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Google vs H.264 Print E-mail
Written by John Doyle   
Monday, 07 February 2011 12:23


Whither Chrome

[updated: August 2012]


When Google announced in early 2011 that the Chrome browser would stop supporting the popular H.264 codec, it was a shock for many online video content creators and publishers. The reaction from the general community and digerati was overwhelmingly swift and brutal.


Google wants everyone to use its new WebM codec instead of H.264. The WebM team had been working hard to improve the quality and efficiency of this codec, and expand the features of its SDK. The Google WebM team had provided a project update at Streaming Media West 2010, and the good ship Chrome boldly set sail into shark-infested waters.

The Chrome browser had been steadily growing in popularity since its release in 2008.  It's lightening fast speed made the Chrome emerge as a legitimate contender.  When Google announced that Chrome would be dropping H.264, the browser was already installed on 15% of all desktops, making it number 3 after Internet Explorer and Firefox.  (As of the latest update of this article, the Chrome browser has since overtaken IE as the most ubiquitous desktop browser.)  Content producers who take cross-platform publishing seriously will definitely want to make sure that their videos play on Chrome.  But there's a significant problem.  Most content producers made the switch to H.264 due to it's highly efficient encoding algorithms and adoption by Apple.  Without support for the H.264 codec in Chrome, content producers and publishers will be forced to duplicate the encoding workflows for all their content.


Brightcove Acquires Zencoder Print E-mail
Written by John Doyle   
Sunday, 05 August 2012 03:04


This acquisition was a very shrewed move for Brightcove. One challenge for new and upcoming online video and streaming producers is the accessibilty of low-cost, effective and scalable encoding. Since as far back as 2000, FFMPEG has been a powerful solution, but FFMPEG was only ever meant for the hardcore streaming and technically initiated few. Brightcove was the first to offer an accessible integrated encoding and publishing solution and in doing this, they single handedly created and dominated the OVP market, transforming the streaming media and encoding landscape to an extent that is second only to Youtube and Flash. Today there are many decent OVP's to choose from, but the best solutions, the ones that offer the full package of functionality, scalability, reliability and white-labling have been Brightcove and Ooyala. All this started to change in 2010 when Zencoder launched its affordable and highly scalable cloud encoding services. With Zencoder and Amazon Cloud services, the barriers to entry for new and upcoming scalable online video applications were effectively removed. Currently, the ability to create one's own new scalable online video service is open to any company with little to no capital expenditure. Brightcove has offerred assurance that they are "fully committed to undisrupted success with Zencoder products and services." and that they anticipate "no planned changes to pricing or terms of service." Good news for existing Zencoder customers who are presently happy with the service, but Brightcove's assurance says nothing about the future of Zencoder.

More info...



Closed Captions Mandated by US Senate Print E-mail
Written by John Doyle   
Tuesday, 10 August 2010 03:07


Now that the US Senate has passed the Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (S. 3304), what is the next step for online content providers of broadcast media? What are the costs involved in adding closed captions to a large inventory of online media?


Adding closed captions to online media can be costly, but it does not have to be.


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