On2 Technologies — which licenses its video codecs for use in set-top boxes, gaming devices and wireless applications — is making its source code and open source license for their VP3.2 video compression algorithm
available online. (Open source is in this case when a company puts some of its some code and the intellectual property behind up for licensing, and the licensees put the improvements they make back into the “open source.”)
“This is the first step in On2’s attempt to see VP3 proliferate as a common format for the interchange of encoded digital video,” Dan Miller, On2 Technologies Founder and chief technology officer, said in announcing the open source move. “Our initial announcement was widely embraced by the development community, and now we look forward to breaking from the litany of incompatible formats and standards.”
On2.com says that VP3 offers TV-quality video compression and streaming capabilities with support for multiple bit rates within a single file. The company supports RealPlayer and Windows Media Player in addition to QuickTime. The VP3 plug-in for QuickTime is currently available in beta form, and can be downloaded from On2.com’s Web site.
On2.com is also working on a VP4 codec, which the company claims provides Internet users with “near-DVD quality” streaming video at 450Kbps, a 10-15 percent reduction over any other compression technology available today.