Sorenson Media, a ‘Swiss Army Knife’ for Video Encoding, Sets Course for Web-Based Service

1/25/11Follow @bvbigelow

A major upgrade to a well-established software product doesn’t usually move the needle much at Xconomy, where we prefer to focus on the really disruptive innovations and strategic innovations taking place throughout the tech sector.

But this is a time of intensifying frothiness in the world of online video technology. So the improvements that Carlsbad, CA-based Sorenson Media is announcing today in its video encoding technology may be more significant in what it says about the course the company is taking into an approaching storm of competing video technology standards.

“This is a strategic battle that we’re in the middle of,” Sorenson COO Eric Quanstrom told me in a recent interview.

Actually, Quanstrom sees a variety of strategic battles. He looks at Intel’s Sandy Bridge initiative and NVIDIA’s graphics processor technology innovations as a hardware battle that pits the supremacy of Intel’s general-purpose central processor against the capabilities of NVIDIA’s graphics processor chipsets.

Eric Quanstrom

Other battles are forming around competing video codec standards, especially H.264 and WebM. Apple, which supports the H.264 video standard (with its licensing requirements), refuses to support Adobe Flash. Google, which started its WebM video compression project as an open-source alternative, said earlier this month that it plans to discontinue its Chrome browser’s built-in support of the H.264 codec in favor of “completely open” codec technologies—like WebM.

Can’t we all just get along?

“We’re watching the landscape change and … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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