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Google gearing up for 4K video frenzy at CES

Potent partners sign up for VP9 streaming push

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CES 2014 Google is gearing up to push its 4K VP9 video codec into the mainstream through YouTube and hardware partners.

The company has confirmed reports that at next week's CES conference in Las Vegas it will showcase the streaming video platform with multiple hardware vendors as part of an effort to bring the high-definition format to consumers.

Designed as the successor to the ill-fated VP8 platform, VP9 looks to provide a royalty-free platform for streaming at 4K resolutions. Google currently offers VP9 in its Chrome browser, and the codec is set to be released with upcoming versions of Firefox.

In addition to higher-definition video support, VP9 is said to provide improved compression for streaming video and thus a smaller data footprint than current-generation video codecs. Google includes the codec in its WebP platform.

Looking to avoid the problems that helped sink VP8, however, the company is lining up a number of partners to help showcase VP9 video. At the next week's CES show in Las Vegas, Google has teamed up with hardware vendors that will demonstrate VP9 video on their latest products.

Google told The Reg that more than a dozen firms will join in the effort to push VP9, including Intel, ARM, Broadcom, and Nvidia. CES attendees may also spot VP9 video on new screens showcased by Sony, LG, Samsung, Sharp, Panasonic, and Toshiba.

"Our friends across the industry are getting on board to help in a big way," Google global director of platform partnerships Francisco Varela said in an emailed statement.

"Starting in 2014, you'll see products from major mobile, PC and TV partners that are using a new, more efficient video format called VP9 that gives you HD quality at half the bandwidth." ®

Top three mobile application threats

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