A major Japanese satellite broadcaster may adopt the Apple QuickTime-friendly H.264 format when it launches commercial broadcasts in mid-October.

Mobile Broadcasting said it is "considering changing the video codec for its digital satellite broadcasting service for mobile devices from MPEG-4 to H.264/MPEG-4 AVC," according to Asia Online.

The company said it began researching such a shift six months ago, "because H.264 has higher coding efficiency and can produce more benefits. H.264 may enable an increase of the number of video channels as well as improved image quality," the report says, though no final decision has yet been made.

In June, Apple announced that the DVD Forum had ratified H.264 to be included in the next-generation High Definition (HD) DVD format.

Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller then said: "Apple is firmly behind H.264 because it delivers superb-quality digital video and is based on open standards that no single company controls."

Apple also revealed that H.264 support will be added to QuickTime "next year".