Facing resistance from streaming-media companies, an industry group agrees to lower patent licensing fees that stand in the way of the shift to "4K" high-resolution video.
The alliance, which includes Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Netflix, pledges to build next-generation video technology -- and offer it for free.
Google is working on a new technology called VP10 that will allow it to squeeze higher-quality video over broadband and mobile networks. And thanks to patent issues with a rival standard, it has a chance to catch on.
It looked like compression technology for superhigh-quality video would be free for watching movies and TV online. Not so, according to a new patent-licensing group that wants a cut of the revenue.
So-called 4K video could arrive later and cost more because of a surprise royalty demand for a certain video compression technology.
Andrew Pile has to make sure his service works with everything from phones to smart TVs, even as video-streaming technology constantly changes.
Mozilla wants to keep patent-encumbered technology off the Web. But H.264 compression is widely used, and a deal with Cisco means Firefox can use it.
HEVC, a new standard for compressing 4K video, will be cheaper for many companies to use than its industry-dominating predecessor. Maybe Google's competition helped.
Agreement with patent-licensing group clears the way for wider adoption of the Web giant's streaming-video platform WebM.
Plenty of patents are involved in HEVC, the leading technology contender for compressing 4K video. Several big names still haven't signed up for an effort to ease licensing.