How Google And On2's VP8 Video Codec Could Give H.264 A Run For Its Money

Eric Schmidt and Sergey Brin

If Google’s VP8 News Tomorrow Includes Hardware Support, Then Things Get Interesting

In addition to a long list of video ecosystem vendors who will support Google’s announcement tomorrow of their open-sourcing of the VP8 codec, I’m also hearing from content owners who have been working with Google in an effort to make their videos available using the VP8 codec. While it’s not at all surprising to have vendors support the codec, for Google to have already convinced some content owners, and some large ones at that, to support their VP8 codec could be a very big deal.

But even more important, numerous sources are telling me that Google plans to announce hardware support for VP8. If true, and VP8 does what it On2 claimed it could, the possibility does exist for VP8 to seriously challenge H.264 over time if Google can get enough hardware support, which I think they have a good shot at doing. If that happens, we could see a push away from H.264 if Google approaches the market correctly. Without hardware support, VP8 can do well, but it will never disrupt H.264. So the thing to watch from Google’s announcement tomorrow is any hardware deals they mention or any future talk of companies providing hardware support for their VP8 video codec.

Dan Rayburn is executive vice president at and principal analyst at Frost & Sullivan. This post originally appeared at his blog and was republished with permission.

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