Google removes H.264 support in Chrome

The official codec for HTML5's video tag has been under debate ever since developers began adopting the new technology. A current standard, H.264 was a codec thought to be just perfect for use in the video tag, so perfect that Microsoft even announced Internet Explorer 9 will only support the codec for their HTML5 video tag. Google however has other plans for what codec will rise above the rest.

Google will begin phasing out H.264 support in Chrome over the next couple of months, Product Manager Mike Jazayeri writes on the Chromium Blog. Chrome will instead support their own codec, WebM (VP8), and the outside Theora codec as both are "completely open codec technologies." The changes made to Chrome in the next few months will allow for support of these codecs simply via the HTML5 video tag.

Reasoning behind removing H.264 from Chrome is that it, while playing "an important role in video," it is not truly an open codec like WebM or Theora technologies. H.264 was under fire last Fall for fears that people would be forced to pay royalties to use the codec. MPEG LA confirmed that H.264 will stay royalty-free to help create a standard for web video that all vendors could access with their mind at ease.

Google apparently is not satisfied enough, and only wishes to support truly open technologies as a goal of the company is to "enable open innovation." The search giant wishes to keep everything as open as possible, and with H.264 having patents owned by Microsoft and Apple, Google did not see that as fitting for their open web.

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ah the idiocy I see here amazes me.

1. Ogg vorbis is superior to mp3 in every way other then the fact that ****ty players dont support it, quality players from quality companies tend to offer vorbis support, using current encoders a 96k ogg file sounds better then a 160k mp3(this is in my own testing with quality gear, also had 3 other people rate the codecs)
saying vorbis is crap because your zune or ipod or cheapo stick drive mp3 player wont run it is like saying flac sucks.....but the worlds full of idiots.....

2. by the time html5 go's mainstream vp8 will have matured alot, we have at least 3-5 years before html5 support will even be a real issue, all you morons saying your going to dump chrome because it wont have built in html5 h264 support really must be thick, or be using some form of the internet that nobody else is currently on.

3. vp8 video can be run on as low as an arm7 cpu (old ass cpu like used in old ipods) smoothly, I have seen demo's of it being done, thats at lower res(normally native to the device) but when compared to the same quality h264 video the vp8 decodes faster because they already have arm accelerated decoders for vp8.

I do agree that currently vp8 is inferior per bitrate to h264, no doubt, but its also just come into the public domain(meaning the worlds just gotten their chance to start working on improoving it), with google, amd,nvida and a slew of other companies backing webm I dont see it staying in the state its currently in for long.

please note how many years its taken for x264 to come of age, I have been around most of that time, and at first, it was no better then xvid quality wise, over the years its become the best video encoder out there, and x264 is still missing features, most notably x264 does not support Adaptive MBAFF (Macroblock-Adaptive Frame/Field) for interlaced videos, thus sacrificing a lot of coding efficiency in interlaced mode. all other major implementations support this feature.

again, just give vp8 some time, it will mature, and again, the vorbis side of things is already very mature and offers superior quality per bitrate to any other lossy codec.

P.S. vorbis is actually more efficent to deciode then MP3, as proven by tests of battery life under current builds of rockbox, http://www.rockbox.org/wiki/SansaRuntime any device that gets worse batt life with vorbis then mp3 has a poor vorbis decoder

I hope they won't be stupid enough to remove h.264 support from Android aswell, in that case my HTC Desire will be almost useless since h.264 is hardware accelerated and really helps when playing high resolution video & as already mentioned in this thread, a lot of handsets have h.264 hardware decoding built-in. Google, get a grip for Gods sake!

Can't browser makers do the same as IE and use whatever codecs are provided by the platform, and add their own if necessary?
Having a software that runs on multiple operating systems is nice. Sacrificing everything in name of cross-platform compatibility is ridiculous.

The problem is licensing. Sure H.264 is royalty free at the moment but once it becomes the standard there is nothing stopping MPEG LA from demanding royalties. I agree with Google in principle.

MindTrickz said,
The problem is licensing. Sure H.264 is royalty free at the moment but once it becomes the standard there is nothing stopping MPEG LA from demanding royalties. I agree with Google in principle.

But it's worth it.

Come to think of it, all YouTubes videos have been in H.264 as they have to support hardware accelerated mobile devices. Another transcoding job to get everything in WebM that no one will watch? Good move.

Bad thing to do. Now we will definitely have to process a video 3 fecking times to make sure if can be viewed on all devices/browsers. Son of a b.....

