So I’m thinking out loud here, like a brain fart, but with an actual thought.
VP8 and the webM video format. It’s going to be implemented natively in Chrome, Opera and Firefox. IE9 will support webM if the decoder is installed, but won’t ship with it natively. Flash will provide the webM decoder,…
Remy makes the argument that since Safari only has 2-3% (Desktop) browser market share, we should ignore video for it and let it fall back to Flash once it has full support for WebM.
The oversight in this is hardware acceleration.
There are several hundred million portable devices out there in the world today that have hardware decoder chipsets in them for H.264 video playback. These chipsets make H.264 video an enormously feasible feature to mobile devices with very limited CPU speeds and battery life. Software video decoding is not only much more CPU-intensive, draining battery life quicker, it doesn’t even produce adequately comparable results—especially not when done through Flash, as we discovered from several tablet devices that offer this.
If you want to make your video content available to the mobile world, or more compellingly put, the market that’s growing at incredibly fast pace, then h.264 is your only really viable solution.
At this time, a hardware decoder for VP8/WebM doesn’t even exist, let alone be included in millions of mobile devices in people’s hands today.