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Google removes H.264 from its browser/system
romor
post Jan 12 2011, 01:51
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I read this today, and thought it might be interesting to post about it:

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Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies.
source: http://blog.chromium.org/2011/01/html-vide...-in-chrome.html

Next? > WebMed YouTube


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TechVsLife
post Jan 12 2011, 02:48
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fwiw, here's apple's view of the matter:
http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/10/05...webm_codec.html

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/10/05..._is_a_mess.html







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romor
post Jan 12 2011, 03:18
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"Unsubstantial claims" about VP8 and H.264 comparisons are hollow and biased.

Also Apple stubbornness may soften if YouTube moves to WebM, as Adobe brings WebM to Flash, iOS will be left alone


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matav
post Jan 12 2011, 09:28
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it is way too early to make such a move.
so early that it's almost ridiculous.


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Miramis
post Jan 14 2011, 22:11
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More about the Chrome HTML Video Codec Change


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googlebot
post Jan 15 2011, 11:32
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I immediately thought about dropping Chrome, when I read the headline a while ago. This is really a huge step backwards. In fact, H.264 has a lot more features that should be called "open" than WebM. An article by Ars sums this up pretty nicely.
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romor
post Jan 15 2011, 12:52
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QUOTE (googlebot @ Jan 15 2011, 11:32) *
This is really a huge step backwards. In fact, H.264 has a lot more features that should be called "open" than WebM. An article by Ars sums this up pretty nicely.

While we are just spectators obviously, here is another article: http://www.osnews.com/story/24263/Google_H...fles_Innovation

QUOTE (matav @ Jan 12 2011, 09:28) *
it is way too early to make such a move.
so early that it's almost ridiculous.

Was it early or was it obvious to some even earlier when Google purchased On2 technologies, we'll see in not so distant future

[edit] for those, not willing to read long stories, nice colorful summary:



This post has been edited by romor: Jan 15 2011, 13:44


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dhromed
post Jan 16 2011, 00:41
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Interesting how that infographic's Arguments panel doesn't even remotely touch upon the technical aspects of the codecs. But I'm probably being a naive developer when I say that these things should be determined based on practical merits.

Here's the blog post I read a while ago that rips VP8 apart. It's linked from the second appleinsider article, and goes into real detail, rather than rhetoric peppered with the words "open", "innovation" and "free". You know, the kind of real detail that we here at HA prefer over audiophile claptrap— which' equivalent I kind of see in the pro-WebM articles.
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romor
post Jan 16 2011, 01:30
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QUOTE (dhromed @ Jan 16 2011, 00:41) *
...goes into real detail, rather than rhetoric peppered with the words "open", "innovation" and "free". You know, the kind of real detail that we here at HA prefer over audiophile claptrap

Did you understand anything there other than summary, or did you take your time to compare both codecs?

random links:
http://www.streamingmedia.com/Articles/Edi...ared-67266.aspx
http://www.quavlive.com/video_codec_comparison

I found that Dark Shikari blog post is overlinked and usually abused by lamers, including that biased appleinsider post

QUOTE
decodes video slowly, is buggy, and copies H.264 closely enough to all but guarantee patent issues

Come on! Can something be that good?

OTOH, technical aspects are other story than one announced here


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Porcus
post Jan 16 2011, 15:24
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Isn't this all about web content, really? Once plugins are easily available, then Google will ditch Flash from Youtube, and then IE will probably support it by default. Apple will be biting its nails considering whether to give in to Google, but I'd put my money on them embracing a competition to Flash.


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gaekwad2
post Jan 16 2011, 16:17
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QUOTE (romor @ Jan 16 2011, 02:30) *
QUOTE (dhromed @ Jan 16 2011, 00:41) *
...goes into real detail, rather than rhetoric peppered with the words "open", "innovation" and "free". You know, the kind of real detail that we here at HA prefer over audiophile claptrap

Did you understand anything there other than summary, or did you take your time to compare both codecs?

random links:
http://www.streamingmedia.com/Articles/Edi...ared-67266.aspx
http://www.quavlive.com/video_codec_comparison

The first one cripples H.264 by using baseline profile, and in the second one VP8 is obviously inferior.

QUOTE (romor @ Jan 16 2011, 02:30) *
I found that Dark Shikari blog post is overlinked and usually abused by lamers, including that biased appleinsider post

Nice ad hominem you got there.
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romor
post Jan 16 2011, 17:43
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QUOTE (gaekwad2 @ Jan 16 2011, 16:17) *
The first one cripples H.264 by using baseline profile, and in the second one VP8 is obviously inferior.