People were complaining on MS for pushing own standards into web. Now, when MS follow standards they can switch on Google.

I'm not surprised. Android 2.3 has built-in support for VP8 and WebM. Also, I read somewhere that Adobe will update Flash to add support for VP8. As for the codec, it's definitely a step back in terms of image quality and performance; however, it's a step forward for open codec technologies.

Right now it's a battle between Google and Microsoft. The former wants WebM to be dominant and the latter wants H.264 to be dominant. As for me, I just want a royalty-free codec with good image quality and performance.

I really don't think Google cares about the Windows users. They've banned it from use by their employees on their work computers and are developing their own OS based on Linux. I'd say Google's trying to set their own standards and do their own thing rather than go along with what everybody else is and has been doing for decades now.

CoMMo said,
I really don't think Google cares about the Windows users. They've banned it from use by their employees on their work computers and are developing their own OS based on Linux. I'd say Google's trying to set their own standards and do their own thing rather than go along with what everybody else is and has been doing for decades now.
Considering most people that use Chrome also use Windows, I'd say that isn't the case. A lot of people are forgetting that in addition to Chrome, other browsers such as Firefox and Opera don't have built-in support for H.264. The same browsers also support WebM.

The way I see it, Google is thinking long-term. Last I read, H.264 is royalty-free up until 2015. After that, the MPEG-LA will start charging royalties. WebM, on the other hand, will always be royalty-free. Of course, that isn't the point of it. The point is, it's a container for codecs (VP8 + Vorbis) that don't require Flash. The only requirement is an HTML5 browser.

Thinking long-term, it's a step forward. Unfortunately, it isn't a step forward in quality and performance.

have never worked with HTML 5 still, but i think not agreeing on standard is an addition headache for developers.

"...H.264 was under fire last Fall for fears that people would be forced to pay royalties to use the codec..."

Unless the user is running Windows7, then Microsoft has already covered the licensing for you.

Google's ties to the restrictions of bad OSS licensing is going to tie their hands and might even strangle them, as it has a lot of brilliant OSS projects.

With the licensing Google has to use because of their Linux and OSS ties they will never be able to offer any proprietary technologies properly. This is what is happening here as well, because they can't include or properly license and include H.264 on their own platforms like Android, let alone for Chrome on other OSes.

Chrome on Win7 would be the exception, as the licensing for the codec is something Microsoft provides to the users and the developers on Windows7, as with all the new codecs added in Windows7, it is something users and developers don't have to worry about.
(This is also true of WP7 that also has a large number of licensed codecs handled by the OS, unlike iOS and Android where codec support at the OS level is limited and additional codec support must be provided via 3rd party software, new codecs can be added to WP7 at the OS level so that all applications get access to them inherently.)

This was smart for Microsoft to pay the codec fees and include them in the OS for Win7 and WP7; however, this is NOT something Google can do even if they wanted to for Android or any of their OS distributions based on the OSS kernels like Linux and the licensing restrictions.

Sadly, their codec choice is not the best codec out there, and sometimes the proprietary codecs are worth the licensing fees. So instead of OSS giving us 'progress' in terms of video quality it is 'regressing' our video quality and 'choice' of video quality.


An additional problem this creates...

Most GPUs are designed to decode and accelerate a handful of codecs, and this is not one of them. So by using this video codec, a lot of systems will take a hit in either performance or battery usage. This is major problem when considering mobile phones and devices where the lower end GPUs do have codec acceleration built in, but will not accelerate this codec.

Ironically again, Windows 7 desktop/portable devices won't have the same hit in performance or battery usage as Windows 7's WDDM architecture can supplement the GPU's dedicated acceleration. (OS X, iOS, Android, Linux, WinXP can't do this, and will take the hit. -WP7 may or may not take the hit, I don't know how WinCE 7.0 handles the supplementing codec acceleration beyond the GPU abilities.)

So...
I wonder what the other browser providers will do, as Microsoft has the ability to drop in this codec for IE9, so if this is what people want, Microsoft has the option to add additional support for this codec for HTML5. Maybe Microsoft should just say screw it, and adopt VC1 as the standard and watch others scramble, as IE9's HTML5 performance is going to give them one hell of a leap over the other browsers as HTML5 and newer web content becomes the norm.


I also don't like the H.264 licensing and what the future could hold; however, we already jumped down the rabbit hole with MPEG4/H.264 and VC1 being the default HD codecs for BluRay and most HD content distribution.

