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Webrtc Hammers Out Compromise on Video Codec Standards


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WebRTC has the potential to bring voice and video calling to anyone with a browser.

Proponents of Web standard for real-time communication via browser WebRTC have reached a compromise on the H.264 and VP8 video codecs.

Credit: iStockphoto

Proponents of WebRTC, the Web standard for real-time communications via browsers, have reached a compromise on the H.264 and VP8 video codecs, and Mozilla's Andreas Gal says the decision is a victory for users and Web application developers.

Under the agreement, browsers must support both video codecs, which will help ensure broad interoperability, notes Gal.

The VP8 standard can be deployed without having to pay patent royalties, while H.264 has a very large installed base in existing systems and hardware.

The compromise comes more than two years after advocates chose G.711 and Opus as audio codecs.

The World Wide Web Consortium views WebRTC as a major paradigm shift for the open Web, says Ovum analyst Michael Azoff.

"WebRTC is one of the most exciting things to happen to the Web in years," Gal says. "It has the potential to bring instant voice and video calling to anyone with a browser, finally unshackling us from proprietary plug-ins and installed apps."

Firefox, Chrome, and Opera already support WebRTC, and Microsoft recently said it will do so in the future.

From InfoWorld
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