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Dirac is a prototype video codec that was presented by the BBC in 2004. It aims is to create a codec that specializes in video transmission over the Internet. It's immediate aim was to gain the ability to decode standard definition PAL video at 25fps, whereas the current version only achieves about 17fps on a 3 GHz PC. However, it is still in development and will undergo extensive optimization.
Dirac will support low resolution and high resolution video and promises great saving sin bandwidth and quality improvements. In some cases, Dirac may promise improvements that are even superior to H.264/AVC and VC-1. Dirac employs wavelet compression instead of DCT used in older codecs. For HD video, its developers claim it provides a two-fold reduction in bitrate requirements compared to MPEG-2 video.
The codec is named after Paul Dirac, a British scientist.