Canopus Codecs... for free?

malowz wrote on 7/6/2012, 11:18 PM
i noticed that now the newer version of the canopus codecs works without the edius dongle...

on the site they are "available for free download" (separate package), but they do not specify entirely if its is now 100% free... just need to register to download...

now also, they have the HQ and HQX for quicktime...

Grass Valley Codecs Pack for Windows 7 (v6.51)

working fine, advanced the pc date (maybe was trial...), still working

if true, would be amazing, a great quality free intermediate codec (fast than DNxHD), with x64 version, VFW, directshow and quicktime component... can't get better...


ushere wrote on 7/7/2012, 12:12 AM
now this is interesting.....

anyone else actually tried it (them) yet (other than dear old malowz ;-))

was impressed with gv's codec many years ago....
NickHope wrote on 7/7/2012, 12:30 AM
Nice spot malowz.

Unfortunately it's Windows 7 only, and the previous version that supports older operating systems looks like a read-only codec.

It'd be interesting to see if this works well as an intermediate for Handbrake.
Laurence wrote on 7/7/2012, 1:11 AM
Windows 7 here. Looking forward to trying it out with Handbrake.
ushere wrote on 7/7/2012, 1:33 AM
please do report back.

i'm thinking that it might be good for the avchd stuff i get in that needs working on, and perhaps for whatever my new camera (as in other thread) shoots.
malowz wrote on 7/7/2012, 12:10 PM
Time/CPU Test:

Encode Time, 1 min. AVCHD to:
Canopus HQ (setting Q4 S15): 1:15m
Cineform (setting "High"): 1:33m
DNxHD (setting 8bits 145mbps): 3:04m

CPU usage, with preview setting "preview-half":
Canopus HQ : 30% at full framerate
Cineform: 15% at full framerate
DNxHD: 17% at 28-29fps (not realtime)

OBS1: on the timeline, Cineform and Canopus HQ can do "direct stream copy" (a.k.a. "No compressio required") while DNxHD can't, if you need to cut or "re-edit" parts of the video.

OBS2: the videos where compressed with final file size as close to each other as possible. (around 1.1GB, 10% maximum difference)

Image Quality Test (41MB):

Quick comparison, compressing 24mbps AVCHD to each format, and extracting PNG image from each one. Also one image with "substract" mode, and levels applied to enhance difference between original>compressed.

OBS3: the comparison is between codecs in 8bit, while Cineform is 10bits only. this makes somehow "unfair", as cineform would require large file to be compared with others.

this test is the "good quality" settings, lets say. later will compare DNxHD at 10bits vs. Canopus HQX (10bits) vs. Cineform, with higher quality settings.

CPU: Athlon II X4 645 3.1Ghz, 4GB RAM. Vegas D-RAM: 200MB, max threads: 16. GPU: OFF
OGUL wrote on 7/7/2012, 1:50 PM
Hi all,

Those Canopus codecs, shall I be able to use them instead of Main Concept while rendering? If yes how? Is there any place in my computer that I can chose any codecs that I wish?

Thanks in advance.
john_dennis wrote on 7/7/2012, 7:59 PM
"Image Quality Test (41MB):"

I'm interested in the Canopus codec, but what I learned from the image test is that Cineform is a standout. I will admit, on my laptop, I couldn't tell the difference in the pictures. The difference maybe practically meaningless to us humans. That would make free so much better.
wwaag wrote on 7/7/2012, 8:17 PM
For anyone interested, here is a "white paper" from Grass Valley on their HQX codec.
Of interest, is the fact that HQX is 10 bit and it also supports an alpha channel, unlike Cineform and DnxHD--at least, according to their white paper.


AKA the HappyOtter at System 1: Intel i7-8700k with HD 630 graphics plus an Nvidia RTX4070 graphics card. System 2: Intel i7-3770k with HD 4000 graphics plus an AMD RX550 graphics card. System 3: Laptop. Dell Inspiron Plus 16. Intel i7-11800H, Intel Graphics. Current cameras include Panasonic FZ2500, GoPro Hero11 and Hero8 Black plus a myriad of smartPhone, pocket cameras, video cameras and film cameras going back to the original Nikon S.

ushere wrote on 7/7/2012, 8:30 PM
makes for interesting reading.....

so, has anyone tried hqx on the tl?

if so, how does it perform relative to cf and avid codecs in terms of size / playback, etc.,

would do some testing myself but have a project going at present and while 11's behaving itself......
videoITguy wrote on 7/7/2012, 9:37 PM
If anyone is closely reading the HQX - notice - it has been up since 2010..a long time in the development of intermediate codecs tech.
So this could not be new...

