That headline makes a pretty bold statement, but it’s anchored in truth. Google has told the world via the YouTube developer blog that its new VP9 video codec – the bit of code that determines the file size of online videos – can stream 720p videos using the same amount of bandwidth that 480p videos have used.

This is actually pretty significant since The Goog says video makes up over half of all internet traffic (and if anyone knows that, it’s Google), meaning reducing the amount of bandwidth each video uses by a half has the potential to cut total internet traffic by a whopping 25%.

And for people with rubbish internet, it’s even better: even with slow connections, they’ll be able to watch 720p videos instead of the crappy 480p videos they used to watch in a tiny window while using the same amount of bandwidth.

But that’s not even the best part of the news. Unlike a lot of other video codecs, Google is making VP9 entirely open-sourced, meaning anyone can use and modify it without having to pay royalty fees to anyone, something that will surely encourage all of the big online video providers to integrate the tech into their services and drive its widespread adoption.

And then there’s 4K video: this far more efficient codec makes streaming uninterrupted 4K videos over the internet a lot smoother, great news for anyone interested in watching super high-resolution videos regularly without upgrading to a fibre connection.

So the future truly is now, at least as far as online video goes. If you want a deeper dive into the behind-the-scenes goings-on around this new development, check out the full blog post here.

[Source – YouTube developer blog], Image – Rego – via photopin cc]
Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.