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There are a lot of video codecs in the world, and the competition is pretty fierce. Is there any room for a newcomer to claw out some market share? There are lots of pretenders, but few who actually succeed in making a dent in the marketplace.

Let’s look at what’s already out there and in wide use:

  • MPEG-2
  • MPEG-4/DivX
  • H.263
  • H.264/Sorensen 3
  • RealVideo
  • Windows Media Video

And let’s not forget the up-and-coming AVS coding standard from China.

All of these have their place, and all struggle to win market share. In every case they either have a huge standards body like the ISO or a heavyweight company behind them.

But that didn’t stop Paris-based Actimagine from deciding that they, too, needed to create a video codec. And as reported by Converge!, they’ve managed to snag a few million Euros from investors to try to make this a big deal in the mobile and handheld market.

And apparently with some success so far. Their press release history shows that they’ve been able to at least cut a few deals with this codec. Maybe the claims that they can distance themselves from patented technology like MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 has convinced buyers that this is a good place to be.

Of course, 3 million Euros is not exactly a big funding step, so it’s not like anyone seems to be expecting a home run. I suspect the funding is mostly based on the fact that they’ve shown enough smarts to be able to sign a few licensing deals already – it means they at least understand the business and are doing more than making big talk.

Still, I’ll be surprised if you look back 10 years from now and see Actimagine as anything more than a blip on the curve. They would have to go a long way to make anything approaching a significant impact. They one thing they have going for them is the continued perception that current attempts to deliver video to mobile devices sucks big time.