Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 12th Jan 2011 17:44 UTC
Internet & Networking With yesterday's news that Google will be dropping H.264 support from the Chrome web browser, the internet was split in half. One one side, there's people who applaud the move, who are happy that Google is pushing an open, royalty-free and unencumbered video codec (irrespective of Google's motivation). On the other side, there are the H.264 supporters, who believe that H.264 is the one and only choice for HTML5 video. One of the most vocal and public figures in the latter group is John Gruber. Following his five questions for Google, here are ten questions for Gruber about WebM, H.264, and standards on the web.
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RE[3]: Hyperbole.
by galvanash on Thu 13th Jan 2011 17:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hyperbole."
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I'm not so sure. When you have a format like this that a major video site uses, a format that everyone uploading to there will use and a format that anyone has the freedom to implement these things have a habbit of encroaching like sand filling in a lot of crevices.

I'll concede that it is a possibility, but I don't see that happening in the commercial video world. H.264 is highly entrenched, and for the big companies using it commercially the licensing fees are easily recovered through sales. H.264 also has a significant advantage when it comes to tools and flexibility, and that isn't going to change for quite a while if ever.

Commercial broadcasters and distributors for the most part want to buy tools, because they want support contracts from their vendors. WebM is going to take a long time to penetrate there (if ever) - and the only advantage it really offers is the elimination of licensing fees, which frankly are not that much for the Sonys and Toshibas of the world.

You'll notice I have never said I thought WebM was a better format technically - that is because imo it isn't. It probably never will be, but it is certainly good enough for most uses. I think the simple fact that it is open and royalty free will create an environment where tool development will become highly accelerated over the course of this year. By 2012, we should have some pretty good open source tools for WebM. Enough that a thriving video ecosystem for non-commercial video becomes possible.

I personally think what will end up happening is WebM will take over the non-commercial video world, but will have little if any effect on the commercial video market. But you never know...

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