Multimedia Technology Releases: Theora 1.1
Article by George Norman
On 30 Sep 2009
Theora, the free and open video compression format developed by the Xiph.org Foundation, has been updated to version 1.1 and has been rolled out to the awaiting masses. Version 1.1 comes less than a year after the release of v. 1.0 and brings several improvements to the table. All the changes apply to the Theora encoder and decoder, not the Theora format.

“After over a month of public testing, we're pleased to declare our 1.1 rewrite of libtheora stable. This is the reference implementation for the Theora video codec. Source code for libtheora 1.1.0 is available now, and will be incorporated in major Theora-supporting applications soon. This release incorporates all the work we've been doing over the last year, and the encoder has been completely rewritten, although some of the code had its genesis way back in 2003. It also brings substantial performance and robustness improvements to the 1.0 decoder. This release is API and ABI compatible with the 1.0 stable release and can be used as a drop in replacement, although some changes are needed to take advantage of new encoder features like two-pass. We recommend upgrading to all our users,” explained the Xiph.org Foundation

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Here’s what’s new in Theora 1.1

- Videos look better. Or in other words, you can get the same quality but with smaller files.
- The decoder is now much faster
- Two-pass mode for modifying the size of a file to suits your needs.
- Rigid bitrate controls substitute quality for the needs of live streaming apps.

Here’s what’s changed in the 1.1 encoder:

- Rate-distortion optimization
- Better motion search
- Better fDCT
- Adaptive quantization
- Better quantization matrices
- A real rate-control module
- Expanded rate-control API
- Explicit variable frame rate support in the encoder
- Support for 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 video

“There are many other improvements in this release. The codebase is substantially smaller, the examples have all been ported to the 1.x API, the MSVC assembly is now in sync with the gcc assembly, and much more. We strongly encourage all our users to upgrade,” added the Xiph.org Foundation.



Tags: Theora, Xiph.Org
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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