RealNetworks, makers of the Real Player, have sold video-related patents and apparently a video codec development team, to Intel: Intel bolsters video patent portfolio with purchase from RealNetworks — Engadget.
Clearly, Intel wants to ramp up some video offerings. Years ago, before Youtube days, I experimented with streaming online video using Flash, Real, Quicktime and Windows Media.
My goal, then, since it ran on my own servers, was to minimize the bit rate. Real’s codec generally did best on the tests that I did, back on those long ago days. Later, when I did a test where I had more bits to play with, one-pass Flash did best on retaining fine detail, although I later found I could get almost the same detail using two-pass H.264.
Each codec has advantages and disadvantages. Flash took a long time to encode, but so does two-pass H.264; Flash also needed a separate video player. Real’s technology was easy to work with and did a good job on most things I threw at it but needed its own Real Player. Windows Encoder was okayran only on Windows in the Windows Media Player. Quicktime was easy to use but its encoding was slow and you needed the QT player installed.
Today, most everything just uses H.264 as the industry standard so all of the above no longer matters much!