Monday, May 27, 2013

WebM VP9, the new video standard from Google

In 2009 Google acquired On2 technologies that created a series of Video codecs. In 2010 Google
 announced the launch of WebM using On2 proprietary codec called VP8 and made it open  source. At the latest I/O conference Google has announced that it will be releasing VP9 shortly. Youtube has already been experimenting with these codecs for some time now.

The Key benefit of the VP9 Codec is
  • 50% better than H.264
  • Open Source unlike H.264
  • Royalty free
With better performance it's a great boon for the internet and especially low bandwidth networks on Mobile phones where it will result in better quality at much lower bit rates.

Some of the data showcased are shown below

With similar bandwidth encoding @250kbps  w/p audio

After matching the quality of the video w/o audio

Comparison chart

Bit rate comparison with Audio

 Comparison chart with audio

All in all the codec shows a huge amount of data compression and savings which is a boon for both Video publishers online and consumers as this will save them a lot of data costs which will eventually make the internet faster.

However, there seems to be some challenges as Google faces patent challenges from organisations like Nokia for patent violations read more

However, also watch out for HEVC or H.265 the upgrade to H.264

To download the codec and read more about WebM visit their official website WebMproject 

For the whole video of the WebM demonstration at Google I/O  watch the video below

By Ramakrishnan Laxman
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