Trumpeting the success its V9 video codec has achieved, Google today announced that approximately 25 billion hours of video streaming on YouTube were powered by VP9, the recently upgraded default open source codec for YouTube’s HTML5 video player.
Google boasts of its VP9 codec as an efficient replacement for H.264, saying that the VP9 codec can reduce the bandwidth needed to play a video by up to 35 percent. This enables low bandwidth users to stream videos at comparatively higher quality. By cutting bitrates in as much as half, it dramatically increases the set of users that can watch 360p quality video without increased rebuffering or cost.
That means that if your Internet connection used to only play up to 480p without buffering on YouTube, it can now play silky smooth 720p with VP9.
Google also aims to bring 4K video in more and more people’s reach, even though 4K displays are still seen more on either manufacturer shops or humongous display stalls than real consumers. Even still, Google is looking to achieve its aim by using its VP9 codec.
The amount of 4K video uploaded to YouTube has more than tripled in the past year, and VP9 helps us plan for improved streaming into the future.
VP9 decoding support is available today in the Chrome web browser, in Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy S6, and in TVs and game consoles from Sony, LG, Sharp, and more.