While impossible to determine what 2014 will bring the world, today it became easier to know what YouTube has planned in the coming year.
For those that watch cat videos, American Idol bloopers, and bum fights while insisting on HD quality, they’ll presumably be happier with the announcement that YouTube, thanks to Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), will implement technologies that will see less of the spinning buffering wheel.
Google to showcase VP9 next week
This move will come from parent company Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s VP9 codec that YouTube will show the world at the International CES in Las Vegas next week. The new codec will, in theory, provide a brand-new way to watch better quality (4K high-definition streaming) videos faster than ever before.
This 4K streaming will be showed off at the Panasonic, Sony and LG booths to users looking for something new. Thing is, there are not a lot of people clamoring for this new technology.
VP9 allows for the better image quality of 4K but at a faster loading speed, as compared to the current video format, called H.264. There is also the newer version of H.264, called H.265, that can run as quickly and with as high of quality as VP9, that is gaining ground. The primary difference, however, is the fact that VP9 is royalty-free. There will be no payments to the patent holder, in the case of H.264 and H.265 that holder is MPEG LA.
Seth Rosenblat, of CNET worries that Google might be a bit quick in VP9’s introduction that may prove too much for existing devices. The full introduction of VP9 isn’t set to occur until June 17, but he writes,
The full roll out of VP9 will happen by June 17, but some worry that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) may be outpacing devices.
Is Google moving too fast?
“One problem is that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is moving very fast. Software such as Web browsers on PCs can be updated rapidly, but it’s harder and slower work to build hardware support into chips so mobile phones can decode video without crushing battery life. The industry barely has started coping with VP9’s predecessor, VP8, which has been on the market for three years,” wrote Rosenblat.
New format could do away with YouTube buffering
In summing up a conversation with Francisco Varela, global director of platform partnerships at YouTube, about the switch to VP9, GigaOm reporter Janko Roettgers recently wrote that, “He emphasized how the use of the codec won’t just help YouTube to deliver higher resolutions at reasonable bitrates, but also reduce the amount of data necessary to stream regular HD videos by about half. This will help YouTube to improve video delivery and do away with buffering, said Varela: ‘By 2015, you’ll be surprised every time you see that spinning wheel.’