Sunday, October 05, 2008

H.264 coming to Silverlight

I missed this, but ScottGu announced about a month ago that Microsoft is incorporating H.264 into Silverlight. Meaning I need to update my chart from last year -- the only hold out on the list for supporting H.264 was Silverlight.

Questions I have:
  • When, exactly, will it be available? Or is this another vaporware announcement?
  • Why did it take a year for Microsoft to realize that Flash's incorporation of H.264 was the death knell of VC-1 on the web?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One of the annoying issues with video compression technology is that there are two major factors in the quality of the produced video: the capabilities of the encoding format, and the heuristics in the encoder. From what I hear, when WMV9 launched, it had a very good encoder and that made it quite competitive quality-wise. H.264, however, has seen some impressive gains from improving encoder quality, with X264 notably being one of the better ones. I haven't followed the two that closely, but it's possible that VC-1 was very close when Silverlight was being conceived and that recent advances in encoder technology reversed the positions. Microsoft's usual NIH tendencies also played a part, of course.

Another argument I've heard is runtime size, but I don't buy that argument. My MPEG-1 audio and video decoders combined are 120K and I can't imagine that H.264+AAC decoders are that much larger or that VC-1 could be significantly smaller.