In doing research I learned that H.264 requires patent licensing fees for commercial use of their codec. As usual there's an open source alternative called Theora. If I were to start a website that sells streaming video instruction, would the experts here agree that Theora would be the best way to go in terms of quality and cost?
If so, how does one encode Theora video from DV footage on a Sony Vegas timeline?
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I wouldn't want to make a mistake in choosing the "wrong" format.. So sites that sell streaming video use both Theora and WebM?
Not very many sites use it for retail purposes:
Some reasons why :
- quality is significantly worse (you end up using higher bitrates, this costs $ for bandwidth, maybe offsetting your initial savings)
- lack of hardware support (yet) , so users who want to play on devices like ipod/iphone/media boxes etc... are screwed. They have to convert. Maybe that's a good thing to inconvenience the customer. Maybe you don't want them to have utility and ease of use to make copies
- lack of acceptance - not everyone is equipped to play webm or theora. h.264 in a streaming flash format has >99% penetration
- webm is very slow to encode
webm is making lots of progress and the first hardware supports is coming out shortly. Quality and speed has dramatically improved since initial release but it's still very slow and lower quality