As a key player in the transition from SD to HD, the CineForm codec has enjoyed a long history as one of the codecs continually on the cutting edge of video compression. GoPro has decided that moving forward it will be officially open sourcing the CineForm codec in order to better allow developers access to what it feels is the codex that will usher 360-degree video into the future. With the arrival of GoPro's new Fusion camera in November, the open sourcing of the CineForm codec appears to be a great step towards expanding interest in GoPro's new platform.
The CineForm codec is most commonly wrapped in .mov and .avi files and was originally created in 2002 by David Taylor, David Newman, and Brian Schunk. In 2011, GoPro acquired the rights to the CineForm codec with the goal, at the time, of leveraging the CineForm 444 Codec for their 3D HERO system.
The CineForm codec has been a bastion of many revolutionary changes in video compression being the first to support cinematic raw capture while later becoming the first codec to support stereoscopic 3D. CineForm was also a critical leader in the transition from HD to 4K and is now looking to lead the charge for 360-degree beyond 4K in resolution.
In a blog post this week GoPro revealed that in an effort to better support the development in advancing 360-degree video they will be officially open sourcing the codec in order to allow developers full access to working with the codec without any need for reverse engineering. In order to further support development using the CineForm codec, GoPro has also released a developer SDK that will be available on GITHub as an open source SDK released under the MIT license.