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VP9 logo
Developed byGoogle
Initial releaseDecember 13, 2012
Type of formatCompressed video
Contained byWebM, Matroska
Extended fromVP8
StandardA VP9 Bitstream Overview
Open format?Yes
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VP9 logo
Developed byGoogle
Initial releaseDecember 13, 2012
Type of formatCompressed video
Contained byWebM, Matroska
Extended fromVP8
StandardA VP9 Bitstream Overview
Open format?Yes
libvpx (VP9 codec library)[1][2]
Development statusActive
Written inC
Operating systemUnix-like (including GNU/Linux, FreeBSD and Mac OS X), Windows
TypeVideo codec
LicenseNew BSD license

VP9 is an open and royalty free[3] video compression standard being developed by Google. VP9 had earlier development names of Next Gen Open Video (NGOV) and VP-Next. VP9 is a successor to VP8. Chromium, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera support playing VP9 video format in the HTML5 video tag.


Development of VP9 started in Q3 2011.[4][5] One of the goals for VP9 is to reduce the bit rate by 50% compared to VP8 while having the same video quality.[6] Another goal for VP9 is to improve it to the point where it would have better compression efficiency than High Efficiency Video Coding.[5]

On December 13, 2012, the VP9 decoder was added to the Chromium web browser.[7][8][9]

On February 21, 2013, the first stable version of the Google Chrome web browser that supports VP9 decoding was released.[10] This was added in version 25 of Google Chrome.[10]

On May 8, 2013, Google announced the finalization of VP9 for June 17, 2013.[11][12][13] VP9 decoding will no longer be hidden behind a flag with version 29 of Google Chrome.[14]

On June 11, 2013, profile 0 of VP9 was finalized.[11][15]

On June 12, 2013, VP9 was activated by default in the latest Chromium build.[16][17][18][19]

On July 1, 2013, Google announced that VP9 has been enabled by default in the Google Chrome developer channel.[2][20]

As of August 2013, Google released Chrome 29.0.1547 with VP9 final support.

On October 3, 2013, a native VP9 decoder was added to FFmpeg,[21] and on November 15, 2013, to Libav.

On January 7, 2014, Ittiam demonstrated its VP9 decoder on ARM Cortex devices. The Ittiam VP9 Decoder, built in collaboration with ARM and Google, focuses on power, scale and portability with equal importance given to each. It runs at 1080p 30fps leveraging the ARM Mali-T604 GPU on an Arndale board powered by Samsung’s Exynos 5 Dual SoC.[22][23]

On March 18, 2014, Mozilla added VP9 support to Firefox in version 28.[24][25]

Technical details[edit]

VP9 has many design improvements compared to VP8.[4][5] VP9 supports the use of superblocks[26] of 64x64 pixels.[4][5] A quadtree coding structure will be used with the superblocks.[4][5]

The VP9 standard supports the following color spaces: Rec. 601, Rec. 709, Rec. 2020, SMPTE-170, SMPTE-240, and sRGB.[27][28]


The VP9 standard defines four profiles: profile 0 , profile 1 , profile 2 and profile 3.[11][29] Profile 0 supports 4:2:0 chroma subsampling.[11][29] Profile 1, which is optional for hardware, adds support for 4:2:2 chroma subsampling, 4:4:4 chroma subsampling, alpha channel support, and depth channel support.[11][29] Google has announced that it is developing two high bit depth profiles: profile 2 and profile 3.[30][31] Profile 2 allows for a bit depth of 10-bits to 12-bits per sample and supports 4:2:0 chroma subsampling.[31] Profile 3 adds support for 4:2:2 chroma subsampling, 4:4:4 chroma subsampling, and alpha channel support.[31]



