The steady rise in digital consumption has increased the importance of video codecs and compression algorithms exponentially. I can’t help but note how the entire storyline of HBO’s Sitcom – Silicon Valley – pivots around creating the ultimate compression algorithm that would decrease the bandwidth used by many folds.
Google has raised the stakes and promised a compression algorithm that would literally chop off the bandwidth needed to stream 4K videos by half. Google Engineering product manager James Bankoski told CNET in an interview, that the VP 10 codec will replace VP9 codec which is already being employed to improve the YouTube sessions. The new compression algorithm claims to compress more efficiently, so much so that a 4K video file is reduced to half the size in comparison with the current VP9.
The compression algorithms in general are made up of math, which is used to dramatically reduce the bandwidth required with minimal / no-loss on the quality front. Google has pinned its hopes on the VP10 and it should be ready by the end of next year. The Google’s codec will be free to use and if it delivers as claimed, then the manufacturers will not hesitate to integrate it into their products over something like H.264 codec which is currently backed by the likes of Apple.
Google had got hold of the VP8 codec back in 2010 after it acquired On2 Technologies, but subsequently the fact that VP8 was lagging behind the standard proprietary H.264 codec hindered its growth. The VP9 codec came with a minimalistic change log in comparison to its predecessor and it still lacked lustre in some areas, especially when it came to getting efficient 4K video streaming. It seems Google is addressing all the impending issues on the VP10 and wants to package it in such a way that chip makers adopt it even for the hardware decoding.