y'CbCr[A] 10bv 4:2:2:[4]

In developing the 10-bit codecs, we opted for making them just as fast as the 8-bit codecs, at the cost of a slight reduction in compression power.

5-bit-channel RGB display in Sheer RGB[A] codecs

Both the Sheer RGB[A] 8b and Sheer RGB[A] 10b codecs can now display to low-precision 16-bit pixels with 5-bit channels ("Thousands of Colors"). This feature permits faster playback in cases where the display is the speed bottleneck, and permits higher-resolution display in cases where there is insufficient display memory for standard-precision ("Millions of Colors") high-resolution display.

alpha channel in every codec

Every Sheer codec now supports an optional alpha channel, even though QuickTime does not yet define any pixel formats with an alpha channel for either 10-bit channels or 4:2:2 chroma subsampling. This means that you can now use any Sheer codec for compositing.

universal pixel-format interconversion

Ordinarily, SheerVideo automatically chooses the codec appropriate to the input pixel format, for optimal rapidity, convenience, and fidelity. But for those occasions when material needs to be converted to a different format - whether for input, output, or transport to different applications or devices - every Sheer codec can now input and output images in any standard-precision or high-precision pixel format, so that the user can always decide which specific Sheer codec to use.

Synchromy nondestructive color-space conversion

All color-space conversion between RGB[A] and Y'CbCr[A] is performed by BitJazz's new Synchromy technology, the most accurate color converter in the world. In particular, whereas all other color converters are inherently destructive due to rounding errors, Synchromy converts with absolutely no information loss between the original and final images in all workflows where the editing color space has sufficient precision. In these workflows, all untouched pixels are visually and mathematically identical to the originals, and the rest are interpolated as accurately as theoretically possible. Even for color conversion in a traditional all-8-bit or all-10-bit workflow, Synchromy reduces the image degradation because of its maximum accuracy. Detailed information can be found on the page


hyperthreading fix

SheerVideo for PC+Windows now works under hyperthreading. The QuickTime bug still hasn't been fixed, but Mike Coleman of Five Bats Research kindly told us of a workaround which we have successfully tested.

feedback, please!

If you have any experiences or insights regarding SheerVideo that you'd like to share with the user community, such as application notes or testimonials for this newsletter and other educational and promotional materials, please drop us a note. We'll try to make it worth your while.


I hope you have found this update useful. This bulletin is also available in German, French, and Spanish.

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues!


Andreas Wittenstein
President, BitJazz Inc.

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