Youtube to Demo 4K Video Streaming With VP9 Codec at CES 2014

There will be lots of exciting products and technologies being shown off at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next month (stay tuned -- we'll have lots of coverage), some of which is spilling out to the media ahead of time. Such is the case with YouTube, which announced plans to showcase 4K ultra high-definition (UHD) content at the convention, but with a new codec.

YouTube will demonstrate 4K streaming video using the new royalty free VP9 codec. If that sounds familiar, it's because Google has been hard at work developing VP9 as alternative option to the H.265 codec that powers most of today's 4K video.

Image Source: Flickr (riques)

Skeptics will point out that Google has already tried to push a royalty free codec into the mainstream. The Mountain View firm released its VP8 codec in 2010, which it envisioned becoming the default standard for plug-in free streaming video, but it never garnered much hardware support.

The reason this time is different is because Google went out and lined up a bunch of hardware partners to get VP9 off and running, as opposed to last time around when the search giant put the cart before the horse. According to Gigaom, YouTube will demo 4K streaming using the new codec at booths for LG, Panasonic, and Sony. In addition, YouTube released a list of 19 hardware partners promising to support the codec, among them ARM, Intel, Broadcom, Marvell, Samsung, Sharp, and Toshiba, to name some of the bigger backers.

Thumbnail Image Source: Flickr (jm3)

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