IT’s top companies are working together to develop a royalty-free, open-source brand new video format.
The Alliance for Open Media, which has undertaken this challenge, includes Mozilla, Google, Cisco, Microsoft, Netflix, Amazon and Intel. More partners will be joining this collaborative effort, although it remains a mystery if giants like Facebook or Apple will be included in the mix.
The allied companies will put their expertise and knowledge to good use, sharing technology and analyzing patent requirements, so that they can provide high-quality imagery, sound, video and online streaming to every user.
The next-generation video format which is currently being designed will provide revamped content that is high-definition, scalable, Web-optimized and capable of being delivered real-time across the network.
This innovative video compression technology will most likely be available by 2016 or 2017, and it will allow clips to be streamed better and faster across the Web. Videos will load at much higher speeds and offer high resolution content, with an enhanced frame rate and improved color range.
This will enable users to enjoy a superior viewing experience while watching their favorite shows and clips on their computers, smart phones, TVs and video game consoles.
Making this state of the art technology open-source is preferable because according to Mozilla reps the World Wide Web has always promoted innovation and freedom, and patent licensing models have become obsolete nowadays. This way, the format’s interoperability will satisfy commercial and user-generated demands likewise.
‘Customer expectations for media delivery continue to grow, and fulfilling their expectations requires the concerted energy of the entire ecosystem’, explained Gabe Frost, the executive director of the Alliance for Open Media.
Aside from this super flexible video format, the IT giants will also create an open, free-of-charge video codec specification based on their previous work. The code will be published under the Apache 2.0 license and follow W3C patent rules. Namely, the alliance members will receive no royalties from their patents and from the codec’s implementation.
The tech companies’ group effort will allow video compression to keep up with innovations currently underway. Video standards usually change every 10 years, but it is necessary for them to become much more adaptable, so they can provide the proper framework not just for today’s videoconferencing services and streaming media, but also for tomorrow’s virtual reality devices.
The alliance is not the only competitor in this race. Another group named MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group) has been developing several popular compression standards. In the last decade, H.264 enjoyed the greatest popularity, being supported by every known device. It was followed by HEVC or H.265, which enhances video quality, but hasn’t yet sorted out issues related to licensing terms.
As a result of the slowness in adopting this standard, new compression technologies have been created by other companies, such as Daala (Mozilla), VP9 and VP10 (Google) and Thor (Cisco).
Image Source: Pixabay