Stephen Shankland for Cnet:
H.265 brings two notable features. First, it can match the quality of H.264 with half the network bandwidth, in principle either improving streaming video at the same data rate or reducing network usage at the same quality. Second, it supports UltraHD video (also called 4K), which quadruples the number of pixels for larger displays.
Great news, particularly for mobile video.
And what ever happened to Google’s “H.264-killer”, VP8? Oh:
One of H.265’s notable challengers is Google’s VP8 and upcoming VP9. With VP8, Google has offered a video encoding-decoding (codec) technology that’s doesn’t require patent royalty payments. H.264, which was available well before VP8, enjoys broader usage in the electronics market, though, reaching from Blu-ray discs to videocameras.
Yeah, with VP9 apparently already on the way, safe to say that VP8 was a big heap of fail. And the non-patent encumbered part remains up for debate.
This is much more interesting than it may appear at first. Mozilla has previously been not just opposed, but vehemently opposed to using the H.264 codec. They view it as patent encumbered.
If you ask Google, one of the reasons they started work on the rival VP8 (the video portion of WebM, which may still also be patent encumbered, by the way) was because of this. They wanted a HTML5 video codec that would span the entire web.
It caused a bit of a shitstorm when Google announced they’d drop H.264 support in Chrome — even though they were keeping Flash built in. It sounded like a nightmare scenario that wouldn’t work.
And it didn’t. In fact, over a year later, Chrome has yet to drop H.264 support.
Now Mozilla is talking about supporting H.264 because basically they have no choice. Their Boot2Gecko mobile OS project will be a complete non-starter without it. And if they do it there, they’re thinking about doing it elsewhere, it seems.
The most interesting quote from Mozilla director of research, Andreas Gal:
Google pledged many things they didn’t follow through with and our users and our project are paying the price. H.264 wont go away. Holding out just a little longer buys us exactly nothing.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Google over-promised and under-delivered. Badly.