Now that we are here, it is a little late for Google think they are big enough to write the 'accepted' standards themselves. If you think about it from 'content' alone, this would create a lot of work and a nightmare for media companies in re-encoding tons and tons of video just so that you can view it in your Google browser...

mixed reactions, in some way i like this move because h.264 its a resource hog for old machines y netbooks, but somehow now its present in everywhere so its a necessary evil i guess...

Lets hope their effort lead to a better and more optimized webm

eilegz said,
Lets hope their effort lead to a better and more optimized webm

Not likely. What closed standards do is push hardware advancement. WebM would run like **** on your old netbook too.

Intel and AMD are evolving their processors to match the consumer demand for HD content on the web. There is no money in 'open' and thus no push to advance the industry.

eilegz said,
mixed reactions, in some way i like this move because h.264 its a resource hog for old machines y netbooks, but somehow now its present in everywhere so its a necessary evil i guess...

Lets hope their effort lead to a better and more optimized webm

With Hardware acceleration h264 uses at most 30% of Intel Atom N270 CPU. regardless of the bitrate, resolution.

Low-bitrate 1080p such as those on youtube can actually play on netbooks with the proper setup.

On the other hand, 720p WebM from youtube laggs like hell.

Udedenkz said,

With Hardware acceleration h264 uses at most 30% of Intel Atom N270 CPU. regardless of the bitrate, resolution.

Low-bitrate 1080p such as those on youtube can actually play on netbooks with the proper setup.

On the other hand, 720p WebM from youtube laggs like hell.

With both Nvidia and AMD backing WebM you can bet it'll be HW accelerated pretty soon.

ichi said,

With both Nvidia and AMD backing WebM you can bet it'll be HW accelerated pretty soon.

I am not buying a new PC just to stroke Google e-peen.

My netbook and my notebook both can play high bitrate 1080p h264/AVC video just fine, if you are willing to bend down and take it up the bleep that is your own problem.

Udedenkz said,

I am not buying a new PC just to stroke Google e-peen.

My netbook and my notebook both can play high bitrate 1080p h264/AVC video just fine, if you are willing to bend down and take it up the bleep that is your own problem.

You don't have to, although you'll eventually do, same as you bought hardware that accelerated h264. Not because it'll accelerate WebM, just because you'll upgrade and all hardware will support it (like, say, a new smartphone with a Nvidia Tegra2).

FWIW, see how much I bend to this kind of video stuff that my GPU isn't even able to accelerate h264

Companies need to start re-caring about their 2 main customers, the user and the developer.

Most users don't care who owns what format or what codec their video was encoded in. Just give them videos and apps that work.
Developers/content creators want the choice of working in the technology they are most comfortable with, that hopefully will work across a few platforms.

The recent trend of specifically supporting/not supporting widely adopted technologies such as Flash and H.264 for a corporate power struggle is disgusting.

Companies: Just do your best to support everything thats out there and let formats and technologies run their natural life-cycle. Get out of the way, the users and developers will decide what lives and dies.

Google has one big kill switch, but it is afraid to use it. If Google is bold enough it can kill H.264 support from YouTube and have Android redirect to a flash version of YouTube. Of cause this would screw everybody else over, but WebM would take of pretty quick.

day2die said,
Google has one big kill switch, but it is afraid to use it. If Google is bold enough it can kill H.264 support from YouTube and have Android redirect to a flash version of YouTube. Of cause this would screw everybody else over, but WebM would take of pretty quick.

Lawyers will be buussssyyyyyyyyyy
Image the amount of people screaming: WTF my video is laggy ?! my video doesn't work ?! etc

Theora is already supported natively by Firefox via its own technologies, not HTML5, so why would Chrome not move to support it as well? I'm all for them moving to an open codec. It'll force people to help the rest of us improve on existing open technologies instead of just buying into some corporate behemoth.

Heh. Other companies tend to draw criticism when they try to push their own formats.

Google sells ads on sites that use video, but not on the codec itself, so better to give away an alternative and try to undermine the competitors. It's smart, but not exactly sneaky or noble.

I agree on principle why Google did it, there is nothing to stop the MPEG LA from deciding in the future to demand royalties from people using the H.264 codec. However, considering how well entrenched H.264 is right now what Google has actually done is too little and too late. Most of the other big names are seemingly backing H.264, Google is out numbered and the majority rules here. That is my 2 cents, take with a grain of salt.

