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[HD] WebM vs. H.264: The Numbers

post #1 of 18
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http://my.opera.com/haavard/blog/2011/01/17/adoption

Quote:
As you can see, WebM has a huge advantage when it comes to browser adoption.

IE users are notoriously slow at upgrading, and IE9 will only be available for Windows Vista and Windows 7. Half of all Windows users will not be able to upgrade to IE9!

On the other hand, recent versions of Opera and Chrome already support WebM, users are upgrading to these versions much faster than they are upgrading Safari or IE, and Firefox 4 is likely to be released in the near future, thereby boosting the market share of WebM-supporting browsers to possibly more than 30-40%.

This leaves Safari basically carrying the torch for H.264 with little help from Internet Explorer. Within the next 12-24 months, H.264 might be lucky to have a market share above 10%!

As a final nail in the coffin, IE9 and Safari, being bundled with operating systems, are likely integrated with those operating systems in a way which makes adding WebM support as simple as installing it as a system codec.
post #2 of 18
Google using its market share to decide industry standards. It tried this very thing with advertising.

/not a fan of Google, never was.
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post #3 of 18
Quote:
Now, the primary video to serve video on the web today is Flash. It doesn't really matter which codec it's using because it's played through Flash anyway.
And though the article is saying WebM will gain an advantage because of faster upgrade rates of Chrome, Opera, and Firefox it also makes the case that flash will remain number one until IE users catch up since it still has quite the demanding market share.
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post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by BizzareRide View Post
Google using its market share to decide industry standards. It tried this very thing with advertising.

/not a fan of Google, never was.
Where do you think industry standard come from? Even standards defined by committee are often just committees of reps from the big industry players.

Microsoft defined many industry standards for a long time, I'm glad we're basically through that phase.

As long as Google uses their market share to push open standards, I'm cool with them. They believe they can win in a fair market, more power to them.

That said, WebM is currently inferior to H.264, is not supported on the hardware level of many devices like H.264 is, and probably infringes on MPEG-LA patents. If WebM grows, lawsuits will come. From a consumer standpoint, it's probably safer to stick with H.264 for now, but it's good someone is stepping up to the plate. If MPEG-LA wanted to "cash out" and charge up the ass for any professional use of H.264, they could screw tons of developers, and even possibly lock down much of the entire internet's video content.

I can see why dethroning H.264 with an open standard is on Google's todo list.
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post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mechtech View Post
That said, WebM is currently inferior to H.264
That's irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. An inferior product only needs more push behind it from market players than a superior product in order to make the latter little more than a niche product. The same goes for standards. FLAC is superior to MP3 and yet MP3 has enjoyed greater success. Whatever the industry players want to push is what will become the mainstream standard.
Edited by randomizer - 1/17/11 at 6:27pm
    
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post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by randomizer View Post
FLAC is superior to MP3 and yet MP3 has enjoyed greater success.
That's a horrible analogy. One is lossy, one is lossless. You are comparing totally different encoding standards, both have their places. For a lossy codec, MP3 is pretty good. Not the best, but up there, especially with a good encoder.

A better analogy would be VHS vs BetaMax
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post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mechtech View Post
Where do you think industry standard come from? Even standards defined by committee are often just committees of reps from the big industry players.

Microsoft defined many industry standards for a long time, I'm glad we're basically through that phase.

As long as Google uses their market share to push open standards, I'm cool with them. They believe they can win in a fair market, more power to them.

That said, WebM is currently inferior to H.264, is not supported on the hardware level of many devices like H.264 is, and probably infringes on MPEG-LA patents. If WebM grows, lawsuits will come. From a consumer standpoint, it's probably safer to stick with H.264 for now, but it's good someone is stepping up to the plate. If MPEG-LA wanted to "cash out" and charge up the ass for any professional use of H.264, they could screw tons of developers, and even possibly lock down much of the entire internet's video content.

I can see why dethroning H.264 with an open standard is on Google's todo list.
Its a conspiracy!(Except when its a company you support)
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post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by timAHH View Post
That's a horrible analogy. One is lossy, one is lossless. You are comparing totally different encoding standards, both have their places. For a lossy codec, MP3 is pretty good. Not the best, but up there, especially with a good encoder.
Mp3, good? even for lossy?

pretty much anything Mp3 can do OGG Vorbis can do better or even AAC.
post #9 of 18
i think the better argument is in mobile, where power draw and limited options determine the usage. on a desktop you have numerous options of how to open files where on mobile devices you always do not.

is google going to update all of the android phones to play webm and take away h.264 even though they have hardware h.264 decoders? and even if they do and lets say youtube serves these devices webm video that has to be software decoded or through flash which will both impact the battery life greatly.

with the iphone, ipad and ipod touch there is no flash fall back, they have hardware h.264 decoders, and probly screw they whole desktop numbers thing up because they are all 3 selling like crazy and have been for the past several years
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post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by BizzareRide View Post
Google using its market share to decide industry standards. It tried this very thing with advertising.

/not a fan of Google, never was.
Chrome is still way behind IE and Firefox in terms of market share. However Firefox, Chrome and Opera probably make up almost 66 percent of the browser market. Those 3 browser all natively support WebM.
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