Links were first hits (yeah by Google). Each format by itself should be fine, but h264 has mature encoders/decoders, features, h/w support... and it's big standard already. I'm not familiar with Sorenson's Squeeze, and why x264 wasn't used as encoder in the first link's comparison, but even then isn't most web h264, baseline? Also, Dark Shikari's comment on "VP8 to be more comparable to VC-1 or H.264 Baseline Profile" shows fine example in this case

I didn't downloaded attached videos from the second link, but Park Joy images from h264 encoded video looks better

QUOTE (gaekwad2 @ Jan 16 2011, 16:17) *
Nice ad hominem you got there.

I tried to lower contrast


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gaekwad2
post Jan 16 2011, 19:16
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QUOTE (romor @ Jan 16 2011, 18:43) *
QUOTE (gaekwad2 @ Jan 16 2011, 16:17) *
The first one cripples H.264 by using baseline profile, and in the second one VP8 is obviously inferior.

Links were first hits (yeah by Google). Each format by itself should be fine, but h264 has mature encoders/decoders, features [...]

VP8 isn't exactly new either.

QUOTE (romor @ Jan 16 2011, 18:43) *
I'm not familiar with Sorenson's Squeeze, and why x264 wasn't used as encoder in the first link's comparison, but even then isn't most web h264, baseline?

Nope. Youtube is high and every other site I tried is either high too or main.

QUOTE (romor @ Jan 16 2011, 18:43) *
Also, Dark Shikari's comment on "VP8 to be more comparable to VC-1 or H.264 Baseline Profile" shows fine example in this case

Yes, they do show that VP8 can only compete with H.264 baseline. A well-tuned VP8 encoder might be able to produce the same quality as x264 baseline, but then apparently VP8 is more limited when it comes to psychovisual tuning too (see the part about adaptive quantization in Dark Shikari's review).

Really, the claims about VP8 being equal to (or even better than, according to On2's marketing) H.264 should be laid to rest.
That doesn't make it unusable of course. It's better than Theora after all.

Otoh H.264 can be as good as it wants if it's too risky or plain impossible to use due to patent or license issues. The question is, is it? And is WebM really an alternative? But that's probably up to IP lawyers and patent trolls (or at least I haven't yet seen any discussion on the subject that didn't quickly start running in circles either).
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romor
post Jan 16 2011, 19:52
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QUOTE (gaekwad2 @ Jan 16 2011, 19:16) *
VP8 isn't exactly new either.

but perhaps interest to WebM can change that

QUOTE (gaekwad2 @ Jan 16 2011, 19:16) *
Nope. Youtube is high and every other site I tried is either high too or main.

I checked couple of my downloads, without any reference to research. They were mixed contents some YouTube some other services - baseline prevailed though it may easily be wrong conclusion

QUOTE (gaekwad2 @ Jan 16 2011, 19:16) *
Really, the claims about VP8 being equal to (or even better than, according to On2's marketing) H.264 should be laid to rest.

I didn't said that, although I commented on exaggerated comparisons (which I'd do the same if someone posted On2 nonsense)

QUOTE (gaekwad2 @ Jan 16 2011, 19:16) *
It's better than Theora after all.

Sure


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Miramis
post Jan 19 2011, 21:57
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Free Software Foundation: No double standards: supporting Google's push for WebM


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cpchan
post Jan 19 2011, 22:43
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QUOTE (googlebot @ Jan 15 2011, 06:32) *
I immediately thought about dropping Chrome, when I read the headline a while ago. This is really a huge step backwards. In fact, H.264 has a lot more features that should be called "open" than WebM. An article by Ars sums this up pretty nicely.


Open in terms of what? Just because it is an ISO and ECMA standard like OOXML? The barrier of entry is simply too high for the small fishes (eg. royalities fees). I grant you that it is free for use for some purposes at present, but this is the MPEGLA's "bait and switch" to get it firmly entrenched in the industry and profit later on. I wonder what the Internet would look like if people have to pay for every so called open standard such as TCP/IP, POP3, Imap, or any other RFCs.

Technically VP8 is inferior right new, but I can see it improve quickly, now that the source code is opened.
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googlebot
post Jan 19 2011, 23:36
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Don't be fooled!

The only thing open about WebM is one implementation of an encoder and decoder! The project is hosted by Google, license is BSD. The development of the video standard itself stays under sole control of Google. All that Google is giving to the public is this software implementation, no guarantee to be exempt from licensing fees due to patents.

The situation is not much different regarding source openness for h264! The best encoder one can get, is an open source project! It's x264. x264 has been the pony show for h264's capabilities from the beginning. It is licensed under the GPL (see ffmpeg for a very fast open source decoder). That's not less open than Google's source project. The video standard itself is not under control of one company, but defines the state of the art at the time of standardization, with dozens of contributors from science and business. It has formally been standardized over several years in an open process. The standardization convened the creme de la creme from the field. It is highly questionable that a competing codec can reach comparable quality while completely avoiding the state of the art as it has been defined in that process.



