Google joins Viacom's Streaming Video Alliance

Google is also a key member of the Alliance for Open Media. (Unsplash)

Ahead of its member event hosted by principal member Viacom in New York City this week, the Streaming Video Alliance welcomed Google to its ranks.

"Viacom is pleased to host the Streaming Video Alliance face-to-face meeting, where we can continue collaborating with the member technology companies, programmers and distributors to promote standards around distributed caching and video quality-of-service measurement that will benefit us all and our audiences," Viacom CTO Glenn Goldstein said in a statement.

Google joins existing Alliance members including AWS, BAMTech Media, Cisco, Comcast, Ericsson, Fox Networks, Intel, Liberty Global, NBCUniversal, Nokia, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Verizon, among several others.

"A lot has happened in the four years since the Alliance was founded. New industry technologies have been introduced and adopted, new Alliance members have joined our ranks such as AWS and Google and the consumer demand for and consumption of streaming video continues to soar," said Jason Thibeault, executive director of the Streaming Video Alliance, in a statement. "As we kick off our fourth annual member meeting, I'm inspired by our collective progress to date and look forward to our members' continued contributions to the streaming video industry."

At the Alliance’s event, the agenda included a session discussing live synchronized events and an HEVC licensing symposium focusing on HEVC patent pools including HEVC Advance and MPEG LA.

RELATED: Can AV1 and HEVC just get along?

Google is also a key member of the Alliance for Open Media, which also includes fellow Streaming Video Alliance members Adobe, Amazon and Intel. That group is pushing the development and implementation of AV1, a video compression codec that could represent a royalty-free alternative to HEVC.

AV1, a successor to VP9, has promised better compression and bitrates for delivering 4K and other network-intensive content while using less data. HEVC Advance CEO Peter Moller said AV1 and HEVC can likely coexist, but he expressed some concerns about AV1’s performance and royalties claims.

“The biggest question with AV1, of course, is whether the performance claims and promised improvements ever come to fruition. And whether such improvements will ever offset the cost and expense of companies implementing another codec alongside HEVC,” said Moller. “As well, the IP issues remain unknown. The stated promise of AV1 being a royalty free codec seems optimistic at best, and, as a result, it seems highly likely that companies that implement AV1 will be assuming a great deal of unknown IP risk.”