VP8 Could Become a Standard in HTML5
Mozilla will lobby for the VP8 video codec to become the recommended standard video technology on the web, the company’s CEO says. Mozilla will propose the idea to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in order to have the technology, which has just been open sourced, added to the specification for HTML5.
“That’s our hope,” Mozilla CEO John Lilly tells CNet’s Stephen Shankland. “We’d love for VP8 to be specified in the HTML5 standard. Once it’s in the spec, it can really get better traction from other players.”
The company would need to rally support from all the major browser vendors and the W3C to get such a proposal into the spec. Mozilla isn’t saying just yet how it plans to go about doing so, but we can expect a statement in the coming days, according to Shankland’s report.
For its part, the W3C is anxious to arrive at a standard recommendation for a single native web video solution. The consortium has a policy that any technology it recommends adheres to its own royalty-free patent policy. The WebM project, the group behind VP8, is confident the codec does not infringe on any patents.
One of the promises of HTML5 is that, once finalized, it will allow developers to embed videos in web pages so people can view them without the use of plug-ins like Silverlight and Flash. But that particular part of the HTML5 draft specification remains in limbo, as browser makers can’t agree on a single video codec to support. As a result, the W3C has refrained from recommending any single video technology as a standard for all browsers.
The landscape changed significantly last week, when Google announced the VP8 codec it recently acquired would be released under a permissive open source license, meaning other browser makers could incorporate it into their browsers and play embedded VP8 videos natively at no cost. Mozilla and Opera joined Google in launching the WebM Project to speed VP8′s adoption. Soon after that, Microsoft pledged support for VP8 playback in IE9 if the user has the video codec installed on Windows.
Apple, which supports H.264 in Safari, has remained quiet on VP8 so far. But if Mozilla succeeds in getting VP8 approved as the recommended video codec in the HTML5 specification, Safari would be more likely to add support for it. Otherwise, Safari would become the only “non-HTML5-compliant” browser from a major vendor. That’s some bad marketing.
- On Web Video Support, Safari Now Stands Alone
- Major Browser Vendors Launch WebM Free Open Video Project
- Report: Google Will Release VP8 Video Codec Under an Open Source License
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