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Vidyo Releases VP9 Codec for Real-Time Video

Vidyo continues to advance the state of the art in video collaboration with today's release of a VP9 codec optimized for real-time video.

Vidyo focused this ground-up VP9 implementation on optimizing mobile performance, Ben Pinkerton, the company's director of product marketing, told No Jitter in a briefing.

No stranger to video codec development, Vidyo is already known for the work it has done with Google to add scalability to the open-source VP9 codec that's become part of the WebRTC standard. However, as Pinkerton noted, that development effort had a broad audience -- "the YouTube use case, streaming video, one-way broadcast" -- in mind. Subsequently, Vidyo has realized that real-time, two-way video interactions require different optimizations than streaming applications, he added.

Starting from scratch, Vidyo set out to tackle development of an implementation catered to the real-time use case. Its VP9 implementation reduces CPU utilization to such a degree that the video codec gets double the battery life on mobile devices, Pinkerton said. "So on mobile devices ... now you're able to have a video call for longer, and it doesn't eat up your battery like the other version of the codec does."

Of course, this VP9 implementation fully supports the spatial and temporal scalability Vidyo finessed as part of the earlier video codec implementation, Pinkerton said. And it tightly integrates with Vidyo's core routing architecture so all the same error resiliency, reliability, and adaptability it has established with its H.264 Scalable Video Coding (SVC) carries forward, he added.

Vidyo will be releasing the VP9 codec as part of its VidyoCloud video conferencing services, with first availability in the communications platform as a service introduced earlier this year. Developers using today will have access to the new VP9 codec. Availability in other VidyoCloud services will follow over time, Pinkerton said.

Within, the new VP9 implementation will become the default video codec, able to negotiate with others down the line if there are any disparities in capabilities at the endpoints, Pinkerton said.

Compatibility with WebRTC is a nonissue, he added. WebRTC-compatible browsers such as Google Chrome will be able to accept and decode video streams output by Vidyo's VP9 codec. "So, if you're on a mobile device, you can still interact with somebody who is in a WebRTC session, communicating without any sort of transcoding or translation needed in the middle."

The introduction of its own VP9 implementation is but one more example of the innovation Vidyo has brought to the video conferencing market, Pinkerton said. "We didn't just develop SVC several years ago and then stop," he added, noting that the company holds more than 170 patents to date.

"Vidyo's history of invention has fundamentally changed the landscape of the video conferencing market," said Mark Winther, VP of worldwide telecommunications, at IDC, in a prepared statement. Referencing the scalable VP9 extension mentioned above, he added, "Vidyo's VP9 implementation will continue to validate the standard, and produce more resilient video streams and an unmatched face-to-face experience."

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