After the exciting news about Firefox supporting Theora, the open video codec, I wanted to follow up with more good news. This is kinda geeky stuff, but it’s very important in regards to openness in video.
First, Dirac, the BBC’s experimental open video codec, recently reached version 1.0. The latest version of VLC will play Dirac, so you can download and watch these sample videos, if you’d like to get a feel for it. More interesting technical details on Dirac developments can be found here.
Second, there have been some amazing improvements to the Ogg Theora video encoder. Each of the images links to a downloadable example of the video — either Miro or VLC will play back both files. Chris Blizzard has some good still image comparisons in his post on the subject. This is super exciting, as Theora has historically lagged quite far behind codecs like h.264, but that gap is narrowing!
I’ll keep this report short and sweet, but know that we’re all pumped about this action on the royalty free codec front!