On2 improves Vp6
On2 has announced to have improved its well known codec Vp6. The improved encoder will be released as a free update of the Flix suite. Videos encoded with this latest release will be perfectly compatible with the Vp6 decoder of Flash Player 8 and 9. A number of improvements are performed in the area of motion compensation with increase in quality of fast moving scenes of up to 40% in some cases.
More later in this year, On2 will release a new update with big improvements in encoding speed.
As you now, the performance of an encoding technology depends by two factors: the technology specifications, which are usually fixed for a given “generation”, and the encoding strategies implemented in the encoder. When a standard has been defined, ther is no more possibility to enhance the first factor, but the second can be improved constantly and this is the main reason because the open source x264 encoder is the best for encoding H.264 videos. A great number of developers is working costantly on it to enhance encoding speed and quality.
There is always a margin that can be improved in a video encoder. For example, it is possible to implement specific techniques to distribute the bits in the different parts of a video using “perceptual models”, or can be changed the rate control routines.
I’m happy to know that On2 has decided to follow this path and improve both quality and performace of Vp6. Expecially encoding speed of Vp6 was too low in my opinion.
Further more I think that these improvements and a more aggressive licensing strategy will be useful to expand the clients base expecially now that Vp6 has to fight against the well positioned H.264.