On September 12, 2014, Google announced that development on VP10 had begun and that after the release of VP10 they plan to have an 18 month gap between releases of video standards.[33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "VP9 Video Codec Summary". WebM Project (Google). Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  2. ^ a b Lou Quillio (2013-07-01). "VP9 Lands in Chrome Dev Channel". WebM Project (Google). Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  3. ^ http://gigaom.com/2014/01/02/youtube-4k-streaming-vp9/
  4. ^ a b c d "VP-Next Overview and Progress Update" (PDF). WebM Project (Google). Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Adrian Grange. "Overview of VP-Next" (PDF). Internet Engineering Task Force. Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  6. ^ "Next Gen Open Video (NGOV) Requirements" (PDF). WebM Project (Google). Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  7. ^ Stephen Shankland (2012-12-28). "Google's new VP9 video technology reaches public view". CNET. Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  8. ^ Lucian Parfeni (2012-12-28). "Chrome Adds Support for the Next-Generation VP9 Video Codec and Mozilla's Opus Audio". Softpedia. Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  9. ^ "Revision 172738 libvpx: Add VP9 decoder.". Chromium (web browser) (Google). 2012-12-13. Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  10. ^ a b "Google Chrome hits 25". OMG! Chrome!. 2013-02-21. Retrieved 2013-04-04. 
  11. ^ a b c d e Paul Wilkins (2013-05-08). "VP9 Bitstream finalization update". WebM Project (Google). Retrieved 2013-05-17. 
  12. ^ Lou Quillio (2013-05-10). "VP9 Codec Nears Completion". WebM Project (Google). Retrieved 2013-05-17. 
  13. ^ Stephen Shankland (2013-05-10). "Google's VP9 video codec nearly done; YouTube will use it". CNET. Retrieved 2013-05-17. 
  14. ^ Jesse Schoff (2013-05-20). "Google pressing for fast adoption of royalty-free VP9 video codec". TechSpot. Retrieved 2013-05-23. 
  15. ^ "VP9 profile 0 release candidate". Chromium (web browser) (Google). 2013-06-11. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  16. ^ Lucian Parfeni (2013-06-17). "Chrome Now Supports Google's Next-Gen VP9 Video Codec by Default". Softpedia. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  17. ^ "Google's VP9 web video codec enters home straight". Heinz Heise. 2013-06-18. Archived from the original on 7 December 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  18. ^ Tom Finegan (2013-06-12). "Issue 16830004: media: Remove VP9 flag, and enable VP9 support by default. (Closed)". Chromium (web browser) (Google). Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  19. ^ Emil Protalinski (2013-06-17). "Google finishes defining its VP9 video codec, adds it to Chromium ahead of Chrome and YouTube rollout". The Next Web. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  20. ^ Emil Protalinski (2013-07-01). "Google adds its free and open-source VP9 video codec to latest Chrome build". The Next Web. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  21. ^ "Native VP9 decoder is now in the Git master branch". Launchpad. 2013-10-03. Retrieved 2013-12-08. 
  22. ^ "Ittiam and ARM are the first to efficiently bring Google’s VP9 to mobile devices". ARM Community. 2014-01-07. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  23. ^ "Ittiam's H.265 and VP9 Solutions to Have Widespread Coverage at CES 2014". ARM Community. 2014-01-07. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  24. ^ https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=833023
  25. ^ https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/28.0/releasenotes/
  26. ^ pieter3d (October 18, 2013). "How VP9 works, technical details & diagrams". forum.doom9.org. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  27. ^ "Add slightly more colorspace variations". Chromium (web browser) (Google). 2013-06-07. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  28. ^ "Change the use of a reserved color space entry". Chromium (web browser) (Google). 2014-11-06. Retrieved 2014-11-07. 
  29. ^ a b c "Merge "Add bits for colorspace, profile" into experimental". Chromium (web browser) (Google). 2013-06-07. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  30. ^ "Update on WebM/VP9". Google Developers. 2014-06-25. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  31. ^ a b c "Reworks high-bit-depth profiles". Chromium (web browser) (Google). 2014-06-10. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  32. ^ "YouTube goes 4K and VP9 at CES". slashdot.org. 2014-01-03. Retrieved 2014-02-16. 
  33. ^ Stephen Shankland (September 12, 2014). "Google's Web-video ambitions bump into hard reality". CNET. Retrieved September 13, 2014. 

External links[edit]