HEVC and VP9 Battle for the UHD TV Market: Who Will Win?
Does VP9 stand a chance of capturing the ultra-HD television market? Anyone who attended this year's International CES show might have thought so, but Jan Ozer says no. Ozer gave a presentation on producing and deploying HEVC at the recent Streaming Media East conference in New York City, and said that HEVC will be the standard despite pricey royalty issues.
"How much of a problem will the royalties be on the competitive side? VP9, they made a really big stink around CES in January," Ozer said. "All of a sudden HEVC was dead and VP9 was going to take over the world. That was all TV vendors trying to sell 4K TVs, and you really haven't heard much about VP9 since then. If you're a standard-based market, whether it's OTT or television sets, you're going to go with the standard. You might support VP9, but you're not going to support VP9 to the exclusion of HEVC."
While consumers are hearing a lot about 4K video, the area isn't going to take off in a sizable way for years to come.
"OTT is going to be driven by UHD," Ozer predicted. "Netflix famously has started using HEVC for 'House of Cards,' but the projections for UHD television sets is very, very small. If you're Netflix, it's strategic to be serving that market; 99 percent of the other websites don't care so much. If you're selling aggressively in the OTT marketplace, this is something you have to look at."
For more on working with HEVC video, watch the video below and download Ozer's presentation.
How To: Producing And Deploying HEVC
This session explores the current status of HEVC, identifying existing and announced options for encoding live and on-demand HEVC, and discussing player options in the streaming and OTT markets. Topics explored will include the comparative quality and usability of HEVC encoders, how HEVC quality compares to H.264 at a range of resolutions and data rates, how HEVC compares to VP9 (if encoders are available), and known trials and deployments of HEVC.
Speaker: Jan Ozer, Principal, Doceo Publishing
VP9 is the open-source codec from Google, and provides a royalty-free alternative to HEVC. It's more efficient than H.264, and while it's less efficient than HEVC, it compares well on quality.
H.265 is coming to the Android operating system, as well, but it's nowhere to be seen on desktop or notebook computers.
HEVC/H.265 produces much smaller files, but there's a catch. If you want to get those results your encoding times will be much, much longer.
If you've spent any time at NAB or IBC, you'd think that HEVC is ready for prime time. The reality is that, for almost every use case, it's nowhere close.
There's no reason for Adobe to add HEVC support to Flash, and that keeps HEVC from becoming relevant for general purpose streaming.
Which codec delivers better image quality? Which is more compatible? And what about Daala, the spoiler codec currently being developed from scratch?
YouTube demonstrating 4K video encoded with VP9 is all sizzle and no steak. Until hardware manufacturers and big names like Apple, Adobe, and Microsoft announce support, it's hard to take any of the noise too seriously.