Tech Giants Join forces to Create Next-Gen Video Format

By CIOReview | Monday, September 14, 2015

FREMONT, CA: Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Cisco, Intel, Netflix, and Mozilla recently made a joint announcement on the formation of a new open source alliance termed as the ‘Alliance for Open Media’ with the aim of creating the next generation of royalty free video formats, codecs and other related technologies. Alliance would bring together existing work of its members together. For example, Mozilla has Daala, Cisco has Thor while Google is currently working on VP9 and 10.

Experts believe that this kind of alliance is required to create a new interoperable video standard that will work across vendors and platforms. According to Mozilla, the alliance is not just to share technology but also to run the kind of patent analysis necessary to build a next-generation royalty-free video codec.

The new format will be open and interoperable, as well as optimized for web and scalable to any device and bandwidth. It will support real-time video delivery and ideal for commercial and non-commercial content. In his article on Frederic Lardinois reports that this will offer support for content encryption — something Amazon, Netflix and others have to support in order to be able to get the licensing rights for most of their content.

The new format will be published under Apache 2.0 license and it will operate under W3C patent rules, according to which members will waive royalties from the codec implementations and their patents on the codec itself.

In separate news Amazon Prime Instant Video will now offer its iOS and Android Owners download titles for offline viewing differentiating itself from its rivals. This is the first subscription-based video streaming service to make its content available for offline viewing on iOS and Android devices.

However, access to content will be limited for offline viewing because of Amazon forging deals with the content owners in order to provide the download feature to its consumer base.