AfterDawn: Tech news

YouTube going 4K using Google's own VP9 codec

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 03 Jan 2014 18:50

YouTube going 4K using Google's own VP9 codec Google has confirmed that YouTube is going 4K at CES, using the company's own VP9 royalty-free codec.
Most current 4K setups use the H.265 video codec, but Google has been actively developing the Ultra HD streaming codec as an alternative.

In 2010, Google tried a similar tactic with its VP8 codec, which would have become the default format for plugin-free video streaming but it was opposed by companies trying to establish commercial video formats who ultimately succeeded. Hardware support was limited and the codec was eventually relegated to limited use.

This does not appear to be an issue this time around, as Google has secured hardware partners including LG, Panasonic, Sony, Intel, ARM, Samsung and Sharp. The list totals 19 partners, some of whom will show off 4K streaming at their CES booths next week.

Google was quick to note that the company could add H.265 4K support to YouTube into the future. Perhaps more importantly, the VP9 codec will reduce the data necessary for HD streaming, to the point that "by 2015, you'll be surprised every time you see that spinning wheel," a reference to the spinning wheel reflecting buffering time for videos.

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