As a brand that is constantly at the forefront of online video, it is little surprise whenever YouTube announce a small change that slightly grows their website, although the latest two are fairly high-profile ones considering their potential future impact.
At the OTTtv World Summit in London (England), Google executive Matt Frost announced his company’s intention to set all of YouTube’s videos (both archive and future) into the recently-launched ‘V9 compression standard’, providing them with “the best path to 4K video”.
He summarised: “For us at Google, at YouTube, trying to satisfy the consumer demand for 4K content, we know that actually the answer isn’t VP9 or HEVC, it’s the next generation of the technology. Because as we build better technologies, we figure out better ways to use all of that data. YouTube is going to be migrated to VP9. It is currently supporting VP9 streams. The best path to 4K video for YouTube right now is VP9.”
Speaking of the alternatives formerly used for video, Frost added: “HTML5 was not ready, really, for primetime four years ago. We’d talk at these sorts of sessions - we were met with applause and accolades because everyone was very eager to move away from Flash and Silverlight, but they all wanted the same experience that they got with Flash and Silverlight – that’s things like full screen and minor things like DRM. We’re still seeing some inconsistency from site to site with HTML5. The goal when you put forward a standard is to have people implement it in a standardised way. Unfortunately that’s not always the case.”
However, Frost was quick to note that HTML 5 is likely to become the future standard for all YouTube’s video, but for now VP9 serves as a useful go-between that will intend to reduce the wait
In other news this week, Microsoft have made an announcement regarding the Google-0wned video sharing website, in that their release day app list for the upcoming Xbox One console (released tomorrow (22 November) in all confirmed markets) can now add ‘YouTube’ to it, a key feature that they will have that the Sony PlayStation 4 currently doesn’t boast.
While set to be unavailable in three markets (Austria, Ireland, and New Zealand) on the day of release (but rolled out within the week after), and noted as being incomplete (with plans to incorporate ‘Snap’ functionality ‘in the coming months’), the streaming service will contain up to 1080p in video standard, while a range of Xbox-specific control methods and functions will make the connected app Kinect-ed as well. Just be aware that while you are watching it, it might be watching you…