The codec release is tied to hardware as it always has been - sample downloads require registration and long-term use requires hardware ownership. I don't see what is new about this.
NickHope wrote on 7/8/2012, 3:35 AM
Version 6.02, released: 2011-02-14, "allows you to view files..."

Version 6.51, released: 2012-06-28, "allows you to import and export video files..."

I can find no trace of a version between these two.

I managed to get the 6.51 download, but I'm already registered and have a licence and dongle for the ancient Procoder 1. Can those of you without a GV product get the download? Can you install and run it? Is it time-limited?

I'm hoping they've done what Avid did with DNxHD and just open it up. I wish Apple would do the same with ProRes.

Edit: They have opened it up, to time with the Edius 6.5 release. See here and here.
diverG wrote on 7/8/2012, 9:38 AM
I've been looking at using the VP12 $$ towards a crossgrade to Edius 6 from VP. Must make my mind up before end of July to qualify for free upgrade to 6.5. Downloaded 6.5 & it is time limited.
Tried a couple of render time checks converting 30 min of HDV (m2t) to Canopus HQ.avi
Sony VP11(64) takes 16min whilst Edius takes 6min40s to do the same job which is pretty good as edius is a 32 bit programme.
Using the same m2t file Edius takes around 6mins to render to an h.264(mp4) file and 8mins to knock a out a BD (mp4) at 25mbps. These renders use the 'intel quick sync' feature and use the onboard graphics. Had fun getting QS to work.
If you can tell me the equivalent VP render profiles I'll run the tests


Sys 1 Gig Z370-HD3, i7 8086K @ 5.0 Ghz 16gb ram, 250gb SSD, 2x2Tb hd,  GTX 4060 8Gb, BMIP4k video out. (PS 750W); Vegas 18 & 19 plus Edius 8WG DVResolve18 Studio. Win 10 Pro (22H2) Bld 19045.2311

Sys 2 Gig Z170-HD3, i7 6700K @ 3.8Ghz 16gb ram, 250gb SSD, 2x2Tb, hdd GTX 1060 6Gb, BMIP4k video out. (PS 650W) Vegas 18 plus Edius 8WG DVResolve18 Studio Win 10 Pro (22H2) Bld 19045.2311

Sys 3 Laptop 'Clevo' i7 6700K @ 3.0ghz, 16gb ram, 250gb SSd + 2Tb hdd,   nvidia 940 M graphics. VP17, Plus Edius 8WG Win 10 Pro (20H2) Resolve18


NickHope wrote on 7/8/2012, 11:28 AM
Not quite sure what you're asking Geoff. Vegas has H.264 profiles, "Sony AVC" being the faster one and MainConcept being the slower one. There are BD profiles in there, so if you want a Vegas vs Edius comparison, just match up the settings.

The topic here is the use of the Canopus codecs within Vegas, as opposed to a comparison between Edius and Vegas.
videoITguy wrote on 7/8/2012, 1:16 PM
To Geoff:
I believe the issue of using Canopus codecs is a vis-a-vis comparison for VegasPro and Edius. The Canopus codecs have always been tied to their hardware, dongle or not - and while they may have opened the codec to being primarily read by other systems - that is just to establish transfer from one system to another. Your data supports this assumption (of mine). They are most efficient at being an intermediate codec and within their hardware.

As I support Cineform - this is an intermediate that can and has worked well in VegasPro in the past - to my thinking it still sounds like the codec of choice - for best purpose in all systems.
Laurence wrote on 7/8/2012, 1:43 PM
I have Cineform as well, but the fact that it doesn't work with Handbrake is a problem.
wwaag wrote on 7/8/2012, 2:51 PM
Grass Valley also has a free AVCHD File Conversion Utility (v4.20) that can be downloaded.

I converted a couple of clips using both the Canopus utility and the Cineform HD Link conversion utiltiy that's part of Neoscene. Both clips were from a Sony CX-160. One was 1080 60i, the other 1080 60p. For Cineform the quality was set to medium while for the Canopus HQX, the quality setting was set to Fine. The resulting file sizes were roughly the same.

However, timeline performance was quite difference. Bear in mind, I have an old system. For the HD 1080 60i project template and the Preview (Half) setting, both the raw AVCHD and Cineform clips previewed at a full 30 fps (just raw clips--no effects, transitions, etc.). The Canopus only previewed at 18 fps. This held for both 60i and 60p clips.

When project settings were changed to 1080 60P, the raw AVCHD previewed at roughly 40 fps for both the 60i and 60p clips while the Cineform clips previewed at roughly 55 fps. However, the Canopus remained at 18 fps.

Clearly, the Cineform clips had much better timeline performance--at least for my tired old system.

