vp8

VLC steps into next-gen video wars with VP9, HEVC support

VideoLAN's VLC media player software has added experimental support for two video compression formats, HEVC and VP9, that are at the center of a technologically and legally complicated fight for the future of online video.

VLC 2.1.1, free and open-source software released Thursday, continues with the program's broad support philosophy by supporting many compression formats. That neutrality, though, is the exception rather than the rule when it comes to next-generation video formats.

The video competition is chiefly between Google's open-source VP9 codec and HEVC, which has patent royalty burdens but which comes from a standards … Read more

Google urges fast adoption of VP9 video compression

SAN FRANCISCO -- Google is nearly done with its VP9 video technology, and it wants the world to use it.

At its Google I/O conference Wednesday, company employees made the case for the royalty-free, open-source technology as a higher-quality alternative to today's dominant video codec, H.264. Moving to VP9 -- available now in testing on Chrome and YouTube -- will save bandwidth costs.

"If you adopt VP9, as you can very quickly, you'll have tremendous advantages over anyone else out there using H.264 or VP8, (its predecessor)," said VP9 engineer Ronald Bultje in … Read more

Google's VP9 video codec nearly done; YouTube will use it

Google plans to finish defining its VP9 video codec on June 17, providing a date on which the company will be able to start using the next-generation compression technology in Chrome and on YouTube.

"Last week, we hosted over 100 guests at a summit meeting for VP9, the WebM Project's next-generation open video codec. We were particularly happy to welcome our friends from YouTube, who spoke about their plans to support VP9 once support lands in Chrome," Matt Frost, senior business product manager for the WebM Project, said in a blog post Friday.

WebM is Google's … Read more

Google, Nokia face off in video codec dispute

The nascent WebRTC standard for video communications on the Web has become a technology battleground pitting Google against Nokia.

The reason for a war not just of words but also of actions is a lowly technology called a codec, which compresses video for efficient networking and compact storage. Google wants the Net to embrace its royalty-free, open-source VP8 codec, but Nokia is trying to quash VP8 by refusing to license patents it says are required to use it.

Google, meanwhile, has come to the aid of Android phone maker HTC in a Nokia patent-infringement case that involves VP8.

Why the … Read more

Despite Google patent efforts, VP8 no shoo-in for Web video

A Google patent-licensing deal two weeks ago dramatically improved the fortunes of its VP8 video technology, but Nokia has added a barricade to what has already been an arduous road to adoption.

VP8 is a codec -- technology to encode and decode video or audio data for compact storage and efficient network streaming. Despite passionate debates about VP8 vs. the incumbent codec, H.264, most people need never care about video codecs.

But as video becomes ever more deeply embedded in the Net -- TV entertainment, chatting with friends, videoconferences for business, online schooling for children -- the video codec … Read more

Google reaches deal with MPEG LA over its VP8 video codec

Google has reached a licensing agreement with MPEG LA over patents that cover video compression, clearing the way for wider adoption of the Web giant's VP8 video codec and its streaming-video platform WebM.

The deal grants Google the right to sublicense the VP8 as well as the techniques in the forthcoming VP9 codec, which is already under development. MPEG LA also agreed to abandon its efforts to form a VP8 patent pool, which would have allowed it to cross-license its video patents.

Financial terms of the arrangement were not revealed.

"This is a significant milestone in Google's … Read more

HEVC video standard finished; high-end improvements coming

An array of companies have finished work on video compression technology called HEVC or H.265 that promises better video to start with and that paves the way for higher-end extensions next year, they announced today.

The High Efficiency Video Codec supports 4K "UltraHD" video -- and perhaps 8K as well if the video industry can convince buyers that so many pixels are worthwhile. Perhaps more important, given how many people watch video online these days, it doubles video quality for a given network data capacity.

HEVC has the potential to spread very widely indeed. It's the … Read more

Best video tech for Web chat? Showdown set for March

After a fractious false start last year, Web standards makers will reconvene in Orlando, Fla., this March to try to settle a debate about the best video technology for browser-based chatting.

The Web-based chat standard, which holds the potential to bring Skype-like audio and video communication services to the Web, is called WebRTC. The debate about it centers on how best to compress video: the widely used industry-standard H.264 codec, or Google's royalty-free, open-source VP8 codec?

The discussion took some surprising twists and turns late last year -- including Google's last-minute action to postpone discussion because of … Read more

Google's new VP9 video technology reaches public view

VP9, the successor to Google's VP8 video compression technology at the center of a techno-political controversy, has made its first appearance outside Google's walls.

Google has built VP9 support into Chrome, though only in an early-stage version of the browser for developers. In another change, it also added support for the new Opus audio compression technology that's got the potential to improve voice communications and music streaming on the Internet.

VP9 and Opus are codecs, technology used to encode streams of data into compressed form then decode them later, enabling efficient use of limited network or storage … Read more

Microsoft hiring points to Web-based Skype service

Microsoft is hiring staff "to help us bring Skype experience on to the Web," a move that could help people use the Internet-based video and audio chat service more broadly.

Skype's VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) service today requires a native app to run on various operating systems. A browser-based version, though, could bring the service to OSes that aren't supported, such as Google's Chrome OS; make it easier for people to use Skype on a machine for which they don't have installation privileges; and potentially integrate with other Web-based services.

Microsoft revealed the … Read more