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cpchan
post Jan 20 2011, 00:02
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QUOTE (googlebot @ Jan 19 2011, 18:36) *
Don't be fooled!

The only thing open about WebM is one implementation of an encoder and decoder! The project is hosted by Google, license is BSD. The development of the video standard itself stays under sole control of Google. All that Google is giving to the public is this software implementation, no guarantee to be exempt from licensing fees due to patents.


Have you actually looked at the terms? Here it is:

QUOTE
Additional IP Rights Grant (Patents)

"This implementation" means the copyrightable works distributed by Google as part of the WebM Project.

Google hereby grants to you a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable (except as stated in this section) patent license to make, have made, use, offer to sell, sell, import, transfer, and otherwise run, modify and propagate the contents of this implementation of VP8, where such license applies only to those patent claims, both currently owned by Google and acquired in the future, licensable by Google that are necessarily infringed by this implementation of VP8. This grant does not include claims that would be infringed only as a consequence of further modification of this implementation. If you or your agent or exclusive licensee institute or order or agree to the institution of patent litigation against any entity (including a cross-claim or counterclaim in a lawsuit) alleging that this implementation of VP8 or any code incorporated within this implementation of VP8 constitutes direct or contributory patent infringement, or inducement of patent infringement, then any patent rights granted to you under this License for this implementation of VP8 shall terminate as of the date such litigation is filed.


(Emphasis mine). Enough said.

QUOTE (googlebot @ Jan 19 2011, 18:36) *
The situation is not much different regarding source openness for h264! The best encoder one can get, is an open source project! It's x264. x264 has been the pony show for h264's capabilities from the beginning. It is licensed under the GPL (see ffmpeg for a very fast open source decoder). That's not less open than Google's source project.


Of course I know ffmpeg, I compile it from svn weekly. The difference between webm and x264 is that Google granted a perpetual license. Where as, I am sure with x264, the mpegla will come knocking once mpeg4 part 4 is entrenched and once the current terms expires for h.264.

Anyway, we are not really discussing about the quality of the codecs here, but a codec that is good enough and royality free for web distribution, in accordance with the vision of the w3c.

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googlebot
post Jan 20 2011, 01:02
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I really can't see how this is supposed to even come close to "enough said". Google does not even assert "in good faith" that the WebM code is free from 3rd party patents. Let alone that they do not offer any form of patent indemnity. All they say is: "hey, we have this open source implementation (h264 does also) and at least WE don't charge for it (others might anyway). And BTW, the format's future is entirely in our hands, we won't commit it to any independent commitee (and we won't support the competition in our own products from now on)."

For h264, there has at least been the proposition to assemble complete coverage over all infringed patents and it is asserted in good faith. There is also no indemnity, but at least a transparent approach to achieve complete coverage. h264 extended its royality exemption forever in August 2010 (before it was only until 2016). When you want to sell encoders or decoders, license fees may apply. But they automatically exempt from the whole known patent pool from all participants throughout the industry.

RFCs are "open standards" exactly in the way, that they are not controlled by single entities (as h264, not as WebM). But methods described in RFCs, also the ones you have listed, are not exempt from patent licensing fees!

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cpchan
post Jan 20 2011, 01:50
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QUOTE (googlebot @ Jan 19 2011, 20:02) *
I really can't see how this is supposed to even come close to "enough said". Google does not even assert "in good faith" that the WebM code is free from 3rd party patents. Let alone that they do not offer any form of patent indemnity. All they say is: "hey, we have this open source implementation (h264 does also) and at least WE don't charge for it (others might anyway). And BTW, the format's future is entirely in our hands, we won't commit it to any independent commitee (and we won't support the competition in our own products from now on)."


Nothing is immune to submarine patents. However, I do believe that Google should make a statement about its vetting process.

QUOTE (googlebot @ Jan 19 2011, 20:02) *
RFCs are "open standards" exactly in the way, that they are not controlled by single entities (as h264, not as WebM). But methods described in RFCs, also the ones you have listed, are not exempt from patent licensing fees!


Please show me an example where royalties must be paid.

All this should really be sorted out at the w3c:

QUOTE
2. Licensing Goals for W3C Recommendations

In order to promote the widest adoption of Web standards, W3C seeks to issue Recommendations that can be implemented on a Royalty-Free (RF) basis. Subject to the conditions of this policy, W3C will not approve a Recommendation if it is aware that Essential Claims exist which are not available on Royalty-Free terms.

To this end, Working Group charters will include a reference to this policy and a requirement that specifications produced by the Working Group will be implementable on an RF basis, to the best ability of the Working Group and the Consortium.


