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I know that Mozilla has taken an ideological stance against H.264 video, but I don't agree with it. (And I think I paid for a hardware decoder inside my graphics card anyway?)

Is there any way I can force Firefox to play H.264 videos? Is there a hacked version that includes support for it? A plug-in?

Chrome's extensions aren't as good as Firefox, so I'm not ready to switch, but videos run so much smoother and more efficiently without the Flash layer in between.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

If on Windows, there's a "hack" way to include IE in FF:

Here's a plugin that converts HTML5 to Flash, enabling H264 to be played:

Here's a spin off:

but no releases yet.

Huge note: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H264#Patent_licensing - this is a patented technology and you, as the user, may need to pay licenses to use the product that contains H264 code in it.

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"On August 26, 2010 MPEG LA announced that H.264 encoded internet video that is free to end users will never be charged for royalties." – endolith Nov 21 '10 at 16:34
    
Exactly - anybody who creates the video and makes it free will not be charged royalties, not users using non-licensed software to watch it. I'm not a lawyer, so you are free to interpret it however you want - I just wanted to put it on a table. – icyrock.com Nov 21 '10 at 16:38
    
I'd gladly pay a few bucks if they can figure out a way to ask me for it. – endolith Nov 21 '10 at 16:43

You can use the h264ify extension. (also has a Chrome version)

h264ify is a Firefox/Chrome extension that makes YouTube stream H.264 videos instead of VP8/VP9 videos.

Try h264ify if YouTube videos stutter, take up too much CPU, eat battery life, or make your laptop hot.

By default, YouTube streams VP8/VP9 encoded video. However, this can cause problems with less powerful machines because VP8/VP9 is not typically hardware accelerated.

In contrast, H.264 is commonly hardware accelerated by GPUs, which usually means smoother video playback and reduced CPU usage.

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