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Google pushing for quick adoption of its VP9 video compression technology

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Google pushing for quick adoption of its VP9 video compression technology
At Google I/O on Wednesday, Google discussed its VP9 video compression technology. The company sees this open source technology replacing the current H.264 codec. Already, Google is testing VP9 on Chrome and YouTube. According to the company, VP9 requires only half of the bandwidth required by H.264.

While the VP9 specification will be finalized on June 17th, it can be used right now by developers who can get it by going to Chrome's about:flags mechanism or by heading to YouTube's VP9 channel. But as money saving as cutting bandwidth use is, changing the video standard on mobile devices so quickly could lead to the technology becoming a major drain on battery life. And VP9 is competing with a number of older standards besides H.264, which is already ten years old.

Google is planning on competing by making VP9 an open source technology. The Mountain View tech titan says it would rather not force start-ups, schools and developers to face the burden of making royalty payments. But there is a possible hiccup. VP8 violates patents from 12 organizations and since some of the technology behind VP8 is in VP9, Google managed to work out agreements with only 11 of the companies involved. Nokia is the lone holdout.

Google itself is a major beneficiary from the VP9 technology. 4 billion YouTube videos play daily and 6 billion hours of video are streamed monthly. Reducing bandwidth use by 50% is sure to save Google a ton of money. Meanwhile, by Q3, Google is expected to release the designs that chipmakers can use to build the technology into processors for free.

"If you adopt VP9, as you can very quickly, you'll have tremendous advantages over anyone else out there using H.264 or VP8. You can save about 50 percent of bandwidth by encoding your video with VP9 vs. H.264."-Ronald Bultje, engineer, Google

source: CNET

  • Options

posted on 17 May 2013, 02:23 4

1. _Bone_ (Posts: 2155; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)

Interesting that they don't wait for the H265 standard, which is also quite heavy on the processing but a more natural progression of the H264 standard. H265@10bit can compress a 4k movie into just a couple of gigs with insane picture quality.

posted on 17 May 2013, 14:28

10. Zero0 (Posts: 592; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


And H.265 is based on patents and licensing. I shouldn't be forced to hand my money to a bunch of oligarchs if I want to watch a video on the Internet.

posted on 17 May 2013, 03:13 2

2. UrbanPhantom (Posts: 949; Member since: 30 Oct 2012)

Given the hostilities between Google and Microsoft, and the fact Nokia is a close ally of Microsoft, I'd say the chances of there being any deal signed are pretty unlikely...

posted on 18 May 2013, 12:05

12. Jack1192 (Posts: 35; Member since: 30 Mar 2013)

but if the patent is regarded as a standards essential patent, then Nokia has no choice but to license it.

posted on 17 May 2013, 03:34 1

3. EXkurogane (Posts: 863; Member since: 07 Mar 2013)

I'd prefer to stick to H264 and H265.
File size is not an issue if i want to store a copy myself, I dislike excessive compression, it affects the video quality to some extent. Many of my series, movies and videos, some of them are only 30 minute each but each is around 1.5Gb in size. HDDs arent expensive, External 4TB with USB 3.0 costs only $190.

posted on 17 May 2013, 03:42 2

5. deacz (Posts: 162; Member since: 02 Nov 2011)

yea but some ppl watch a lot of their content on mobile devices, half the bandwith used seems like an awesome idea.

posted on 17 May 2013, 03:44 1

6. EXkurogane (Posts: 863; Member since: 07 Mar 2013)

For online streams it's a good idea, but for my personal storage i prefer less compression. I dont visit youtube much either, and quitting many services under google, including abandoning my gmail. I dont like the attitude of Google nowadays.

posted on 17 May 2013, 04:37

8. timeformiles (Posts: 7; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)

True, I mostly keep myself in my 64GB flashdrive, but i might get a 4TB USB 3 hard drive which sounds nice. Love your Pic man, she loves Misaka too much~

posted on 17 May 2013, 14:29

11. Zero0 (Posts: 592; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)

I'd prefer to stick to free and open standards.

More bandwidth use is bad. More bandwidth use = more wireless data. That costs money. It also costs the host money, allowing a company like Netflix to expand their library while holding prices steady.

posted on 17 May 2013, 03:35 1

4. pongkie (Posts: 654; Member since: 20 Aug 2011)

open source except for MS lol

posted on 17 May 2013, 04:05 2

7. boosook (Posts: 1442; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)

Die, Nokia, die! (it's German for "The, Nokia, the")

posted on 17 May 2013, 11:48 1

9. medicci37 (Posts: 1331; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)

Lmao. Good 1

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