Google Chrome to Drop Support for H.264 Video

Chromium team blogs today that Google Chrome will drop support for H.264 in the coming months and will only support WebM (VP8) and Theora codecs.

We expect even more rapid innovation in the web media platform in the coming year and are focusing our investments in those technologies that are developed and licensed based on open web principles. To that end, we are changing Chrome’s HTML5 <video> support to make it consistent with the codecs already supported by the open Chromium project. Specifically, we are supporting the WebM (VP8) and Theora video codecs, and will consider adding support for other high-quality open codecs in the future. Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies.

Google Chrome team has foreseen that H.264 may require a licence in future and is taking a move to have some more open or to have more control over what they are shipping with Chrome and Chrome OS. Techcrunch thinks that

You could see this a mile away. Google announced the WebM project last May, along with other partners Mozilla and Opera (Apple, which relies on H.264 in its mission to squash Flash, was conspicuously absent). The H.264 codec is owned by the MPEG-LA consortium, and may in the future require a license. Although the consortium was pressured into promising that H.264 streaming would be free forever that is only for non-commercial Internet video.

Google sure wants to move towards more HTML5ish web and less of fragmented web technologies where you will need to install dozens of video codecs and plugins to play various web videos and streaming websites. They along with other browsers are pushing WebM format, as a future. This might be a good start.  What do you think ?

Do you think Google will drop support for Flash too ? Techcrunch thinks so !

In Category: Google Chrome


Dinsan made Google Chrome his default browser within hours of its release. He fell in love with Chromebooks from the day he first touched one and is currently obsessed with Chromecasts.

Show 1 Comment
  • acupunc 12/01/2011, 8:47 pm

    The problem is when novice users try and use Chrome and can’t play a video, back to IE they will go. Chrome doesn’t have a big enough market share to dictate anything at this time. YouTube on the other hand does.