Have you used a huge number of videos encoded in H.264 format in your business website? Are you worried about how you are going to convert those to a format supported by mobile devices like iPad? Well, you can relax. According to a recent research conducted by MeFeedia, as many as 80% of all videos encoded using H.264 codec can be delivered directly to tablet devices like iPad, without requiring any kind of re-encoding. All you will have to do is change the video player from Flash to HTML5. That’s it. Your videos should play just fine now.
What is so special about this?
Well, for one thing, it shows just how universally accepted the H.264 codec family has come to be. The percentage of videos encoded using this format comprised just about 10% of the total number of videos on the Web in the beginning of 2010. Now, it is almost touching the 80% mark, and not even two years have passed since then!
Could the iPad have something to do with this?
Possibly, since the iPad does support hardware acceleration required for H.264 videos to run properly. A MeFeedia report released in May 2010, shortly after the launch of the first generation iPad, stated that only about 26% of videos on the Net were encoded using H.264 codec. If the percentage has climbed more than 50% since then, the iPad could certainly have played a major role in that.
Does this mean H.264 will remain the de facto standard for videos on the Web in the near future? Well, it is too early to predict anything like that, but one thing is for sure. With seamless support for HTML5 and ability to take advantage of the hardware acceleration of the iPad, H.264 is going to rule the roost among video codecs for at least a couple years from now. After that, if open source codecs like VP8 (the codec for WebM videos from Google) gain considerable popularity, perhaps we shall witness another great codec war.