So the majority of browsers now support open formats exclusively, nice. Only Microsoft and Apple are holding out, although that's no surprise really, because they are the main backers of the MPEG group and get paid whenever h.264 is used commercially.

*Only*...lol C'mon folks its H264 is free and even if it cost a few cents, wtf, shame on a megabillion Google not forking a few fees to cover licensing. Google is showing they are not all they are cracked up to be.

JohnCz said,
*Only*...lol C'mon folks its H264 is free and even if it cost a few cents, wtf, shame on a megabillion Google not forking a few fees to cover licensing. Google is showing they are not all they are cracked up to be.

So they should just pay it, and everything other company that wants to use it should pay, and they shouldn't try to use one that is free for everyone? How does that make sense to you. I can use something for free, or pay for it. Hard decision. If more people use it and support it, then they can probably improve quality, etc. to make it comparable to h.264.

To all those OPEN zealiot, I hope your car stereo play's your OGG file just fine.... So does your home DVD or Blu-Ray player...

Open does not mean better.

TruckWEB said,
To all those OPEN zealiot, I hope your car stereo play's your OGG file just fine.... So does your home DVD or Blu-Ray player...

Open does not mean better.

For the web yes it does.

Chrome is my pr0n browser. It's a bummer if this comes to pass and if it proves to be a considerable pain in the ass, because as it is Chrome is super fast and stable for me. I was thinking of even demoting Firefox to pr0n browser and clearing my Chrome history/cache.

Bah.

I'm just waiting for IE9 final anyway, Chrome is back to it's original spot as my backup/in the mood for something else browser.

This move lumps Firefox, Chrome, and Opera into the same boat. Yes there is an (experimental) plugin for Firefox but all that does is simply load WMP's control in its place.

F***ck, this just makes it harder for web developers.... sh it, another conversion which needs to be done... They're just making things more expensive, time consuming, and tedious.... Argh

html5 codec? no. no such thing really, an html5 video tag for support for said codec, yes... xbox plays mp4/h264 files on their own with out a video tag reference, the same as the mobile phones and blu-ray players etc

sagum said,
html5 codec? no. no such thing really, an html5 video tag for support for said codec, yes... xbox plays mp4/h264 files on their own with out a video tag reference, the same as the mobile phones and blu-ray players etc

What's your point exactly?
How could a 360 come with html5 support if it does not feature a webbrowser or any need for a html rendering mechanism system-wide?

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,

What's your point exactly?
How could a 360 come with html5 support if it does not feature a webbrowser or any need for a html rendering mechanism system-wide?

GS:mac

I think he was addressing the fellow who said Xbox 360 doesn't support H.264.

hagjohn said,
I wonder if Apple and Microsoft will follow Google's move?

Apple will never ditch H.264 since their iOS line all depends upon it with hardware acceleration. Its in their interests that we all move to H.264 instead.

I know some of you people think that 2012 is the end of the world but the royalty free h264 is until 2016...
after that it's unknown...

and btw those that still think that your xbox support h264 html5 codec is just wrong ...

NesTle said,
I know some of you people think that 2012 is the end of the world but the royalty free h264 is until 2016...
after that it's unknown...

and btw those that still think that your xbox support h264 html5 codec is just wrong ...


It's 5 years away and I'm sure after that time
a) other codecs have emerged and became adopted, too. But true, older parts of the web are in question
b) I can't see the foundation suddently require money for a once-free and by then out-dated codec.
H.265 is already being developed and due for i guess it was 2012
^Johnny's response renders my comment useless. ^^

Of cause it does not, but if I wanted to download a video and put it on a thumb drive to view on my 360, there is no hassle involved with h.264, with the other codecs there's conversion and also quality-loss involved.

GS:mac

~Johnny said,

http://www.engadget.com/2010/0...ree-forever-as-long-as-its/

They changed it a few months ago, it'll be free for the entire foreseeable future now.

On August 26, 2010 MPEG LA announced that H.264 encoded internet video that is free to end users will never be charged for royalties. All other royalties will remain in place such as the royalties for products that decode and encode H.264 video. The license terms are updated in 5-year blocks.

Is Firefox still off the H264 band-wagon? Will Safari become the best browser choice for Windows and Mac? *shock* *horror*

Right now my preference is Chrome > Safari > Firefox for Windows. If there is an h264 plugin available for Chrome I doubt it will change much. Otherwise looks like I'll be moving onto Safari.

