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Techie News | April 25, 2014

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YouTube to stream 4K videos thanks to Google's VP9 codec

YouTube to stream 4K videos thanks to Google’s VP9 codec
Mittal Mandalia

YouTube is going to show off low-bandwidth 4k video streaming at CES 2014 with the help of Google’s VP9 code, GigaOM reports.

For those who are not aware about 4K format or Ultra HD, the video resolution in a 4K video is four times higher than regular HD. This means that a Ultra HD video will have a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels as compared to just 1,920 x 1,080 pixels of an HD video. If that is the case, a logical question would be: wouldn’t it be bandwidth intensive to stream a 4K video?

The answer is yes. Ultra HD videos will require much higher bandwidth for streaming. But, YouTube has found the answer to tackle this bandwidth issue in Google’s VP9 codec. The VP9 is a royalty-free video codec and an alternative to the H.265 video codec, which is already being used by many 4K hardware manufacturers and software providers. However, the VP9 can deliver HD content faster and that too by consuming less bandwidth.

Google claims that VP9 is a game changer and the codec cuts down on the bit rate by about 50% as compared to VP8 without compromising on the video quality. Google has partnered with chipset makers including the likes of ARM, Broadcom, Intel, and Marvell to further increase VP9 adoption.

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