Will Google Open-source The On2 Video Codec VP8?

Newteevee has recently reported that Google will possibly open-source the VP8 video codec next month. VP8 was developed by On2, the company which Google acquired in February.


This news comes at times when there is an ongoing battle among the H.264 and the Ogg Theora video codecs to gain control of the Open Web’s video format. However, Google will introduce VP8 as a new and prospective candidate even though it had announced the H.264 video codec for YouTube earlier.

On2 video compression claims that,

With On2 VP8, we set out to increase compression performance over On2 VP7 and leading H.264 implementations by 20% while reducing playback complexity by 40%.

Ryan Lawler at Newteeve writes,

The move comes as online video publishers are gravitating toward standards-based HTML5 video delivery, bolstered in part by the release of the iPad. However, that acceptance has been slowed by the fact that the industry has yet to agree on a single codec for video playback, with some companies throwing support behind  Ogg Theora and others hailing H.264 as the future of web video.

This move totally dampens the battle between H.264 and Theora, the currently leading web video codecs. Experts believe that H.264 provides a better video quality and playback as compared to Theora. Though, Theora has got quite a following owing to its open-source nature and absence of licensing issues.

Currently, H.264 is supported on Internet Explorer 9 and Safari whereas Opera and Firefox support Theora. Google Chrome supports both these video formats. If things go as per this plan, Google Chrome and Firefox will be the first ones to see support for VP8.

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Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.