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Google adds 'experimental' branch to VP8 source code tree

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 19 Jun 2010 22:39

Google adds 'experimental' branch to VP8 source code tree Google is encouraging developers to work on the next incarnation of its now-open sourced VP8 video codec, acquired from On2 technologies last year in a $124.6 million deal and an integral part of Google's WebM project.
"To maintain codec stability while also allowing for quality and performance improvements in VP8, we have added an experimental branch to the VP8 source tree," said Google codec engineering manager Jim Bankoski.

"The WebM community can use this unstable branch to propose changes to VP8 that will produce the best video codec possible, but without the constraints of a frozen bitstream. At some point in the future, when the experimental branch proves significantly better than the stable branch, we will create a new version of the codec."

Mozilla and Opera have officially put their weight behind the WebM royalty-free format, while Microsoft has said Internet Explorer 9 will support WebM once a user installs VP8. Apple's Steve Jobs has hinted that Safari will stick to H.264 video content.

Various Google partners are currently working on hardware acceleration for VP8, and Bankoski said they are committed to providing the hardware sometime next year.

"Devices that use hardware acceleration for video are a very small percentage of overall web traffic today, but they are a rapidly growing segment of the market and our project must be mindful of these vendors' needs," Bankoski wrote.

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