H.264 – Taking over the world one codec at a time
Regular readers will know I’m a big fan of MPEG-4 AVC/H.264. And it seems I’m not the only one, because pretty much every new device being released in supporting this new format. It would take too long to list them all, but the number of devices, websites and formats that are using H.264 is simply amazing. Just as a small sample of the widespread nature of H.264, you have devices like Apple iPod/iPhone/TV, Sony PSP, PS3, Xbox 360, Zune, and also websites such as YouTube, then you have to both Blu-ray and HD DVD formats – all rely on H.264.
I can’t recall a single video codec that has so much industry support in so little time. Perhaps DivX, but that was only because of pirated movie downloads all using it as the format of choice (now it’s XviD). And it’s only a matter of time before movie downloads are using H.264 too (some of the high quality HD TV episode downloads are already using it). The extensive support is mostly the world of Apple, which is a huge fan of the codec. Future applications for H.264 include HDTV broadcasts (imagine watching your favourite sports program in Blu-ray/HD DVD quality HDTV on your 1080p screen – wow!).
If there was some kind of stock market for video codecs, then put your money on H.264 becoming the industry standard in the years to come.
If you want to find out more about H.264, have a look at this site I helped to set up. It’s got information and instructions on how to equip your computer with the right software to play H.264 movies, as well as some demo clips for you to download: