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  • casp321 casp321 Jan 11, 2013 1:33 PM Flag

    Google's new VP9 video technology reaches public view

    Google's new VP9 video technology reaches public view

    The older VP8 hasn't taken the world by storm, but VP9 could give Google a fresh start in its attempt to popularize royalty-free video streaming.

    by Stephen Shankland
    | December 28, 2012

    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 capacity. Peter Beverloo, a developer on Google's Chrome team, pointed out the new codec support in a blog post earlier this month.

    Releasing VP9 gives Google a chance to improve the video-streaming performance and improve other aspects of VP8. That's important in competing with today's prevailing video compression technology, H.264, and with a successor called H.265 or HEVC that also has the potential to be attract broad support across the electronics and computing industry with better compression performance.

    One cloud that's hung over VP8 is the possibility that others besides Google would demand royalty payments for patented technology it uses. Indeed, MPEG LA requested such organizations come forth as it considered adding VP8 licensing program, and it said last year that 12 organizations have said they have patents essential to VP8 use.


    12 organizations say VP8 infringes patents

    A drawn-out evaluation could lead to a patent barrier around Google's Web video technology. Now 12 unnamed organizations have told MPEG LA they believe VP8 violates their patents.

    by Stephen Shankland
    | July 29, 2011

    Twelve organizations have concluded that Google's VP8 video encoding technology violates their patents, according to a group called MPEG LA that's considering offering a license to those patents.

    "Patents owned by 12 different patent holders have already been found to be essential to VP8," MPEG LA said in a statement to CNET yesterday.

    VP8 is a codec--technology used to encode and decode streams of data such as video and audio--that Google released in 2010 as an open-source, royalty-free product that could be built into software such as Web browsers and hardware such as mobile phone processors. Google obtained VP8 through its $123 million acquisition of On2 Technologies in 2010; when paired with the Vorbis audio codec it forms the WebM video technology with which Google hopes to liberate Web video from the patent-encumbered incumbent called H.264 or AVC.

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