Support Spreads Out For Google's WebM Video Format

by Ostatic Staff - May. 19, 2010

Directly on the heels of the announcement by Google of its new royalty-free video format, WebM, adjunct announcements are pouring in showing far-reachng support for the new format. With Google open sourcing the underlying VP8 codec technology that it acquired from On2 in February, the combination of openness and third-party support could make WebM a healthy competitor for formats such as H.264.

With Mozilla, Opera and Google's own YouTube announced as supporters of WebM today, the new format already appeared to have significant momentum. Now, Kaltura has announced that its open source video platform will support WebM, and MIPS has announced far-reaching plans for it as well.

According to a statement from Kaltura:

"We are very excited to be a part of such a meaningful step in securing the future of open video on the Web, together with industry leaders such as Google, Mozilla and others," said Shay David, Kaltura Co-founder & Vice President of Business and Community Development. "Kaltura has long been a thought-leader and innovator in the open video movement, with our open source online video platform and industry initiatives such as the Open Video Alliance, Video on Wikipedia and"

In the case of MIPS, which is already seeking to bring its own distribution of Google Android to set-top boxes and home entertainment devices, WebM is positioned as a central part of that strategy. In a statement, the company said:

"Through the WebM project, developers can access highly-optimized, royalty-free video encoders and decoders for VP8, as well as optimized reference RTL for hardware implementations."

Art Swift, vice president of marketing for MIPS Technologies added that: "Our licensees are increasingly incorporating web connectivity not just in products such as netbooks and mobile handsets, but also in digital home devices such as DTVs, set-top boxes, Blu-ray players and more. We expect to see rapid adoption of VP8 among our licensees, many of whom already use VP8 and its predecessors."

The folks behind Ogg Theora, Adobe, and several open source organizations are also pledging support for Google's initiative. With the success of Android, Google has demonstrated that it can virally spread an open source platform and gain substantial support from third parties. So far, it's looking very much like we'll see WebM gain a foothold, making direct competition with video formats such as H.264 a reality.