High Density Encoding (HDE)


CODEX High Density Encoding (HDE) is an easy to use tool for large format workflows to control the ever-increasing data footprint of RAW video images. HDE provides bit-exact data reduction of uncompressed camera ARRIRAW files through encoding. HDE can reduce the overall storage size of RAW images by up to a 2:1 ratio.

HDE stands for High Density Encoding. It is an encoding technique that is optimised for Bayer pattern images. ARRIRAW images encoded with HDE are approximately 60% of the original size. HDE encoding is completely lossless - when an HDE file is decoded, it is a bit-for-bit perfect match to the original file.

Using HDE

High Density Encoding is completely free to use with CODEX Media Stations. It is a simple ‘tick box’ option in the Device Manager Preferences panel.

Compatible resolutions

HDE can be used on ARRIRAW images of any resolution.

Compatible recording media 

HDE can be applied to ARRIRAW from Compact Drives, and both SXR and XR Capture Drives.

It can also be applied to ARRIRAW from CFast cards - free if a CODEX CFast reader is used, or with a licence if another brand of CFast reader is used. You can purchase a licence here.

ProRes recordings to CODEX Media or CFast 2.0 cards cannot be encoded with HDE.

Camera Support

HDE can be applied to ARRIRAW material using the Device Manager method described here in the High Density Encoding section of the CODEX Help Center. 

Device Manager can be used to create HDE ARRIRAW from most ARRI ALEXA cameras, including the ALEXA Mini LF (*see below), ALEXA LF, ALEXA SXT, ALEXA Mini and ALEXA XT. 

HDE and the ALEXA 35

IMPORTANT:  At this time, Device Manager cannot be used to convert ALEXA 35 ARRIRAW to HDE.

The ALEXA 35 records a new version of the ARRI MXF file, which Device Manager does not currently support for an HDE workflow.

ALEXA 35 ARRIRAW can be encoded to HDE MXF clips using the free ARRIRAW HDE Transcoder software, provided by ARRI. It will be made available on the Tools & Apps section of the ARRI website.

For more information, we would recommend to contact the ARRI Digital Workflow team (digitalworkflow@arri.de ).

HDE and the ALEXA Mini LF *

ARRIRAW material recorded with ALEXA Mini LF SUP 7.1.1 (and below) is fully supported in Device Manager for an HDE workflow.

HDE and the D21

ARRIRAW material recorded from D21 to Onboard M is not compatible with HDE workflows, and .arx files will not be presented when HDE mode is enabled in Device Manager.

Operating system

Codex Device Manager software is required to create HDE-encoded files. Device Manager is only available for macOS.

Compact Drive (ALEXA Mini LF) support requires macOS 10.14.4 or higher.

File format

  • HDE ARRIRAW from ALEXA 35 is presented as .mxf files. 
  • HDE ARRIRAW from earlier camera models is presented as .arx files


For the ALEXA 35 camera, CODEX Device Manager 7.0.0 (and higher) on macOS allows HDE encoding of ARRIRAW directly from a Compact Drive.  

For all other ARRI ALEXA cameras, CODEX Device Manager 5.0 software (and higher) on macOS allows HDE encoding of ARRIRAW directly from a Compact Drive or Capture Drive.  

CODEX Device Manager has a Preferences option to choose whether your files are presented as regular ARRIRAW, or HDE encoded ARRIRAW.  The encoding happens on-the-fly when files are copied, and your copy application needs to include support for this.

You can download the latest version of CODEX Device Manager from our Software Downloads page.

Supported copy tools (for ALEXA 35)

  •  Hedge (TBC)
  •  Silverstack (TBC)
  •  Shotput Pro (TBC)
  •  YoYotta (TBC)

Supported copy tools (for all other cameras)

  •  Hedge (19.4 and above for Device Manager 5.0, and 19.4.7 and above for Device Manager 5.1)
  •  Silverstack (6.5 and above)
  •  Shotput Pro (2019.2.1 and above)
  •  YoYotta (3 and above)


  • HDE files on CODEX Media will appear as zero bytes in size. This is because the HDE-encoded file size cannot be calculated until the files have been copied.
  • HDE ARRIRAW from ALEXA 35 is presented as .mxf files.  HDE ARRIRAW from earlier camera models is presented as .arx files
  • macOS Finder is not capable of copying ARRIRAW HDE files from Capture Drive and Compact Drive.
  • CODEX Vault XL and S series hardware require a licence to encode ARRIRAW HDE - please contact CODEX Support if you require more details.
  • ALEXA 65 material on SXR or XR Capture Drive cannot be accessed with Device Manager. Please contact CODEX Support if you require more details.

Supported applications

VendorApplicationMinimum version
ARRIARRIRAW Converter4.1 beta
PomfortSilverstack Lab, Silverstack6.5
BlackMagic DesignDa Vinci Resolve16
ColorfrontTranskoder, On-Set Dailies, Express Dailies2019
FilmlightBaselight and Daylight5.1.10830
Imagine ProductsShotput Pro2019.2.1
HedgeHedge (for Device Manager 5.0)19.4
HedgeHedge (for Device Manager 5.1)19.4.7
nabletARRIRAW AMA Plugin for Avid Media Composer2.0
CODEXProduction Suite4.7.2


HDE is designed to be high performance for encoding and decoding, and is dependent on CPU power.  ARRIRAW Open Gate 4.6K can be encoded at over 50 fps on a Mac Pro (2019 Intel model)., and at over 100 fps on a Mac Studio or MacBook Pro (2022 M1 Max model).  The encoding happens on-the-fly when files are copied from a Compact Drive or Capture Drive.

Sample files for testing

ARRI have prepared some ARRIRAW-HDE sample footage.

Apple ProRes

Apple ProRes clips are not compatible with HDE. If a CODEX Compact Drive contains a mix of ARRIRAW MXF and Apple ProRes clips, when HDE is enabled in Device Manager both the ARRIRAW and ProRes clips will be presented in the volume. When copying the clips, the HDE encoding will only happen on the ARRIRAW clips.
Our support team is available to answer any questions:

9.00am - 6.00pm telephone and email support is available through our teams in London and Los Angeles.

Codex Support Email: support@codex.online
Codex US Support: +1 323 283 8929
Codex UK Support: +44 203 7000 999
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