The war of video standards is now being fought online with Google and Cisco sticking their guns in their respective VP8 and H.264 online video codec standards.
While Mozilla has aligned forces with Cisco as its Firefox web browser is the first project to make use of the proprietary H.264 codec, Google plans to stick to the open VP8 standard. Cisco had announced
that it would offer third-party developers a freely usable version of H.264, with Cisco bearing the patent licensing costs as it's owned by MPEG LA.
Google's Chrome browser also offers support for WebRTC features but pushes its VP8 standard.
According to a report
by GigaOm, the Internet Engineering Task Force would be meeting next week, in Vancouver to decide which codec should become part of the new WebRTC interoperable voice and video chat standard for browsers and apps.
A Google spokesperson told GigaOm that it backs the license-free VP8 video codec. The spokesperson said, "We continue to believe that open platforms should encourage open and royalty free technology. There is strong industry momentum behind the open, royalty free VP8 video format. We hope that the IETF community will come together in voting against royalty encumbered technology as they slow down the pace of innovation on the web and on the internet."
WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communications), is an API through which developers can offer video calls, voice calls and file sharing without the need for additional software or use third-party plugins. However, it's being debated as to which video codec standard should be adopted under the standard. It's interesting to note that Mozilla is also working on a new codec called Daala that won't need any license agreements.