Ittiam accelerates open source VP9 encoder in partnership with Netflix and Google

Open source encoder benefits from 50-70% improvement in speed

Santa Clara, CA,  March 31, 2017 -  Ittiam Systems, the leading provider of advanced video and visual analytics solutions and an early member of the Alliance for Open Media (AOM), has announced completion of a project to enhance the encoding speed of the open-source VP9 encoder. The performance-optimized version, developed in close collaboration with Google and Netflix, is now publicly available as part of libvpx, the royalty-free, open-source distribution of VP9 software.

VP9 is a royalty-free, open-source codec developed by Google that provides efficiency gains of up to 50% in comparison with the best H.264 implementations. VP9 has broad support in web browsers and mobile devices. VP9 is the codec of choice for YouTube and was recently deployed by Netflix for low-bitrate mobile streaming. The collaboration between Google, Ittiam, and Netflix is geared towards identifying and addressing key improvements in the open source libvpx implementation of VP9. These improvements will provide significant benefits to the larger video streaming community. Focusing on the gap in speed and turnaround time in comparison with popular H.264 implementations, the first set of improvements as part of this collaboration has resulted in a substantial reduction in turnaround time for encoding video files with the highest quality settings. The enhanced encoder can reduce encoding times by 50-70% when encoding a 1080p video on a 16-core machine, while achieving even greater gains in speed when more cores are available. 

“VP9 provides excellent video quality and compression efficiency that we will leverage to provide a great video streaming experience to Netflix members with < 200 Kbps of available bandwidth,” said David Ronca, Director of Encoding Technologies at Netflix. “These impressive optimizations from Ittiam make libvpx more suitable for highly-scaled video encoding systems, and will benefit the large community of VP9 users.”

“VP9 is integral to a royalty-free video codec strategy and it is great to see industry leaders like Netflix play an active role in improving its implementation”, said Matt Frost, Head of Strategy and Partnerships for Google’s Chrome Media Team. “The impressive performance gains Ittiam has achieved will help ensure that VP9 remains a preferred video compression standard for online video applications.” 

“It is a privilege for Ittiam to collaborate with Netflix and Google to enhance the usability of the VP9 encoder, as we intend to deliver optimized implementations of libvpx derivatives to the market”, said Mukund Srinivasan, Vice President and Head of Americas Business Strategy for Ittiam. “Open video standards like VP9 and the upcoming AV1 from AOM are revolutionizing the video compression landscape. We are fully committed to applying our proven industry knowledge and video competency to open source implementations and championing the adoption of these standards.”



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