RealTime IT News

On2 Scores AOL, Sony Deals

Video compression software specialists On2 Technologies on Monday announced a licensing deal with America Online to put its flagship VP5 and VP6 codecs on services offered by AOL's content partners.

The New York-based On2, which has embraced the open-source community with previous versions of its technology, said the deal with AOL would allow the distribution of the VP5 and VP6 encoders to AOL content partners.

Financial terms of the non-exclusive deal were not released but On2 chief executive Doug McIntyre told internetnews.com the licensing terms were wide ranging and would permit AOL to distribute certain products and services to its subscribers that contain VP5 and VP6 encoders and decoders.

"It's a very broad licensing deal. They (America Online) can use it virtually anywhere -- on PCs and on gaming and wireless devices," McIntyre said.

The VP5 and VP6 codecs are the newest versions of the company's video compression technology, which promises high-quality video resolution at heavily reduced data rates.

The VP5 codec is the latest version and VP6 is scheduled for release this spring. America Online is the first company to license the newer VP6 technology, McIntyre said.

"These codecs -- VP5 and VP6 -- offer more power. VP6 can give the same picture quality at 300 kbps than what the older VP3 can do at 800 kbps," he added.

The latest announcement follows a similar deal to license On2's technology for use on a new plasma screen television being built by Sony Corp. . Details of the Sony deal were being kept under wraps but McIntyre confirmed On2's codecs would be included in the new Sony TV that will be fitted with Internet streaming capabilities.

"In terms of the size of the customers, if you look our deals with Sony and AOL, it's a clear indication that our technology is gaining broad adoption," he added.

The company also has high-profile licensing deals with RealNetworks , Apple Computer and ABC News to use the video compression technology.

The deals could not have come at a better time for On2, which was forced to restructure last year to conserve on dwindling cash reserves.