What Google’s WebM Looks Like to Video Digerati in San Diego and Boston

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reference implementations of the rival H.264 specification for its video transcoding, but plans to take VP8 for a spin. “The showdown,” he writes, is between the reference implementations for VP8 and H.264, and “our initial findings are not terribly encouraging for VP8. Performance is a concern. I will put together a detailed performance and quality comparison between the two and hopefully share that in my next post.

“To conclude, I think WebM is pretty cool, and as VP8 matures, it’ll certainly cut into the dominance of H.264. That said, I don’t believe it’s ready right now. Still, we’re certainly working to make it available on our platform for those clients who’d like to take it for a spin.”

—Marco Thompson, executive vice president of San Diego’s Solekai Systems, tells me Google’s WebM announcement is good news for the privately held customized software developer, where about 70 percent of its work involves digital video. “Solekai is a services business,” Thompson says. “The way it affects us is that it moves new technology into the market at a lower price and that means better, faster, cheaper consumer electronics with more features.” Our phone conversation was interrupted, and in an e-mail, Thompson adds, “If you look back into history, people did not buy MPEG 1 or MPEG 2, they bought DirecTV satellite systems. People did not buy MPEG 2 Layer 3 (MP3), they bought iPods!!! There is a long way from technology to products, and we bridge that gap.”

—At SciVee, a San Diego-based “YouTube for science,” CEO Marc Friedmann says, “We are quite aware of WebM, as well as some other programs that Adobe is working on to enable HTML5 support beginning from a Flash base. The scientific journal market is starting to ask about mobile support, but they tend not to be early adopters. We have not made a technology choice at this point, but expect to do so later this year.”

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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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