Report: Google to open source VP8 video codec
According to a report on NewTeeVee citing sources with inside knowledge, Google is planning to announce the open sourcing of On2's VP8 video codec at Google I/O next month. Google and Mozilla are also expected to announce support for the VP8 codec in Chrome and in Firefox's HTML5 video support. The VP8 video codec, which Google acquired when it bought On2 Technologies, is unencumbered by patents and is claimed to use 50% less bandwidth than H.264 while offering similar quality.
The codec support for HTML5's video had become a divisive issue, with Chrome and Safari supporting the patent encumbered and licensed H.264 video format while Mozilla rejected H.264 in favour of Theora. Ogg Theora, the open source codec, based on On2's VP3 codec, is the only codec currently supported by Firefox's HTML5 video tag. The combination of Google and Mozilla offering VP8 support, in combination with a standalone release of the codec for other media frameworks, would make for a compelling and free common video standard for internet video. However, other browsers may not support VP8; Microsoft have only just committed to supporting H.264 in the forthcoming Internet Explorer 9 and Apple are heavily committed to H.264 on the iPhone and iPad.