Skype Chooses VP8 Codec for Video Calling
The news came not from Skype PR, but from John Luther, a Google product manager, writing on the WebM Project blog: Skype is going with the VP8 video codec for one-to-one video calling. There are some qualifiers on that, though: VP8 will only be used in Skype 5.5 for Windows, and only if both parties are using that version.
Skype has already been using VP8 for group calling.
"In addition to being a great codec for web video, VP8 performs exceptionally well in real-time applications like Skype, and is only getting better as we add features like error concealment (produces high visual quality video frames even under conditions of substantial packet loss) and improved datarate control," wrote Luther.
Since WebM and VP8 have been trailing in HTML5 browser support, this will be the first time that many have experienced VP8 video.
The timing is curious and the story involves some of the biggest players in the space. As StreamingMedia.com broke last week, MPEG LA is close to forming a patent pool to challenge ownership of the technologies that VP8 is built on.
"Twelve parties have stepped forward with patents that they believe are essential to the VP8 standard, on which Google's WebM is based, though no patent pool has been formed yet and MPEG LA is not releasing the patentholders' names at this time," wrote Jan Ozer.
Also, Skype recently announced that it will be acquired by Microsoft, although that hasn't closed yet. Microsoft has thrown its support behind the H.264 codec with Internet Explorer 9. WebM/VP8 support can be added by installing a third-party plug-in.
In order to find out how seniors feel about its video calling solution, a young executive moves in. Messaging matters, he finds out, and some assumptions are offensive.
16 Jan 2017
Skype is an excellent tool for getting live viewer input during a show. Use these tips to ensure that the resulting video is always strong and clear.
29 Dec 2014
Skype TX is here, offering a broadcast-quality rack-mounted solution for demanding media professionals. Streaming Media West attendees got a first look, as well as all the product's specs.
19 Nov 2014
MPEG LA says that 12 patent holders have stepped forward with patents they believe are essential to the VP8 standard. A patent pool license could be next.
26 Jul 2011
Announcement underwhelms the Net; brings Skype video calling to any Facebook page.
06 Jul 2011
If you're going to understand online video, you need to understand codecs. Here's a high-level look at what codecs are, as well as the variety of codecs relevant to streaming media.
21 Mar 2011
Companies and Suppliers Mentioned