With four internal Codec settings to choose from, AViary devices support playback of 4K and beyond with full flexibility in compression quality. The FlexRes Performance Codec offers unmatched playback performance while FlexRes Quality allows the user to tailor colour space and quality to suit the specific requirements. For the most visually demanding applications there is FlexRes Lossless. Transcode into any of these codecs is handled by the AViary Video Tools software, and can use many popular source files such ProRes, H.264, Animation Codec and Image sequences.
FlexRes Quality was designed in-house by Green Hippo to provide the greater-then-HD support that MPEG-2 lacks, whilst also supporting alpha transparency and deeper colour spaces. FlexRes Quality allows the user to choose the encoding quality and colour sub-sampling. Setting the quality to 10 provides visually lossless encoding while quality 7 is similar to that of MPEG-2 in quality. Colour reproduction is also controllable, with 4:2:0, 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 modes available. FlexRes Quality supports any resolution or aspect ratio, provided it is an even number of pixels. Media playback at high speeds, during speed changes and backwards is also well supported by FlexRes Quality.
The load that FlexRes Quality places on a system is difficult to quantify as it depends on the chosen combination of quality, colour-space, resolution and the need for alpha channel. If higher quality and colour settings are used, FlexRes Quality will place significant playback load on the AViary system. FlexRes Quality is ideally suited for playing low numbers of very high quality clips, or supporting resolutions that will not work with the other FlexRes codecs.
Using hardware acceleration, FlexRes Performance has a low CPU overhead, enabling high resolution media at 4K resolution and far beyond even on even the smaller AViary systems. FlexRes Performance has several options to choose better quality or alpha channel support, if required. FlexRes Performance has the least system load of the FlexRes codecs, and supports any resolution of content as long as the size (height and width) is divisible by four. FlexRes Performance offers good visual quality with some visible encoding artefacts; the encoding quality can also be made better by selecting “improved quality” to use additional colour information. Enabling alpha support or improved quality makes FlexRes Performance slightly heavier in playback, though still less than a comparable clip in FlexRes Quality.
As the name implies, FlexRes Lossless provides lossless reproduction of the source video while supporting alpha transparency as well as any pixel sized media. This makes it an ideal choice where the playback of a single very high quality clip is critical. FlexRes Lossless is however extremely heavy to playback; using large amounts of disk space. FlexRes Lossless has been introduced in Beta format with current AViary systems.
The tried and true format of older Green Hippo products, MPEG-2 offers legacy support for media encoded for previous projects on other products. MPEG-2 continues to provide relatively low load playback while not supporting alpha transparency or resolutions greater than 1920 x 1152. MPEG-2 provides very good standard playback, but should not be used to play backwards or at high speed. The quality of MPEG-2 is generally good; however it can create noticeable artefacts especially in slow moving colour gradients. MPEG-2 is best used to playback legacy media libraries and where clips are smaller than HD without an alpha channel.