The BBC has been working on an open source video codec which they believe could blow all other video codecs away - the Dirac codec.

Dirac is currently in alpha, and can deliver equivalent results using only 50 per cent of the bandwidth needed for video files encoded using the MPEG-2 format, according to sources at the BBC. Dr. Thomas Davies, lead developer on the project, wants open source communities and academics to assist in development of the technology. The codec, which is aimed at a wide range of applications including streaming media and storage of video content, will go into beta within the next 12 to 15 months.