On the subject of internet video

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  1. #1
    Just a pushpin. bernt's Avatar
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    On the subject of internet video

    It looks like google is busy again.

    Washington Post: Google touts WebM, a single, open standard for Web video

    The WebM homepage is here:
    WebM Project

    It looks very interesting; just a few weeks ago we were talking about how h.264 will be the new standard. However if Google has shown great interest in using WebM, an open source video format, that could mean h.264 will take a back seat since the largest source of internet video, Youtube, is part of Google.

    Honestly I haven't been a fan of Google just because it's so darn big and it's dipping its hands into so many things. And I'm still (perhaps arbitrarily) turned away by the sheer power that Google has. But it's nice to see them supporting an open video format. Well done, Google.
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    Isn't their OS based on Linux or so as well? I think they are giving all a good example by relying on open-source standards and software. I really hate flash.

  3. #3
    Disrupting the universe Mad_guy's Avatar
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    I think they are giving all a good example by relying on open-source standards and software. I really hate flash.
    Adobe is signing on with this movement to provide WebM (VP8 video & Vorbis audio) support in Flash so that Flash videos can use WebM for the underlying container format - just like it can currently use h.264. This will allow a fallback for older browsers, to still use WebM inside flash, if they do not have full HTML5 support. There is already WebM support in Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and probably very soon WebKit & Safari. Relevant: Microsoft has already also signed on to say that WebM will be a supported container format for their HTML5 implementation in IE9. They simply will not provide a WebM encoder/decoder in Windows by default, so you have to download it.

    Currently a bigger factor is mobile adoption. h.264 is the standard in a lot of places, and without dedicated hardware, it will drain battery life on almost anything. I have heard that the Nexus One and the N900 have special DSP hardware that can decode Theora video at 30fps with 0% CPU usage and it will soon be targed to WebM, but I can't confirm that. Multiple companies have also already released hardware-based decoders for WebM (many of these companies have signed onto this movement.) Also worth noting is Apple, because if they do not provide hardware encoding/decoding support, it will be that much harder of a battle to win. Of course, the new iPhone OS lets you use the GPU (OpenCL) and SIMD inside the hardware to do much more computationally intensive things, so it's probable someone will make a WebM decoder/encoder using that.

    There's still more to it, though. Blu-ray uses h.264 as a container format. It is used in tons of the industry, and displacing it with WebM will be tough, as there will be better encodings than h.264 (I can guarantee there'll be an h.265 from MPEG) and better encodings than WebM in the future. For the web though, Google has already made many large pushes to get it there.
    Last edited by Mad_guy; 05-20-2010 at 07:24 PM.
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