With the growing support of Html 5 video by the major browsers and the introduction of WebM (VP8) into the open source video codec space and support of WebM by Firefox, Chrome and Opera, there are a few things that Flash Player will need to do in order to remain a viable platform on the online Video space.
Video Codecs and QualityGranted that the best video codec at this time is the H.264 codec. By best I mean the following:
- Compression to Quality ratio
- Best video quality for a given file size. File size is important for online video, since the data has to be transferred over the wire and hosting sites have to bear the brunt of storage space costs. At the moment a video encoded at the same video bit rate using the H.264 video codec is far superior in picture quality as compared to WebM and Ogg/Theora. WebM is actually very close to H.264 in terms of picture quality and most online video viewers may not notice the difference. However, for critical video needs, H.264 is still the codec of choice.
- Hardware decoding support
- Many devices such as cell phones, game consoles, set top boxes and the like have built-in hardware decoding support for H.264
- Many graphics cards have built-in support for H.264 or many software vendors have implemented their own hardware decoding algorithms so as to off loaded the job of video decoding to the graphics card (Hardware Acceleration).