Ronnie05's Blog

Chrome and H.264: Endlines (Part III)

Posted in Computing and Operating Systems by Manas Ganguly on January 20, 2011

Without Google’s support Chrome’s decision to drop H.264 may be a spoiler for its own future (and it hasnt been as bright for Chrome as other Google products)

Advantage Flash. Chrome may suddenly become a little less useful

Most mainstream accessible HD video both online and off today is encoded in H.264 and would need to be either transcoded or put into a Flash container to be viewable in Chrome. Some developers and video editors have said they plan to abandon Chrome as an explicit target since they would have to support at least two and possibly three video implementations to get Chrome to work. Third-party plugins may work around the flaw, but critics have noted that Google so far hasn’t been consistent in dropping proprietary formats and still has fully integrated Flash.

Half Move

Google, with the growing popularity of its Android mobile OS and the recent introduction of Google TV, packaged into electronics by technology companies like Logitech, is growing its reach to the point where it could perhaps mount a challenge to H.264 across all screens. However, Chrome dropping support for H.264 is a half move really because Google continues to support H.264 in its Android mobile operating system and will likely will probably continue to serve thousands upon thousands of videos in H.264 via YouTube. That makes Google’s Chrome-only announcement relatively impotent. Depending on whether Google chooses to extend this technology decision to its other products, the dropping of H.264 support in Chrome could be either hugely influential or dismissively foolish.

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