Viewers of Silicon Valley will appreciate the earth-shattering importance of compression algorithms. To most everyone else, it's a geeky bit of maths that's of no particular interest. But when Google promises an algorithm that can cut the bandwidth needed to stream a video in half, things get a little more interesting.
Tagged With codecs
As the ongoing Meerkatification of humanity proves, the internet (in one form or another) is becoming more and more about video. At peak times, Netflix and YouTube alone account for half of all web traffic. That's an understandably huge burden for ISPs to carry. But as well as making the pipes bigger, we can also shrink down what goes through them.
Streaming video is the future. Well, it's the present, but the future too. And as resolutions increase, it's going to be a tougher and tougher proposition to pipe all that data to your screen of choice in a timely fashion. Fortunately, the new H.265 standard has been approved by the ITU and it's here to help.
Apple Maps still needs work if it wants to supplant Google's offering, but one thing it has gotten right is the use of vector data over raster images. When it comes to downloading new information or zooming in and out, Apple Maps is the superior product. So why not use vectors for say, encoding video, where its space-saving and quality-preserving benefits would be just wonderful? Don't worry, science is onto it.
Apparently, piracy groups get together periodically to discuss the finer points of their escapades. Who knew? At the latest gathering of the piracy world's lords and ladies, they decided to promote the x264 codec for TV encoding duties over the venerable XviD. The move has caused a rather vocal response from their consumers.
Oh wow. Google's dropping support for h.264 video in Chrome, because, they say, they're only going to support "open codec technologies".
MPEG LA, the group who who licenses the h.264 video codec, has extended its royalty-free use (for free internet video) from 2016 until, well, forever. But Mozilla thinks that the better part of forever could belong to Google's WebM format.
Appropriately following our explainer on why HTML5 won't save the internet (yet) and the embedded discussion about video codecs and the future of internet video, MPEG LA - who licenses the H.264 codec - has announced they're going to continue H.264's royalty freeness for free internet video through 2016.
Something we love about Windows 7 is that it has much better native codec support, like H.264 and AAC. But the price might be high: It looks like Windows 7 might block third-party video decoders.
HandBrake has always been the go-to app for ripping your DVDs into MPEG video files for playing back on an iPod or archiving on your network, and now in the 0.9.3 release, the multiplatform app will take any video file as an input source, not just DVDs. That means if you have a tricky video file you need to transcode to play on your PMP, game console or anywhere else, HandBrake has got you covered now.
Once upon time, video codecs and formats were really only the concern of AV nerds, anime freaks and hardcore not-so-legal movie downloaders. Now, even the most part-time of geeks has to deal with them, whether they're trying to stream a flick across their house with an Apple TV, dump some video onto their phone or just trying to grab last night's episode of Dexter because they, uh, forgot to renew their Showtime subscription that'll work in their media player. It's messy and annoying, but we're here to clean it up. Take a deep breath.
CNET got their hands on Cowon's new flash-based PMP, the O2, and they think it's one of the year's best dedicated media players. The 4.3-inch touchscreen player has a truly ridiculous list of supported codecs, an SDHC slot to expand its internal 8, 16, or 32GB memory, solid (if not too flashy) GUI, and a surprisingly affordable price: only $US219, $US249, and $US299 respectively.
The Celrun TV multimedia player comes equipped to the back teeth. The HD multimedia player totes Ethernet, WiFi b/g for basic, network accessible storage; digital and analog TV tuners, IPTV support, DVR functionality, 320GB HDD, two USB ports, as well as RGB, S-VIDEO and HDMI outputs. Add to that the ability to playback H.264, WMV, AVI, Xvid, MOV, VOB, MPEG1/2/4 and a whole host of other supported codecs in between, the Celrun TV is certainly a souped up performer on paper. No idea as yet whether we'll see it Stateside, but if it does make an appearance, we'll be sure to let you know.