The VP8 Codec

download codecThis is the hisotry of the the VP8 Codec. Video codecs have been essential in the advancement of digital video technology. They enable the compression and decompression of video data, allowing high-quality video to be transmitted over limited bandwidth channels. VP8 is one such video codec that has made significant strides in the video technology space since its release.

The VP8 Codec

VP8 is a free video codec that was developed by On2 Technologies, which was later acquired by Google. The codec was released in 2008 and became an alternative to the widely used H.264 codec. In this article, we will delve into the history and efficiency of VP8 codec.

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To understand the history of VP8, we must first look at the company that developed it, On2 Technologies. The company was founded in 1992 and specialized in video compression and streaming technologies. It developed several video codecs over the years, including VP3, VP4, VP5, and VP6.

The Origin of VP8

VP6 was the most popular codec developed by On2 Technologies, and it was widely used in video streaming applications, including Adobe Flash Player. However, VP6 had some limitations, including high computational complexity, which made it difficult to encode and decode.

In 2008, On2 Technologies released VP8, which was designed to address some of the limitations of VP6. VP8 was a free codec, which meant that it could be used by anyone without fees. This made it an attractive alternative to H.264, which was a proprietary codec that required fees. See also GOM Player as well as MPC-HC on here.

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Compression Techniques 

VP8 used several advanced compression techniques to provide high-quality video while being efficient in terms of file size. One of the techniques used by VP8 was intra-frame prediction, which allowed the codec to predict the content of a frame based on the previous frames, reducing the amount of data that needed to be encoded.

Another technique used by VP8 was motion compensation, which allowed the codec to analyze the movement of objects in a frame and encode only the changes, rather than the entire frame. This technique significantly reduced the amount of data that needed to be transmitted, making it suitable for video streaming applications.

VP8 also used variable block sizes, which allowed the codec to use different block sizes for different parts of a frame. This technique improved compression efficiency, as larger blocks were used for areas with less detail, and smaller blocks were used for areas with more detail.

VP8 was not without its challenges, and one of the main challenges was compatibility with existing hardware and software. Since VP8 was a new codec, it was not widely supported by hardware devices, and it required software decoding, which put a strain on the CPU. See also how to Enable or Disable Microsoft Edge VP9 on here.

The Acquisition

However, Google’s buying out On2 Technologies in 2010 brought significant changes to the adoption of VP8. Google released the codec as free and made it the default codec for its popular video sharing platform, YouTube. This move significantly increased the adoption of VP8, as it became the standard codec for web video streaming.

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Google also developed an optimized version of the VP8 codec, known as WebM. WebM used the VP8 codec for video and the Vorbis codec for audio, providing an open and royalty-free video format that was compatible with modern web browsers.

The release of WebM was significant in the development of VP8, as it addressed some of the challenges that the codec faced. WebM was supported by modern web browsers, making it possible to stream high-quality video without the need for software decoding. WebM also had support for hardware decoding, making it possible to stream high-quality video on mobile devices.

In conclusion, VP8 is a video codec that has made significant strides in the video technology space since its release. It has addressed some of the limitations of previous video codecs and has become an attractive alternative to proprietary codecs. Additionally also see the HEVC and VP9 Codecs on here as well as the heif image extensions.




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