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YouTube, HTML5, and Comparing H.264 With Theora 361

Posted by Soulskill
from the quality-vs-bandwidth dept.
David Gerard writes "Google Chrome includes Ogg support for the <video> element. It also includes support for the hideously encumbered H.264 format. Nice as an extra, but ... they're also testing HTML5 YouTube only for H.264 — meaning the largest video provider on the Net will make H.264 the primary codec and relegate the equally good open format Ogg/Theora firmly to the sidelines. Mike Shaver from Mozilla has fairly unambiguously asked Chris DiBona from Google what the heck Google thinks it's doing." DiBona responded with concerns that switching to Theora while maintaining quality would take up an incredible amount of bandwidth for a site like YouTube, though he made clear his support for the continued improvement of the project. Greg Maxwell jumped into the debate by comparing the quality of Ogg/Theora+Vorbis with the current YouTube implementations using H.263+MP3 and H.264+AAC. At the lower bitrate, Theora seems to have the clear edge, while the higher bitrate may slightly favor H.264. He concludes that YouTube's adoption of "an open unencumbered format in addition to or instead of their current offerings would not cause problems on the basis of quality or bitrate."

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