Shadrack said,
Is Firefox still off the H264 band-wagon? Will Safari become the best browser choice for Windows and Mac? *shock* *horror*

Right now my preference is Chrome > Safari > Firefox for Windows. If there is an h264 plugin available for Chrome I doubt it will change much. Otherwise looks like I'll be moving onto Safari.


Yes and no.
Firefox does not support it in a fresh install, but Microsoft offers a plugin.

GS:mac

Shadrack said,
Is Firefox still off the H264 band-wagon? Will Safari become the best browser choice for Windows and Mac? *shock* *horror*

Right now my preference is Chrome > Safari > Firefox for Windows. If there is an h264 plugin available for Chrome I doubt it will change much. Otherwise looks like I'll be moving onto Safari.

Yea, I had just moved to Chrome, but unless I can continue to use H.264 video, it looks like I'm going back to Safari.

Ridiculous.

Stupid! Fine, I'll prompt people to install a compatible H.264 browser. I'm removing Chrome from my recommended browser list immediately.

ScottDaMan said,
Stupid! Fine, I'll prompt people to install a compatible H.264 browser. I'm removing Chrome from my recommended browser list immediately.

I'm sure they'll change their minds now. And you going to stop using other Google products? They are about the ONLY company capable of doing something at this scale and they are pushing to make everything more open, and you somehow have a problem with that.

I'm sure which all the talk about Android violations, they're trying to keep that from happening again.

h.264 is a great codec. Shame that they removed it.

Safari, Firefox here I come.

Seriously though, many devices have h.264 acceleration because the prevalence of h.264 on the web. Notably the Zune HD, iPhone/iPod Touch.

Poor move Google.

Blasius said,
Dumb move, and people blame IE for disrupting standards and implementations...

H.264 is not an HTML5 standard.

Miuku said,

H.264 is not an HTML5 standard.

There are no chosen video codec's for HTML5 just yet - but h.264's (usually in .mp4 files) are pretty much the standard at the moment for non-flash video.

bolix said,
Is H.264 the standard?
Yes.
It's not written on the W3C, but it is the standard, weather Google or Mozilla want to admit it. It's the only format with any market share, and hardware support, and no legal questions that haven't been resolved yet.

Ryoken said,
Yes.
It's not written on the W3C, but it is the standard, weather Google or Mozilla want to admit it. It's the only format with any market share, and hardware support, and no legal questions that haven't been resolved yet.

Which legal questions are to be answered for the open codecs?

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,

Which legal questions are to be answered for the open codecs?

GS:mac

The question as to if any of it is covered by MPEG-LA patents.
Any legal action, even if destined to fail, could take years and scare away any sites from adopting it as a standard.

Ryoken said,
Yes.
It's not written on the W3C, but it is the standard, weather Google or Mozilla want to admit it. It's the only format with any market share, and hardware support, and no legal questions that haven't been resolved yet.

It's not royalty free for everyone, which is a requirement for being an HTML5 video standard, so no, as it's now, it's not and will never have a chance of being a standard.

neoraptor said,
well when you own youtube you can force a lot of people using your codecs

It's not like they will remove H.264 support from YouTube.

neoraptor said,
well when you own youtube you can force a lot of people using your codecs

Hopefully we see rise of a new video sharing competitor.

Glendi said,

It's not like they will remove H.264 support from YouTube.

They can't, or all those TV's, Set Top Boxes, phones, etc will no longer be able to use it.. Then they will just look like idiots.

Ryoken said,
They can't, or all those TV's, Set Top Boxes, phones, etc will no longer be able to use it.. Then they will just look like idiots.

All those TV's and Set Top Boxes support more than JUST h.264. Plus most of them should be able to update to support whatever.

Ryoken said,
They can't, or all those TV's, Set Top Boxes, phones, etc will no longer be able to use it.. Then they will just look like idiots.

Plenty of HW devs support WebM... actually pretty much everyone but Intel.
Latter this year you'll see devices with WebM HW acceleration everywhere.

Crap. So Google doesn't want to pay license fees anymore?
I never use WebM, its quality is so much worse than H.264

With this change HTML5 is no flash killer.

figgy said,
Crap. So Google doesn't want to pay license fees anymore?
I never use WebM, its quality is so much worse than H.264

With this change HTML5 is no flash killer.

I don't think you have to pay license fees if you distribute your software freely...

Shadrack said,

I don't think you have to pay license fees if you distribute your software freely...

They don't pay fees for bundling it in Chrome, but they definitely have to pay them for streaming it in Youtube.

