RealNetworks Inc. has released yet another set of codecs aimed at bringing
broadcast-quality video to broadband users using less bandwidth and requiring
less storage space.
'RealVideo 9' promises to save 30 percent in bandwidth compared with RNI's
'RealVideo 8' predecessor for the same quality video. It can produce VHS-quality
video starting at bit rates of 160 kilobits per second.
'RealAudio Surround,' meanwhile, adds multichannel surround sound starting at
44 kbps, and it is compatible with many digital receivers already in consumer
At 500 kbps, RealVideo 9 and RealAudio Surround combined can deliver
near-DVD-quality video and audio, opening the way for more Internet content
distribution, according to RNI.
The codecs' greater compression rates also shrink the storage space for
digital-video files -- Real claimed that two full-length movies can be stored on
a CD and up to 15 can be stored on a DVD.
And the codecs support high-definition-TV formats and resolutions at data
rates lower than traditional HDTV transmission.
The new formats are available starting Wednesday, and already, 22 content
providers -- including FoxSports.com, Maverick
Records and New Line Cinema -- have made RealVideo 9-encoded content