At CES in Las Vegas, YouTube will be showing off 4K video. YouTube will be demonstrating the ultra high-definition streaming based on VP9, which is a royalty-free codec that Google has created as an alternative to the H.265 video codec. VP9 is a successor to VP8, which is another royalty-free alternative to commercial video formats that was established by Google. Google released VP8 in 2008.
One of the reasons why VP8 did not take off was due to lack of hardware support and opposition from companies that have an interest in commercial video formats.
This time, Google has partnered with around 19 hardware partners including Intel, Sharp, ARM, Broadcom, Toshiba, Samsung, and Marvell Technology. An executive at YouTube said that there is a chance that they would add support to H.265 support.