Google fail h264 works on xbox, ps3, pc, mac, linux, phones, dvd players, bluray players and tons of other devices.. splintering a codec unique only to the web isn't a solution

Relativity_17 said,
Splintering standards like this is bad only when Microsoft is doing it with IE.
/s

Except that h.264 isn't a standard.

Flawed said,

Except that h.264 isn't a standard.

Yes it is a standard, has been for a while. It's not HTML5 Video standard though, which is what the article is about.

Glendi said,

Yes it is a standard, has been for a while. It's not HTML5 Video standard though, which is what the article is about.

So its not the standard for HTML 5 video is what you're trying to say.. right?

Edited by Pc_Madness, Jan 12 2011, 5:07am :

Pc_Madness said,

So its not the standard for HTML 5 video is what you're trying to say.. right?

Trying? Can't you read?

Google apparently is not satisfied enough, and only wishes to support truly open technologies as a goal of the company is to "enable open innovation."

That's why they bundle Flash, because it's sooo open.

bb10 said,

That's why they bundle Flash, because it's sooo open.

Take a look at GNash, the GPL implementation of flash. Do you think the MPEG group would allow competing implementations of h.264?

Excellent... clutter the web again...
Just when people start liking that browsers run better and better at acid testing, this sh** comes up.
Seriously... To me h.264 is excellent.
Google want to argument with being "open"? They just closed a BIG BIIIIG door. Call that open...
Being open by chosing theora or webm over h.264 can't take place within the browser, but with the webdevs.
Letting the viewer down isn't really supporting openness.

GS:mac

Ohhhh.... that is so ****ing ridiculous...
What are they thinking!?! This is such a bad move it's unbelievable; who in hell is going to use that stupid codec anyway!?!?! h264 IS the standard, face it Google
Wow... that may make me switch browser...

djesteban said,
Ohhhh.... that is so ****ing ridiculous...
What are they thinking!?! This is such a bad move it's unbelievable; who in hell is going to use that stupid codec anyway!?!?! h264 IS the standard, face it Google
Wow... that may make me switch browser...

I think IE9 is the only browser supporting H.264 now?

djesteban said,
This is such a bad move it's unbelievable; who in hell is going to use that stupid codec anyway

Users wont notice the difference. Sites like YouTube will switch over to a patent unencumbered fomat, and no one will be the wiser h.264 will then fade into obscurity...

djesteban said,

h264 IS the standard, face it Google

Actually it's not. And thank god it isn't, for we don't wish to repeat the mp3 debacle again.

djesteban said,

Wow... that may make me switch browser...

We all know you are pro-MS pro-Proprietary, so your sarcasm comes as no surprise

Flawed said,

Actually it's not. And thank god it isn't, for we don't wish to repeat the mp3 debacle again.

The final drafting work on the first version of the standard was completed in May 2003. You're wrong my friend.

IceBreakerG said,
Just because something is "open" doesn't mean it's better, and in this situation it's definitely not better.

At least they had the BALLS to drop it. Sacrifices have to be made for the better interests, doesn't matter if it's a tiiiny bit not as good as H264.

thartist said,

At least they had the BALLS to drop it. Sacrifices have to be made for the better interests, doesn't matter if it's a tiiiny bit not as good as H264.

Or the fact that millions of devices out there don't have hardware support.

thartist said,

At least they had the BALLS to drop it. Sacrifices have to be made for the better interests, doesn't matter if it's a tiiiny bit not as good as H264.

Why should they drop it when it didn't cost them anything to support it in the first place? They didn't have to pay any royalty fees since Chrome is free. All they want to do is push their own "open" inferior codec which has **** poor support instead of supporting a codec that's already proven to be a standard and is supported by just about everything that plays video now. What sense does that make other than forcing their crappy codec on us?

IceBreakerG said,

Why should they drop it when it didn't cost them anything to support it in the first place?

It costs them a lot of money to license its use for YouTube. I think Google wants to phase it out, and thereby save themselves a lot of revenue which could otherwise be put back into the site.

IceBreakerG said,
Just because something is "open" doesn't mean it's better, and in this situation it's definitely not better.

Open means anyone can improve upon it, then release it. This stimulates competition and helps to avoid technology monopolies.

Flawed said,

Open means anyone can improve upon it, then release it. This stimulates competition and helps to avoid technology monopolies.

And monopolies we have. Supporting truly open formats that will always remain free drives innovation. I never said "open is always better" - esp when fragmentation begins to occur. We see this happen a lot on Linux platforms.

