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Summary:

Apple, which recently added a YouTube channel to its Apple TV hardware, might have prompted YouTube to spruce up its video formats, and start using the H.264. YouTube has been using Flash encoder so far, but Flash cannot be used on the Apple TV platform. It […]

Apple, which recently added a YouTube channel to its Apple TV hardware, might have prompted YouTube to spruce up its video formats, and start using the H.264. YouTube has been using Flash encoder so far, but Flash cannot be used on the Apple TV platform. It is unlikely that YouTube is going to get rid of Flash on its site, but seems like that H.264 is the way to go for them, if they want to distribute video to non-web platforms.

According to a report in iLounge, Apple Vice President of Worldwide Mac Hardware Marketing David Moody said that right now there are a few thousand videos available for AppleTV but soon the complete YouTube library will be ready for the platform, once the videos are encoded in the H.264 format.

When asked what “designed for Apple TV” meant, Moody said that YouTube will soon be encoding videos in the H.264 streaming-efficient compression format preferred by Apple TV, and that all new videos submitted to YouTube as of the mid-June launch of the AppleTV update will be playable by the device. From then until fall, YouTube will be encoding its entire back-catalog in H.264 format, adding videos in chunks until everything is accessible to Apple TV users.

Apple also introduced a new 160 GB capacity AppleTV for $399.

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  1. Hopefully, Youtube has kept a copy of every single uploaded video in its original native formats, whatever the files that people have been uploading. Thus Google should be able to do all the same formats as there is on Google Video.

    The main format of Google Video for downloading is Mpeg4 with Mp3 audio in Google’s own .gvi container. It’s actually encoded with the DivX codec, the .gvi container makes it possible to progressively download the videos using Google’s Video Player software which still only is available for Windows and Mac. Linux users accessing Google Video get access to all the videos in the .avi container, thus plain standard DivX, the .avi container is more compatible with video playback hardware than H264 is, since H264 requires lots more processing power. There are 50 million DivX compatible DVD players sold, which support only Mpeg4 with Mp3 audio in the .avi container.

    Google Video also provides H264 encoded versions of every video in the .mp4 container. So I guess Youtube will soon add Mpeg4 and H264, hopefully for all videos and not only for newly uploaded ones, probably not only H264.

  2. Jackson West Sunday, June 3, 2007

    Excuse the boast but, ahem, called it!

  3. » With YouTube going H.264, will iPhone’s Safari Play Flash? innonate: Exploring the social side of innovation, technology, business, and public policy Monday, June 4, 2007

    [...] revelations that YouTube is going H.264 for Apple’s sake, will Apple enabling its iPhone with [...]

  4. Steve Elbows Monday, June 4, 2007

    The timing does suggest this is also being done in readiness for the iphone launch at the end of June. This makes sense, as the original rumours about youtube and h264 started during the hyping of the iphone when Apple suggested that youtube could work on the iphone by youtube offering an alternative format, rather than Apple supporting flash format.

    Im exceptionally happy that h264 has taken off, even microsoft support it on the xbox360 now, even though they’d rather push their own format.

  5. This should begin to streamline delivery process for professional content producers. We’ve been using H.264 (320×240) as primary file format for over a Year, and only rarely have had to create distinct Letterbox format or .alt file format to be compatible with most sites.

    Yes, YouTube should retain Native Upload (or, just standardize all uploads for Director Accounts as H.264) so that there is minimal degradation (or double transcoding) prior to End User viewing content.

    Where’s the problem?

    We now need to go to 640×480 (or 16×9 version thereof), so 2x file size, to deliver AppleTV decent viewing experience. The iPhone has virtually no memory to store files that size. Even iPods will halve their storage if we double file size.

    And, H.264 @ 640×480 is a slow render if you’re doing any volume work — but, worth it for end user’s experience.

    Would be nice to upload H.264/640×480; then, have transcode to smaller H.264 and Flash. i.e. Deliver best quality, then, degrade from there. Which is opposite of today, where we upload good looking files which are transcoded to (generally) less than optimal Flash.

  6. What exactly is “H.264 streaming-efficient compression format preferred by Apple TV”? Main or Baseline? I find that have to encode with QT Pro for my stuff to play progressively online in QT. Is that what they’re talking about?

    That’s a hell of a lot of processing!

  7. “We now need to go to 640×480 (or 16×9 version thereof), so 2x file size, to deliver AppleTV decent viewing experience.”

    hahem. That is not 2x, is 4x. YouTube’s video database is too big already and you just want it to be 4 times bigger in one stroke. Keep dreaming. 640×480 VGA-like resolution will only be available on iTunes.

  8. NewTeeVee Adobe Adding H.264 Support to Flash « Monday, August 20, 2007

    [...] for Flash on the iPhone and an interest in better quality video on its AppleTV, Apple recently persuaded YouTube to reencode its Flash videos in [...]

  9. i say within a year or two, youtube will allow larger video uploads. they won’t have to modify the existing clips – just new clips.

  10. DivX Bets Big on H.264, Buys MainConcept « NewTeeVee Friday, November 16, 2007

    [...] YouTube goes H.264, thanks to Apple. [...]

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