Notch Notch Manual 0.9.23
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Introduction #

NotchLC was created to be a GPU powered codec that provided the quality needed to be an intermediary codec as well as the performance required to be a playback codec. You can read more about it on the NotchLC website.

It brings the equivalent of 10bit accuracy in a scrubbable codec (with 12bit of Luma data) that is extremely fast to encode and decode, with a compression ratio of 8:1 to 4:1.

Luma, Chroma, Bit Depths & Compression #

The LC in NotchLC stands for Luma & Chroma. NotchLC breaks colour data down into luma and chroma (YUV). 12bits of depth are assigned to luma data, as in many scenarios this is where bit depth is most perceivable. 8bits are assigned to each of the U & V channels. Total (28 bits per pixel). Alpha data is stored at 8bit depth.

Software support #

NotchLC is currently supported in a number of desktop software and media servers.

Desktop Software #

Software Version Decode Encode Platform
Ai PRISM Player - Yes - Windows
Ai PRISM ZERO - Yes - Windows
Assimilate Play Pro >= 9.5 Yes Yes Windows + Mac
Assimilate Scratch >= 9.5 Yes Yes Windows + Mac
Adobe After Effects via plugin >= CC 2018 Yes Yes Windows + Mac
Adobe Premiere via plugin >= CC 2018 Yes Yes Windows + Mac
Adobe Media Encoder via plugin >= CC 2018 Yes Yes Windows + Mac
Legacy QuickTime via plugin 7 Yes Yes Windows
Notch Builder >= 0.9.22 Yes Yes Windows

Media Servers #

Server Version Decode Encode
7thSense >= 2.8 Yes -
Assimilate Live FX >= 9.5 Yes Yes
disguise >= r16.0 Yes -
HIVE >= 1.0 Yes -
Ioversal Vertex >= 2021 R2 Yes -
LightAct >= 4 Yes -
Modulo Pi >= 5.0 Yes -
Pixera >= 1.8 Yes Yes
Pandoras Box >= 8.6 Yes -
Picturall >= 3.0 Yes -
Smode - Yes -
Screenberry >= 3.1.0 Yes -
TouchDesigner >= 2021 Yes Yes
Ventuz >= 6.4 Yes -
Watchout >= 7 Yes Yes

Quality Levels & Bit Rates #

Rather than specify target bitrates and end up with undetermined quality outcomes, NotchLC takes the reverse approach. When encoding you set a quality level, which is essentially an allowable error level in encode. The encoder then searches for best fit compression in each block that meets this quality threshold. These defined coefficients of error give confidence in the quality of the resulting encoded video.

Typically, NotchLC users are seeing compression ratios between 4:1 and 8:1 when compared to raw video. And as a general rule of thumb Notch (at Optimal Level) tends to be 30% larger than HAPQ (for a significant quality uplift).

NotchLC provides five quality levels:

  • Good
  • Very Good
  • Excellent
  • Optimal
  • Best

Optimal is your go-to quality level and fit for most day-to-day purposes. It is the sweet spot of file size and quality. If you utilise Best you may see significantly larger file sizes for only marginal gains in quality (which can in some cases be desirable, but overall we recommend Optimal for most uses.)

Bit rates of the individual Y, U, V and Alpha channels are not affected by the different quality levels. NotchLC always uses 12bits of depth for luma, and 8bits for the U, V and alpha channels respectively.

Resolution #

NotchLC is a GPU Accelerated codec, and therefore is limited by the maximum resolution DX11 can handle - 16384 x 16384.