I stand behind what I said. Good move on Google's part.

Oh great now instead of conformance to standards as an arguement for browser choice it's which company supports open or proprietary technologies.

It's nice how FUD can cause people to behave irrationally.

I think the point is to avoid standardising on patent encumbered software. Look at the mp2/mp3 codecs for DVD video and audio tracks respectively. I don't think we want a repeat of that situation do we? The web is open, and we want it to stay that way.

I think everyone is missing the REAL point here...

While 264 is free for use in free browsers, it's not free for commercial uses.

Since Google's new browser-based Operating System is the basis for an entirely new line of hardware products, for profit of course, it's pretty clear Google will have to pay royalties for the codecs use on these (and probably Android-based) products.

Always follow the money, folks.

This is about pinching pennies at the long term expense of every end-user out there.

gadean said,
nice, using a completely open codec is great move on their part!

Why? h.264 is a better codec, royalty free if it's distributed with free software, and is supported by games consoles, TV's, DVD players, MP3 players, smart phones, photo frames, etc.

WebM tends to have worse video quality, and is basically supported by nothing. What's the point to it? Why would we want to move to it? Open? That's got absolutely no advantages to most of us. We're just downgrading video quality in the end o.O

gadean said,
nice, using a completely open codec is great move on their part!

Oh please stop with these open thing. H.264 is superior, why ditch that?

gadean said,
nice, using a completely open codec is great move on their part!

This is very hypocritical for a company that says "web should be INCLUSIVE" and bashes Apple for not supporting Flash.

gadean said,
nice, using a completely open codec is great move on their part!

I agree. It's just like the enormous success story that is OGG. Why, I remember back when it first started, and only two, maybe three people had heard of it. But now the number has more than tripled!

Joshie said,

I agree. It's just like the enormous success story that is OGG. Why, I remember back when it first started, and only two, maybe three people had heard of it. But now the number has more than tripled!

Ahaha! Hilarious.

At first I was like 'I am so gonna disagree!', then you made a complete 180, lol

jhoeforth said,

This is very hypocritical for a company that says "web should be INCLUSIVE" and bashes Apple for not supporting Flash.

Furthermore, Flash is a very closed plugin. For google to dump h.264 yet keep flash as an embedded part of their browser raises a few questions to their real motives as to whether they are actually promoting open-ness in this move.
If they were truly open, they'll dump flash and pursue other truly open ended alternatives. Why keep the closed Flash, yet adopt their open codec? Clearly this is HYPOCRISY and inspired by their desire to leverage their own codec.

Joshie said,

I agree. It's just like the enormous success story that is OGG. Why, I remember back when it first started, and only two, maybe three people had heard of it. But now the number has more than tripled!

ohhh yea!! everyone knows that mp3 is obselete now and ogg is the new standard
/sarcasm

Oh, and btw, a more apt article title I saw elsewhere- "Google has pulled a Microsoft"

~Johnny said,

Why? h.264 is a better codec

It depends on your definition of better. In terms of efficiency and video quality, h.264 is no better than WebM. And some would say that an open source/patent free codec is vastly superior for an open web, which I happen to agree with.

~Johnny said,

royalty free if it's distributed with free software

No. Companies like Mozilla would have to pay a licence fee just to include it in Firefox. Never mind the incompatibilities with open source licences such as the GPL. In the end, proprietary codecs should never be standardised when there are equivalent patent free alternatives.

~Johnny said,

and is supported by games consoles, TV's, DVD players, MP3 players, smart phones, photo frames, etc.

I guess they hedged their bets wrong then, didn't they.

~Johnny said,

WebM tends to have worse video quality

Not really. For youtube and such sites, I don't think anyone will even notice a difference. h.264 is basically a dead codec walking. No doubt we will see a last gasp round of lawsuits, a la SCO, by the MPEG group and their backers MS, apple etc to try and force users/companies to tow the line.

~Johnny said,

, and is basically supported by nothing. What's the point to it? Why would we want to move to it? Open? That's got absolutely no advantages to most of us. We're just downgrading video quality in the end o.O

A number of sites already support the Theora codec. And open has many advantages. Anyone can support it, even financially challenged start up companies. It's open to improvements by the community. It reduces the costs for implementing hardware decoding, thus passing on savings to the consumer. And many many more.

superconductive said,

ohhh yea!! everyone knows that mp3 is obselete now and ogg is the new standard
/sarcasm

Me thinks you missed the sarcasm in the quoted post.

gadean said,
nice, using a completely open codec is great move on their part!

