theweatherelectric writes: Rob Glidden notes on his blog that MPEG has recently 'announced it has received proposals for a royalty-free MPEG standard and has settled on a deliberation process to consider them.' There two tracks towards royalty-free video currently under consideration by MPEG. The first track is IVC, a new 'standard based on MPEG-1 technology which is believed a safe royalty-free baseline that can be enhanced by additional unencumbered technology described in MPEG-2, JPEG, research publications and innovative technologies which are promised to be subject to royalty-free licenses.' The second proposed track is WebVC, an attempt to get the constrained baseline profile of H.264 licensed under royalty-free terms. Rob Glidden offers an analysis of both proposals. Also of interest is Rob's short history of why royalty-free H.264 failed last time.
theweatherelectric writes: According to the YouTube blog, YouTube is now transcoding all new uploads to WebM, whereas previously the focus was on 720p and 1080p video. Google's James Zern writes, 'Transcoding all new video uploads into WebM is an important first step, and we’re also working to transcode our entire video catalog to WebM. Given the massive size of our catalog — nearly 6 years of video is uploaded to YouTube every day — this is quite the undertaking. So far we’ve already transcoded videos that make up 99% of views on the site or nearly 30% of all videos into WebM. We’re focusing first on the most viewed videos on the site, and we’ve made great progress here through our cloud-based video processing infrastructure that maximizes the efficiency of processing and transcoding without stopping. It works like this: at busy upload times, our processing power is dedicated to new uploads, and at less busy times, our cloud will automatically switch some of our processing to encode older videos into WebM. As we continue to transcode the remaining inventory, we’ll keep you posted on our progress.'
theweatherelectric writes: Dr. Silvia Pfeiffer recently gave a Google Tech talk explaining the Web Video Text Track file format. She writes, 'On Wednesday, I gave a talk at Google about WebVTT, the Web Video Text Track file format that is under development at the WHATWG for solving time-aligned text challenges for video. I started by explaining all the features that WebVTT supports for captions and subtitles, mentioned how WebVTT would be used for text audio descriptions and navigation/chapters, and explained how it is included into HTML5 markup, such that the browser provides some default rendering for these purposes. I also mentioned the metadata approach that allows any timed content to be included into cues.' Slides of her talk are also available.
theweatherelectric writes: Google has released a preview of the WebM media foundation components for Microsoft Internet Explorer 9. CNET's Stephen Shankland writes, 'In an effort to bring its Web video technology to a browser that doesn't support it, Google has released an IE9 plug-in to play WebM video. The move won't bring an end to the industry scuffle over the best way to build video into the Web, but it will mean that allies behind Google's preferred mechanism will be able to reach beyond the three browsers that support WebM today, Google's Chrome, Opera Software's Opera, and Mozilla's Firefox. Apple's Safari and Microsoft's brand-new IE9 support the rival H.264 video codec (though IE9 requires Windows 7 or an updated version of Windows Vista).' Further detail can be found on the WebM components for IE9 page on the WebM website.
theweatherelectric writes: The WebM Project has made available (but only by request) the RTL source code of their VP8 hardware encoder. They write, 'The H1 encoder offloads the entire VP8 video encoding process from the host CPU to a separate accelerator block on the SOC. It significantly reduces power consumption and enables encoding of 1080p resolution video at full 30 FPS, or 720p at 60 FPS. Without a hardware accelerator like the H1, modern multi-core mobile devices can only encode video at around VGA 25 FPS, and are not able to do much else while doing that.' This follows on from the recent 0.9.6 release of the VP8 SDK which improved encoder speed and image quality.