Choc Factory's king codec serves 25 BEELLION Tube hours

VP9 successor cuts data in half, turns dog's breakfast into clean stream

Close-up of a YouTube logo as viewed on a computer screen in close up...

Users have watched 25 billion hours of YouTube videos encoded with Google's VP9 codec, which the company says brings the net closer to instant high-quality bufferless video.

The Choc Factory's open source VP9 is designed as a replacement for the popular patented H.264 and HEVC codecs and is particularly valuable for mobile user as it can cut data requirements in half.

Turkey, Mexico, and Indonesia received a free bump from low grade YouTube video to standard definition under the VP9 deployment over the last 12 months.

The codec can for those with high-quality monitors and fat bandwidth capacity enable 4k (2160p) videos which Google flicked on last month. The number of 4k-capable videos uploaded to Choc Factory servers has tripled in the last year.

"VP9 is the most efficient video compression codec in widespread use today," Google software engineer Steven Robertson says.

"This new format bumps everybody one notch closer to our goal of instant, high-quality, buffer-free videos. That means that if your internet connection used to only play up to 480p without buffering on YouTube, it can now play silky smooth 720p with VP9."

Robertson says videos that did not receive the VP9 treatment and are left as shot would result in "enormous" file sizes with 4K tipping 18,000 Mbps.

Modern codes he says encode a description of scene features and tracks how those elements change in a process hundreds of times more efficient than camera sensors.

The VP9-smitten engineer says google's codec becomes more efficient for larger file sizes and points out that more than 20 device 'partners' are launching VP9-capable products joining the Chrome browser, Samsung phones, and Sony TVs which already support the platform.

The new codec follows VP8 which bombed amid stiff competition from H.264, and was first showcased at CES 2014. ®

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