29 June 2004
At the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference today I went to a session on the new h.264 standard for video. Very nice. This new codec is a huge step ahead of the current crop. The presenters went through the typical techno stuff that only the digital media people understood, but the real impressive stuff was when they demoed some movie trailers. h.263 was producing better quality at half the bit rate of mpeg-2. Also, when you do scale things low enough that you lose quality, instead of getting blocky video the video just becomes softer. You lose sharpness but it is so much nicer than the blocky video you get with other codecs. Very impressive stuff.