Codec Wars: WebM Vs H.264

Google's announcement earlier in the week about a change in HTML video support in Chrome has heated up intense debate on the future of the royalty-supported codec, H.264 video codec. While many critics have openly condemned the move, Google has maintained that the future of web video is definitely the open standard, which otherwise will spell hostage for the world wide web.

The fact that Google is a staunch advocate of the open web is again brought to the fore, albeit that H.264 has broader support by the publisher and developer community and hardware manufacturers, had gone ahead to changing Chrome's HTML video support.

While Microsoft and Apple had thrown their weight behind H.264 codec as the preferred technology for video tag; WebM advocates, Mozilla and Opera, now having Google on the line, still take a stand on the assumption that core web technologies need to be open and community developed for rapid evolution and adoption. However, developer and publisher community on the other hand, have stressed their concern on maintaining two different video standards.

But, given the fact that majority of H.264 videos on the web today are viewed on browser plug-ins, like Flash and Silverlight, may as well raise the valuation of plug-ins against the overriding purpose of video tags, enabling publishers move beyond the limiting nature of plug-in.

Many analysts, however, have viewed the move as an effort by Google to control the web video format, while Google in defense stated that it's effort only intends to make HTML video tag a first-class video format. While HTML video platform offers great promise, its impact may not be immediate, as only few websites have implemented it.
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