A number of tech companies have joined together to create a new open source video format that could finally kill-off the much maligned, yet stubbornly enduring, Flash format.
THE LIST, WITH a few notable exceptions, is a roster of some of the biggest names in tech: Amazon, Cisco, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Mozilla and Netflix are teaming up to revamp the way video works over the Internet.
The companies have joined together as the Alliance for Open Media in an effort to create a new open source format. Apple and Facebook are two high profile tech firms that are conspicuously absent from the founder’s list. (Apple is rumored to be working on its own streaming television service, and has long preferred its own QuickTime format.)
The new format, which doesn’t even have a name yet, so don’t expect it to hit the web tomorrow, will be designed specifically for delivering streaming video over the Internet, and will be optimized for low-powered devices, such as the cheaper Android phones and tablets. The format will also support copy protection, due to Netflix’s needs.
The new video format will be royalty free, and the standard will be released under the Apache License 2.0, which allows code covered by the license to be used in commercial and proprietary projects.
“As resolutions and frame rates increase, the need for more advanced codecs with ever-better compression ratios will only grow,” Mozilla platform engineer lead David Bryant said. “We believe that Daala, Cisco’s Thor, and Google’s VP10 combine to form an excellent basis for a truly world-class royalty-free codec.”
The alliance’s proposed standard could lead to more confusion in the industry, as Google has already created a format called VP10; Mozilla has Daala; and Cisco recently released a format called Thor. The presence of heavy hitters in the tech industry does bode well for avoiding redundancies, and could lead to a strong video standard. However at this point, the new format will have to be approached with a wait and see attitude.