updated 10:15 am EST, Fri January 3, 2014
19 hardware partners lined up to support standard for YouTube
Google's YouTube will be showing of a 4K-capable video codec, VP9, at next week's CES in Las Vegas, according to GigaOm. The format is being presented as an alternative to H.265, and will be open and royalty-free. To avoid the lack of support that killed off Google's VP8, the company has signed up 19 hardware partners, including Samsung, Sharp, Toshiba, ARM, Intel, Broadcom, and Marvell. At CES, 4K YouTube steaming will be demonstrated at booths belonging to LG, Sony, and Panasonic.
YouTube's global director of platform partnerships, Francisco Varela, states that YouTube's use of VP9 is not meant to exclude other standards. "This certainly isn't a war of the video codecs," he says, adding that VP9 is just the first announcement YouTube is making about 4K. That could imply that YouTube will support both VP9 and H.265.
Varela comments that VP9 should not only support 4K at acceptable bitrates but cut the amount of bandwidth needed for regular HD videos in half. "By 2015, you'll be surprised every time you see that spinning wheel," he claims. VP9-cable hardware is expected to reach PCs and mobile devices first, and come to TVs in 2015. It could also be adopted by non-Google video services.