Google's WebM gets live broadcast support

Google's WebM video codec got a shot in the arm today with the news that Broadcast International is to add the codec to its CodecSys encoding platform for live broadcast use.

While Google's WebM claims many advantages over rival formats like H.264, its use outside the world of the web browser is rare - although the company's release of a tablet-oriented hardware encoder reference implementation, which it is making freely available for cost-free licensing could change that.

To help things along, Broadcast International is adding the ability to swap out the H.264 codecs in its CodecSys software encoding platform for WebM equivalents, allowing broadcasters to transcode their footage to WebM on the fly for both pre-recorded and live footage.

"This release is in response to direct feedback and customer adoption of the WebM format and our first-hand interaction with the increase of WebM content flowing over our customers’ networks," said Broadcast International's Steve Jones.

The company claims that the addition of WebM to its multi-codec platform - which picks the most efficient codec based on the content of each part of a video - allows broadcasters to provide high-definition footage from live events directly to web clients, without the need for a traditional broadcast-quality network and heavy bandwidth requirements.

The headend module for the CodecSys platform is due to launch in shortly, although the company has yet to indicate whether it will be charging existing customers for the pleasure of upgrading to Google's latest format.