CES 2014: Google to Show Off 4K YouTube Streaming Using its Own VP9 Codec

Posted on January 3, 2014 3:12 PM by Rob Williams

Given the trends we saw during 2013, there’s no doubt whatsoever that 4K will be given a major focus at next week’s CES. It’s not just going to be TV vendors doing the talking, either, but component and mobile vendors along with technology companies. And speaking of technology companies, Google is one that will have something to show off.

With its own VP9 video codec in-hand, Google will be showing attendees just how feasible it is to stream 4K content through its YouTube service. For those unaware, VP9 is Google’s answer to the expensive commercial codecs out there, and a direct competitor to H.265. It’s royalty-free, and as Google hopes to prove, very efficient.

YouTube Video

As its name might imply, VP8 existed and had similar goals, but due to the absolute lack of hardware support, it never took off. VP9 could be different, though, as Google has secured a lineup of hardware vendors for the show to bolster its offering up. ARM, Intel, Broadcom, Marvel, Samsung, Sharp and Toshiba are all expected to tout support for the codec.

With its focus on VP9, it could be assumed that YouTube might be destined to lack H.265 support – but not so. Google’s Francisco Varela stated that the possibility to use it is there, and that “This certainly isn’t a war of the video codecs.

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