Google To Remove H.264 Support In Chrome

January 17th, 2011 at 10:54 am

Google has recently announced in its blog that it may be a couple of months away from removing H.264 video codec support on its Chrome browser. H.264 is a very popular video codec that has somehow been an established standard when viewing video streaming on websites. With Google removing its support for the video codec, opinions vary depending on where a person stands.

For others, the news the Google may be removing its support for H.264 on Chrome may be an unwelcome one. By removing the said support, videos using the popular H.264 codec may no longer be playable on Chrome. Being a popular video format, it did not sit well with many users as well as websites that make use of the said format to stream videos.

But on the other hand, others say that withdrawing support for the H.264 video format is a courageous move for Google, considering that it is a very popular format to begin with. The reason provided for the said withdrawal is for Google to introduce the WebM video format of which the online search giant has been developing as an open platform. Although H.264 is widely popular, it is considered as a patented technology. While the H.264 video format is considered free to use when streaming videos, companies need to pay royalties in order to include H.264 in their products. Google’s WebM format on the other hand is considered open source, royalty-free technology.

Google may be taking quite a bit of a risk here trying to introduce a fairly new video platform and doing away with a very popular format. This move may not only gain Google approval from those in the open source community, it might also alienate their Chrome browser from those who have grown accustomed to using the H.264 format when encoding videos for the Web. It is not yet clear on where this may lead to. But being the giant that it is with a level of influence in the industry, Google may just lead the way for the Web to embrace the open source technology that it has been preaching for so long now. But then again, there is a chance that it might backfire on them.


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