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(Solved)Know about VP9 and How to Open and Play VP9?

This tutorial aims to show detailed information related to VP9. If you are facing some questions, including what VP9 is and how to open and play VP9, then this is the perfect one for you.

Part 1: Know about VP9

Section 1. What is VP9 format?

VP9 is an open video coding format, usually packaged in WebM format. The VP9 encoding format was developed by Google and is the successor to VP8 encoding. Its main purpose is to compete with MPEG-led HEVC / H.265. The initial version of the video format was launched in 2012. Compared with the previous generation VP8 format (initial version launched in 2008), the VP9 format can reduce the bit rate of the same quality 4K video by 50%. VP9 uses an efficient compression method. Under the 720P format, the bandwidth required for videos using this encoding format does not change much from VP8; but for videos above 1080P, the required bandwidth can be reduced by about 50%.

Section 2. Comparison between VP9 and HEVC/H.265

When compares VP9 with MPEG’s High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC/H.265), VP9 has the most common support among web browsers while H.265 said to be twice as efficient as H.264 when speaking of the video compression.

1. 8K Content Support

Both VP9 and H.265 support 8K, which make them so important for future television and video industry as the physical media is going down.

2. Licensed Vs. Royalty Free

H.265 was originally developed as the ‘HEVC’ (High Efficiency Video Coding) format jointly by the Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) and the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG). It was approved as the official successor to H.264 in April 2013. Like H.264, the codec must be licensed with hardware manufacturers and software developers paying a fee.

3. Different Working Ways

H.265 increases picture quality by making individual pixels actually bigger to reduce the bit rate (and therefore file size). To explain this in a vivid way, H.264 could grab a 16×16 ‘macroblock’ of pixels and perform nine ‘intra-prediction directions’ . H.265 can grab 64×64 ‘superblocks’ and perform 35 infra-prediction directions to rebuild them. Like H.264, H.265 varies the size of blocks it takes. For example, it would take much smaller blocks (down to 4×4 pixels) around detailed areas like facial features and much bigger blocks of the sky or a relatively plain background.

VP9 is similar on the surface. It can also take 64×64 superblocks, but unlike H.265 these don’t need to be square so it can sample 64×32 or 4×8 blocks for greater efficiency. On the flip side it only has 10 prediction modes to rebuild them. Some people argue VP9 changes H.265 just enough for it to avoid copyright infringement.

Part 2: Best Free Player for VP9

Since VP9 is contained in WebM, a WebM player should be able to play VP9. Leawo Blu-ray Player is such a VP9 video player you can use to play VP9 video. And besides that, it can also play almost all the popular video, audio and network protocol clients formats.

Step 1. Download Leawo Blu-ray Player and install it.

Step 2. Associate .WebM file in File Associations tab located on the left so this player will play VP9 automatically next time when you click the VP9 file to play. You can always go back to this File Associations tab later to change and associate the player to other formats that you’d like it to play.

Step 3. Enter the main interface and load the VP9 movie on the computer by clicking the “Open File” button on the home interface. When you have imported the VP9 file, then you can play it immediately on your computer.

Part 3: What Can Support VP9 Playback?

H.265 inherits the H.264 video coding standard system and is more widely used in commercial applications. It is mostly used in security, military, and enterprise scenarios. However, due to too many patent holders, its commercial costs are too high. Facing greater resistance in the promotion. VP9 is used in Internet application scenarios because of its simple and practical solution and the development of free features. It is hard to say who will be the mainstream video coding standard in the future. Of course, with the diversification of video application scenarios, it is possible that the two will go hand in hand in the future and complement each other. Both H.265 and VP9 have their advantages. Users can choose the format to be used according to the actual application scenario.

Specifically, you can view VP9 files on the current most browsers, like Chrome, Edge, Firefox and Opera. What’s more, if you have a mobile phone with Android system, you can find the VP9 playbacks can be available in Android version 4.4 +. But in order to support VP9 playback, usually, your hardware should meet certain standards. By the way, VLC Media Player supports VP9 playbacks.

Part 4: How to Download VP9 Codec?

In actual cases, you may fail to play VP9 files on your basic media player. The main reason is the lack of VP9 codec on the media players. VP9 codec is a program that can be able to encode and decode VP9 videos. With the VP9 codec, users can then create the 4K/8K videos. Even more, they can be capable of converting videos to other more compatible formats to be played on your current media player or computer.

How to download VP9 codec? Now we can take Windows 10 as an example. If now you would like to play VP9 videos on your Windows 10 device, then, how to stream the VP9 videos on your computer? Here, you should not miss VP9 Video Extensions. In comparison with VP9 codec, this instant extension is quite simple and easy to handle. Once you have installed this extension, you only need to restart your Windows, then you can encode VP8 and VP9 contents. If you still insist in downloading VP9 codec, then you can visit the WebM project website:

Part 5: How to Play VP9 on YouTube

In order to play VP9 on YouTube, in other words, in order to enable VP9 on YouTube, you have to make sure that the video you have uploaded should be 4K video resolution. Once the YouTube platform detects a 4K video, then it would automatically compress the 4K video to VP9 video. On the other hand, if the video’s resolution is not so high, for example, the video is below 4K, then YouTube would not enable the video to VP9, instead, it will be compressed to H.264.

The process of uploading videos to YouTube is quite simple. Make sure you have the YouTube account and log in to the account and you can find the “Upload” button on the left upper corner of the screen. Then click the video you would like to upload which has the 4K resolution or more. Once the 4K video has been uploaded, then the platform will compress the original video to VP9 format.


With the widespread of high-resolution videos, especially Blu-ray or Ultra HD, 4K and even more, 5K, VP9 is more and more popular in recent years. Different from the common HEVC/H.265, in terms of performance, HEVC is better than VP9. However, in the real world, competition is not purely technical. With the support and promotion of Google, VP9 can at least be very nourishing; HEVC is an international standard. Although the problem of patents is much more complicated than VP9, we should also see that it is because many companies provide them and they all hope that HEVC will be promoted vigorously and no one wants the video standard to be controlled by a company-although VP9 is free.

Thus, in such a case, are there any ways to play VP9 videos? The answer is positive. By downloading and installing the VP9 codec, or just downloading an additional extension to support VP9 video, users can also smoothly play the VP9 video. But if a piece of media player can support VP9, then it will be perfect. Luckily, Leawo Blu-ray Player is an excellent choice for you which can directly play the VP9 files with ease and accuracy. By the way, in order to enable VP9 videos on YouTube, you have to upload a high-resolution video that should reach at least 4K, and then the original video will be compressed to the VP9.

Toby Yang

Toby Yang

With long-term dedication into the latest market demands and technologies, the author has become an expert in posting practical, in-depth and user-oriented how-tos, tutorials, recommendations, reviews, and more digital multimedia solutions in Blu-ray, DVD, video, audio, picture, Apple utilities, etc.

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