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CES 2014: YouTube to demonstrate VP9 codec for 4K video streaming

Among the many new consumer products, to be introduced at the CES 2014, YouTube team is all set to present VP9 codec, 4K video streaming technology next week.

The new 4K video format – also known as UltraHD — will be penetrating the market, making obsolete the FullHD (1080p) from the monitors and TVs over the next years, which is 4x lesser than 4K videos (3840 x 2160 pixels vs 1920 x 1080 pixels).

For those who’re not aware of the successor to the VP8 codec, it was launched in 2010 by Google in an attempt to spread an alternative royalty free solutions such as H.264. The project has shown its potential, but couldn’t hit its target due to the lack of support from manufacturers and the co-operation of all those organizations that have economic interests in the use of commercial codecs.

Over the course, the makers of YouTube have gained strong experience and managed partnerships with companies such as LG, Panasonic, Sony, Toshiba and Sharp, as well as the chipmakers Intel, ARM, Broadcom and Marvell.

In the halls of CES 2014, the developers will give a demo of how it works before VP9 codec for UltraHD video streaming. According to Francisco Varela, Global director of platform partnerships at YouTube, the use of new codec will ensure the quality of 4K with a reduced bit rate than made available by H.265. “By 2015, you’ll be surprised every time you see that spinning wheel,” He said.

“This certainly isn’t a war of the video codecs,” Varela said.

The VP9 codec will reduce around 50% of necessary data traffic for streaming, and it would benefit both the server and the end user. Hence, its implementation will take place at first on PCs and mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, and then will reach the TV industry by 2015.

FYI, Netflix has already announced 4K streaming service, coming later this year while the Mountain View has also tied up with a series of TV manufacturers in order to debut VP9-enabled devices as soon as possible.

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