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On2 Challenges MPEG-2 With VP6 Codec

Video compression software provider On2 Technologies has unleashed its latest VP6 codec , which the company claims outperforms video coding standards JVT/ H.26L, Windows Media 9 and DIVX 5.05.

The New York-based On2, which is considered a leader in compression technology, said VP6 supports high definition without compressor restrictions and real time encoding at D1 resolutions. The company promised image quality of up to 40 percent better than its previous flagship codec, VP5.

On2 said the codec also chews through 50 percent less CPU than its prior compression codec, VP5, all of which translates to a faster playback on semiconductors.

Other new features with VP6 include an ability to run on digital signal processors without the need for deploying the codec on pricier sub-processors that many standards-based codecs (JVT and MPEG-4) require.

On2 also said the VP6 software encodes and decode at any datarate while automatically adjusting quantization levels or adjust encoded frame dimensions. VP6 is available in two versions: Simple Profile for faster playback on cheaper processors, and Advanced Profile, which is designed to produce high quality at extremely low bitrates.

"This new codec from On2 simply does a number of things substantially better than any other codec available at an price. It does not just outperform the competition in one or two arenas, it outperforms the competition, period," said Douglas A. McIntyre, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company.

Jim Bankoski, senior vice president of engineering for On2 said the latest release could give the digital television industry a strong enough case for abandoning its MPEG-2 compression format.