Unfortunately, cooperate interests trumped everything.

As an aside, I don't support software patents. They really hinder rather than help innovation. I also have no faith in the ISO these days after witnessing how ooxml was approved.


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NullC
post Jan 20 2011, 03:58
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QUOTE
Additional IP Rights Grant (Patents)

"This implementation" means the copyrightable works distributed by Google as part of the WebM Project.

Google hereby grants to you a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable (except as stated in this section) patent license to make, have made, use, offer to sell, sell, import, transfer, and otherwise run, modify and propagate the contents of this implementation of VP8, where such license applies only to those patent claims, both currently owned by Google and acquired in the future, licensable by Google that are necessarily infringed by this implementation of VP8. This grant does not include claims that would be infringed only as a consequence of further modification of this implementation. If you or your agent or exclusive licensee institute or order or agree to the institution of patent litigation against any entity (including a cross-claim or counterclaim in a lawsuit) alleging that this implementation of VP8 or any code incorporated within this implementation of VP8 constitutes direct or contributory patent infringement, or inducement of patent infringement, then any patent rights granted to you under this License for this implementation of VP8 shall terminate as of the date such litigation is filed.



You haven't quoted the whole thing, there are two. One for the implementation, one for the bitstream:

QUOTE
VP8 Bitstream Specification License

Google hereby grants to You a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable (except as stated in this section) patent license to make, have made, use, offer to sell, sell, import, and otherwise transfer implementations of this specification where such license applies only to those patent claims, both currently owned by Google and acquired in the future, licensable by Google that are necessarily infringed by implementation of this specification. If You or your agent or exclusive licensee institute or order or agree to the institution of patent litigation against any entity (including a cross-claim or counterclaim in a lawsuit) alleging that any implementation of this specification constitutes direct or contributory patent infringement, or inducement of patent infringement, then any rights granted to You under the License for this specification shall terminate as of the date such litigation is filed.


Don't be fooled by FUD.

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HotshotGG
post Jan 20 2011, 07:13
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I built WebM from the source back in June in FFMPEG libvpx 0.9.1 on my Linux box here (The newest one built with speed in mind is 0.9.5). The only drawbacks that I saw with it was the encoding/decoding spped, which was rather slow when compared to Theora and H.264, although I can't tell difference quality wise and I am far from a videophile. You are folks are forgetting one thing here. It really does matter which one offers any vast Psychovisual improvements most people are going to transcode their entire video collections over anyway regardless and they both DCT based codecs so they are very similar. VP8 even though still difficult is somewhat simpler. I think we will see some vast improvements over the next year or so with speed. There is also hardware support in embedded microprocessors, which is a good thing and Firefox 4 and Chrome will have support. Android support is coming very soon as well. In terms of Google pushing WebM on people I think that's good for the HTML 5 standard and not really for the consumers unfortunately whom are stubborn to say the least. It's funny that everybody is gawking at Google for simply trying to "unite" the web under one standard and finally dump the stupid 7,000 different flash players used on most websites and there is this huge backlash over. People just use H.264 and flash out of "convenience" it's not going to take that much effort to transcode your video collection everyone knows there will be 1,000 drag-drop GUI's out there if they don't already exist to simplify the process rolleyes.gif Does that mean that HTML 5 video is the end all be all? No there is much room for improvement even with HTML 5 in mind, but it's a start.

QUOTE
Unfortunately, cooperate interests trumped everything.


They always do. That's why I have completely switched over to Linux and made the break and it's been a much smoother ride ever since. Nerds realize this will always be an on going battle. laugh.gif


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cpchan
post Jan 20 2011, 07:18
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QUOTE (NullC @ Jan 19 2011, 22:58) *
You haven't quoted the whole thing, there are two. One for the implementation, one for the bitstream:
...


Thanks. I missed out on that part.

QUOTE (NullC @ Jan 19 2011, 22:58) *
Don't be fooled by FUD.


smile.gif

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cpchan
post Jan 20 2011, 07:22
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QUOTE (HotshotGG @ Jan 20 2011, 02:13) *
They always do. That's why I have completely switched over to Linux and made the break and it's been a much smoother ride ever since. Nerds realize this will always be an on going battle. laugh.gif


I understand your sentiments completely. Freedom feels great. wink.gif

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cpchan
post Jan 20 2011, 09:52
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QUOTE (cpchan @ Jan 19 2011, 19:02) *
Of course I know ffmpeg, I compile it from svn weekly. The difference between webm and x264 is that Google granted a perpetual license. Where as, I am sure with x264, the mpegla will come knocking once mpeg4 part 4 is entrenched and once the current terms expires for h.264.


Wow, talking about ffmpeg, this piece of news came as a total shock:

http://lwn.net/Articles/423702/

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