All aboard Google's VP9 bus to free 4K UHD

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VP9 4K video codec

Free codec to allow more detailed cat videos.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is gushing over all the hardware vendors who've pledged support for its new VP9 video codec. It's royalty-free and claimed to be just as good as the new, encumbered H.265 "high efficiency video codec" standard -- i.e., they're both about twice as efficient as today's widely-used H.264 codecs.

And Google will add VP9 to YouTube, Real Soon Now, along with some 4K videos. (Of course, we're not really talking about "4K", which is a digital cinema projection standard -- the 3840x2160 resolution's correct name is "UHD" but... well... that pedantic battle is lost.)

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers admit defeat.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.


Agam Shah reports:

A number of TV makers and hardware companies have pledged support for VP9, a 4K video format developed by Google. Users will be able to stream 4K video from YouTube and other services on their devices with support from the hardware companies.


With the 4K format, videos will be shown at a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. The VP9 format will allow device makers to stream 4K video from online video services with less bandwidth and buffering. ... LG, Panasonic and Sony will show 4K video streams from YouTube at their booths during the...CES show in Las Vegas next week. ... VP9 is competing for adoption as a 4K video standard with H.265, also called HEVC.  MORE


Frederic Lardinois says, "Google’s VP9 video codec is getting a major boost":

Virtually all major hardware vendors will soon support VP9 natively in their products. ... These new hardware partners include ARM, Broadcom, Intel...Marvell, MediaTek, Nvidia...Philips, Qualcomm, RealTek, Samsung, Sigma, Sharp...and Toshiba.


Support for VP9 on YouTube means that videos will start faster (there’s less data to move, after all), though it will take a while before the site has converted all videos to VP9.  MORE


And Karis Hustad fills in the blanks:

VP9 allows for the...faster loading speed, as compared to the current video format, called H.264. There is also the newer version of H.264, called H.265, that can run as quickly and with as high of quality as VP9, and is gaining ground. One big difference, however, is that H.264 and H.265 are not royalty-free [but] VP9 is.  MORE


Meanwhile, Derek Ross ponders the future:

Last year at #IO13, Google announced VP9, a video codec set to bring high resolution video with half the amount of required bandwidth. ... Besides bringing Ultra-HD to the masses, the codec will benefit regular HD on YouTube. ... Hooray for less buffering!

I wonder if a new Chromecast will launch this coming summer to support VP9 and 4K?  MORE

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