One other thing. Using the Canopus file conversion utility, there was a definite color shift from Studio RGB to Computer RGB as evidenced by the shifts in the histograms. The Cineform clips, however, were virtually identical to the raw AVCHD clips. Thus no re-conversion in Vegas is required.


AKA the HappyOtter at System 1: Intel i7-8700k with HD 630 graphics plus an Nvidia RTX4070 graphics card. System 2: Intel i7-3770k with HD 4000 graphics plus an AMD RX550 graphics card. System 3: Laptop. Dell Inspiron Plus 16. Intel i7-11800H, Intel Graphics. Current cameras include Panasonic FZ2500, GoPro Hero11 and Hero8 Black plus a myriad of smartPhone, pocket cameras, video cameras and film cameras going back to the original Nikon S.

jim cowan wrote on 7/8/2012, 3:37 PM
Maybe I'm missing something but looking at the cineform studio (free) it seems that the conversion from AVCHD to Cineform, and editing in Vegas, is free also. If the visual performance is not clear, and the time line editing performance is, then why not install the CineformStudio ?

jim cowan
videoITguy wrote on 7/8/2012, 4:04 PM
To Jim Cowan:
For reasons that are not clearly understood, Cineform has had a haphazard style and approach to management and marketing. Fortunately they are much better at the raw tech.

There are currently large differences between the free Studio, and the version you pay for...some of the diff is intended, and some of it is not (per management admission, somewhat tongue in cheek)!! The PAID version is worth it.
malowz wrote on 7/8/2012, 7:28 PM
the Canopus HQX has a lower speed in timeline in my tests, the HQ one is more close to Cineform.

but yes, cineform is ahead in most aspects, they really optimized their codec.

the last time i tested it, some bugs just make me abandon it, but this time "nothing happened" (red/black frames).

if no bugs show up anymore, they probably are "the king"...

just hope they release just the codec someday for free... ;P... and drop Amadillo protection scheme, cause i hate the "delay" when loading the codec... ;P
Laurence wrote on 7/8/2012, 7:56 PM
If you are looking for a codec to put on the timeline, Cineform is the clear winner because of it's combination of great look and great performance. But I use mostly native footage on the timeline because of it's small size and "original quality" that would only be matched by the the most resource intensive (film quality) Cineform mode. Where the Avid and Canopus codecs fit my needs is as an intermediate between Vegas and Handbrake, or Vegas and Microsoft Expression. Handbrake or Expression do a far better job of creating the delivery format encode that the end viewer will see than Vegas does, at least at practical low bitrates.
malowz wrote on 7/9/2012, 9:14 PM
after a day of "research", i remembered about a program called "Avisynth virtual file system", that create a virtual uncompressed avi file to enable any program to open avisynth.

this was the "gap" to open any file in the loved handbrake.

as all the programs have/are command-line, i just did a batch to automate ALL processes, encoding avi files to mp4 for youtube based on the settings from "HD Video for the Web" guide *** with one click *** . can't be easier.

as it uses avisynth, can be used also to pre-process the file, there are zillions of filters available.

so, Canopus can be a full (and also free) replacement for DNxHD, even if you only use it for feeding to handbrake for youtube, vimeo and such.
NickHope wrote on 7/10/2012, 2:58 AM
Could you expand a little please malowz?

Are you saying you've basically found a way of frameserving to Handbrake without writing an intermediate file? Could you possibly share the code of your batch file?
malowz wrote on 7/10/2012, 9:04 AM
debugmode frameserver can "serve" a virtual file without intermediate file to handbrake.

i automate the process to serve a intermediate file with "unsupported" codec to handbrake.

as handbrake only have internal decoders, any "uncommon" codec won't open, like Canopus HQ or Cineform.

using Avisynth with the Virtual Filesystem app, it enable handbrake open any file that Avisynth can open (Canopus HQ and Cineform, it open via VFW for example)

so handbrake can be used with "incompatible" formats.

there are other ways to encode to web, i did before also a batch to use x264/faac/mp4box to convert AVI files to web too (same "programs" used by handbrake). handbrake just "unite" everything and make simpler, you can get the same results with the separate tools, but with a little more work.

the batch:


Avisynth Virtual Filesystem:

Handbrake x64 CLI:
NickHope wrote on 7/10/2012, 9:45 AM
Thanks very much for that malowz. Just one thing...

debugmode frameserver can "serve" a virtual file without intermediate file to handbrake.

Have you tested that? As far as I recall, when musicvid, amendegw et al were testing that last year, Handbrake (at least the GUI version) couldn't accept a file from Debugmode Frameserver, hence the main reason they tested so many intermediate codecs.