It's just a polar Google vs MS move, nothing more.

Flawed said,

It depends on your definition of better. In terms of efficiency and video quality, h.264 is no better than WebM. And some would say that an open source/patent free codec is vastly superior for an open web, which I happen to agree with.

Most people would define "better" as meaning faster encode/decode, and also higher quality output. x264 (open source h264 encoder) encodes video faster than VP8 (webm) while simultaneously producing higher quality video.
Source: http://www.compression.ru/vide.../appendixes.html#Appendix_8
See also:
http://x264dev.multimedia.cx/archives/377 (image comparison http://doom10.org/compare/ )
http://x264dev.multimedia.cx/archives/486

gadean said,
nice, using a completely open codec is great move on their part!

Why do people always think open = best? While it's actually so simple: Best = best.
If an open standard happens to have the best features, this is nice. But if a closed standard has better features, it's just plain silly to use a different standard "just because it's open".

Too bad more and more governments are going for this 'open = best', phasing out the Windows platform they've always used without issues and replacing it with a new Linux platform only because it's open. It might not meet all their requirements, but at least it's open...

Flawed said,

It depends on your definition of better. In terms of efficiency and video quality, h.264 is no better than WebM. And some would say that an open source/patent free codec is vastly superior for an open web, which I happen to agree with.

I respect EVERY single opinion of WebM Supporters. Being Open and Patents free for a Video Codec is one thing. Lying about Video Codec Quality is a completely different Matters.

WebM Supporters - And especially you , Flawed; much like your name implies, provide flawed information.

WebM, at its current status, IS worst then the best implementation of H.264, x264. In most if not ALL aspect. Efficiency and Quality.

This - is a FACT! And it IS a noticeable different. No silly PSNR or x matrix measurement.

Very bad move google.

You do not have anywhere near the numbers that will allow you to set standards and directions for web browsers. Users will get ****ed off very quickly when their favourite website doesn't work with chrome and go back to IE or FF.

gadean said,
nice, using a completely open codec is great move on their part!

-1

It looks like Google has been unable to provide an implementation of hardware acceleration for H.264 decoding in Chrome on par with IE9's implementation, so they are now relying on Flash player's implementation of H.264 which actually supports hardware acceleration since flash 10.1...

and since hardware acceleration for WebM doesn't exist yet, they can claim they did their best while providing multiplatform mediocre software decoding only...

anyway, H.264 can still be played on every web browser on any device (IOS, WP7, Android, Windows, Linux, OSX through flash or natively), as opposite to WebM which is not supported in IE9, Safari, IOS, and WP7 (not to mention that you can't add any plugin on IOS/WP7 to support it in the platform's web browser due to security restrictions).

Flawed said,

It depends on your definition of better. In terms of efficiency and video quality, h.264 is no better than WebM. And some would say that an open source/patent free codec is vastly superior for an open web, which I happen to agree with.


No. Companies like Mozilla would have to pay a licence fee just to include it in Firefox. Never mind the incompatibilities with open source licences such as the GPL. In the end, proprietary codecs should never be standardised when there are equivalent patent free alternatives.


I guess they hedged their bets wrong then, didn't they.


Not really. For youtube and such sites, I don't think anyone will even notice a difference. h.264 is basically a dead codec walking. No doubt we will see a last gasp round of lawsuits, a la SCO, by the MPEG group and their backers MS, apple etc to try and force users/companies to tow the line.


A number of sites already support the Theora codec. And open has many advantages. Anyone can support it, even financially challenged start up companies. It's open to improvements by the community. It reduces the costs for implementing hardware decoding, thus passing on savings to the consumer. And many many more.

Do you just accept any propaganda you read on the internet as fact?
There are NO, AT ALL, WHAT-SO-EVER advantages of VP8 over h264 for the END USER.

Mozilla CAN, WITHOUT AN ISSUE have functional h264 support without paying any fees. They are refusing because of their pride, nothing else.

People will notice a video quality decrease and wander why their videos are lagging badly. WebM will require people to upgrade their PCs (which can run high-bitrate 1080p h264 video just fine) to run VP8 videos.

Goddamn you **** me off.

PeterTHX said,

How? A codec very few use? H264 is everywhere.

Which is why it's important for companies and organisations like Google and Mozilla to actively encourage its use.

Udedenkz said,
Mozilla CAN, WITHOUT AN ISSUE have functional h264 support without paying any fees. They are refusing because of their pride, nothing else.

How?