So is the H.264 problem going to be solved?

Interesting report in The Register about Google’s acquisition of On2, the company that developed the VP3 codec which is the basis for Ogg Theora.

The question is still whether Google will turn around and open source On2’s video codecs. In announcing the original pact, Mountain View made a point of saying that it believes “high-quality video compression technology should be a part of the web platform” — and that On2 is a means of reaching that end.

The major web browser makers – including Google, Apple, Mozilla, Opera, and Microsoft – have failed to agree on a single common codec for the new HTML5 video tag. The HTML5 spec allows for any codec, and while some have opted for the open and license-free Ogg Theora, others are sticking to the license-encumbered H.264 for reasons of performance, hardware support, and alleged patent anxiety.

If you’re new to this, Charles Arthur wrote a helpful piece about it, following on a perceptive piece by Jack Schofield.