Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
On2 Technologies (AMEX: ONT), formerly known as "The Duck Corporation", is a small publicly-traded company (on the American Stock Exchange) that designs proprietary video codec technology. Some of its codec designs are known as VP3, VP5, VP6, and VP7.
In late 2003, On2 announced that its VP5 and VP6 codecs were selected by Beijing E-World as a video coding method to be used in a Chinese-developed competitor to the DVD format called the EVD (Enhanced Versatile Disc) format. Then in April of 2004, On2 announced that its business relationship with E-World had soured, and that On2 would file multiple breach of contract claims against E-World in arbitration proceedings. The arbitrator reached a conclusion on March 10, 2005, according to an SEC filing by On2 on March 14, 2005. The arbitrator dismissed each of On2's claims and ruled that E-World owed nothing to On2 and had not breached the contract. It seems unlikely that On2 will ultimately get any significant payback from the EVD initiative, although some contract relationship remains in effect.
A number of less highly visible deals with other customers and partners seem to have worked out more amicably. Recent announcements have related to deals with Apex Datacom, IWAPI Inc., Vividas, Digital Witness, XM Satellite Radio, PowerLinx, Leapfrog, and Macromedia.
On2 announced its annual financial results on March 15, 2005 for the year ending December 31, 2004. For the year, the company reported a net loss of about $US 3.4 million. Compared to the previous year's financial results, revenues were down, expenses were up, and losses had increased. However, the amount of cash on hand had increased to $US 5.4 million, and by February 28, 2005, this amount had further increased to more than $US 8.4 million.
On March 9, 2005, On2 announced another generation of codec design that it calls "VP7". On2 claims that VP7 is superior to the recent H.264/AVC standard, based on claims of comparative technical capabilities and licensing costs.
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