Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 3rd May 2010 17:56 UTC
Multimedia, AV Are you guys sick of the H264 debate already? Yes? Too bad, because we've got more. Microsoft's decision late last week to restrict Internet Explorer 9 to H264 was met with a rather immense amount of criticism, so the company decided to publish a new blog post responding to some of that criticism. While Microsoft makes a few good points, the overall feeling is still that of 'fear, uncertainty, and doubt'.
Order by: Score:
OSNews...
by nabil2199 on Mon 3rd May 2010 18:15 UTC
nabil2199
Member since:
2010-03-31

...fighting the good fight.
pretty much all other tech sites seem happy with H.264 as the html5 video codec, regardless of the mess of a lock-in it represents on content production.

Reply Score: 9

RE: OSNews...
by churlish_Helmut on Mon 3rd May 2010 18:36 UTC in reply to "OSNews..."
churlish_Helmut Member since:
2010-04-12

Yes, we are on a codec wars, and i am on your side, so keep an fighting ;-)

Seriously, my opinion is, that anyone on this site watch at elast one video a day. It is a really important topic, not just because everyone ist somehow involved. So im not going to get tired of articles like these.

But, i think, we will lose this war...

Reply Score: 2

RE: OSNews...
by Fettarme H-Milch on Mon 3rd May 2010 20:40 UTC in reply to "OSNews..."
Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

...fighting the good fight.

Um, a good fight would be to actually try to abolish software patents altogether. Then everyone could use AVC for free.

Reply Score: 7

This Blog
by drcoldfoot on Mon 3rd May 2010 18:15 UTC
drcoldfoot
Member since:
2006-08-25

Speaks a lot about uncertainty. The only certainty that I see from this, is that if you control the vast market share of tha desktop OS and web browser market, you actually can for certain move the market at will as respects to "standards". Which sadly leaves the consumer at a disadvantage when it comes to choice since there is vendor-lockin as respects to "Browsers" and content format on the internet.

Reply Score: 3

RE: This Blog
by lemur2 on Mon 3rd May 2010 23:26 UTC in reply to "This Blog"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Speaks a lot about uncertainty. The only certainty that I see from this, is that if you control the vast market share of tha desktop OS and web browser market, you actually can for certain move the market at will as respects to "standards". Which sadly leaves the consumer at a disadvantage when it comes to choice since there is vendor-lockin as respects to "Browsers" and content format on the internet.


FTA: "The biggest obstacle to supporting more than H.264 today is the uncertainty," Microsoft concludes.

What they fail to mention, however, is that there is no uncertainty about H264 ... unequivocably it is NOT suitable as the codec for HTML5.

HTML5 is W3C's standard (not Microsoft's or Apples), and W3C policy is utterly clear ... their standards must be royalty-free.

Reply Score: 2

Proprietary FUD and Marketing
by SlackerJack on Mon 3rd May 2010 18:19 UTC
SlackerJack
Member since:
2005-11-12

It's quiet funny to watch some of the proprietary heavy weights slog it out.

Ultimately, it's their way or the highway because the agenda is control(patents)and profit. None of these companies are doing it for the good will of the web users.

Just look at the previous remarks about going after Theora, trying to destroy anything that threatens what they(Microsoft, Apple) want as a standard or to use for their own products.

Reply Score: 4

NO excuse
by darknexus on Mon 3rd May 2010 18:20 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

There's no excuse whatsoever to make H.264 the *only* codec supported in IE9. I understand, even though I don't agree with, the idea that it's pretty much the way things are right now. It is, but that doesn't mean we should give up. Regardless of the current situation, why not just ship an H.264 DirectShow codec and have IE9 tap into DirectShow? For fcuk's sake, even Apple gets this right with Safari and Quicktime (Safari doesn't support H.264, Quicktime does and Safari simply uses Quicktime). Microsoft is being as stupid as Mozilla, just in the opposite direction. Pathetic and short-sighted, but hey that's the embodiment of most of Microsoft's decisions lately.

Reply Score: 5

RE: NO excuse
by mtzmtulivu on Mon 3rd May 2010 19:09 UTC in reply to "NO excuse"
mtzmtulivu Member since:
2006-11-14

It is my understanding that IE9 will ship with only h.264 codec build in but will pick up any other codec already installed on a user's computer.Users of ogg theora will have to independently install this codec for IE9 to use, just like what safari does in OSX.

It does not make sense why it will not ship with their own wma/wmv(are these codecs or containers?), Or they didnt do this to avoid backlash from being accused of trying to push their own formats?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: NO excuse
by Kroc on Mon 3rd May 2010 19:18 UTC in reply to "RE: NO excuse"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

No. Microsoft have stated that it is H.264 only. No DirectShow. If you want to use another codec, you have to write your own plugin like Flash.

Reply Score: 1

RE: NO excuse
by Declination on Mon 3rd May 2010 21:08 UTC in reply to "NO excuse"
Declination Member since:
2009-11-26

There are legitimate reasons for restricting the codec used to something that is guaranteed to be installed on the users system. h.264 decoders are always available in MediaFramework (which is actually the successor to DirectShow shipping in Vista and 7). If this weren't the case then the user is plunged back into the dark ages of having to find a codec in order for their video to play.

While I think it is a little silly to say only H.264, I do think there is a legitimate case to restricting to decoders that are part of the default install.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: NO excuse
by darknexus on Mon 3rd May 2010 21:39 UTC in reply to "RE: NO excuse"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Ah, but this has nothing to do with media framework or directshow. Nothing at all. Microsoft is not using media framework, but is decoding H.264 directly in the browser. Repeat after me: not. using. media. framework. Let's make that very clear from here on out. Other, third-party codecs are *not* an option in IE9. It is H.264 or nothing. They do not give you a choice.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: NO excuse
by Kilogramm on Tue 4th May 2010 20:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: NO excuse"
Kilogramm Member since:
2010-05-04

IE9 absolutely does use the Media Framework, get your facts straight:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ie9

"will feature hardware accelerated graphics rendering using Direct2D, hardware accelerated text rendering using DirectWrite, hardware accelerated video rendering using Media Foundation, imaging support provided by Windows Imaging Component, and high fidelity printing powered by the XPS print pipeline"

Reply Score: 1

RE: NO excuse
by kaiwai on Mon 3rd May 2010 22:46 UTC in reply to "NO excuse"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

There's no excuse whatsoever to make H.264 the *only* codec supported in IE9. I understand, even though I don't agree with, the idea that it's pretty much the way things are right now. It is, but that doesn't mean we should give up. Regardless of the current situation, why not just ship an H.264 DirectShow codec and have IE9 tap into DirectShow? For fcuk's sake, even Apple gets this right with Safari and Quicktime (Safari doesn't support H.264, Quicktime does and Safari simply uses Quicktime). Microsoft is being as stupid as Mozilla, just in the opposite direction. Pathetic and short-sighted, but hey that's the embodiment of most of Microsoft's decisions lately.


Just to play devils advocate, DirectShow has been replaced with Media Foundation in Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: NO excuse
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 3rd May 2010 22:53 UTC in reply to "RE: NO excuse"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Just to play devils advocate, DirectShow has been replaced with Media Foundation in Windows Vista and Windows 7.


Nitpick: this is technically incorrect. Media Foundation supplements DirectShow, and will eventually replace it. Right now, they exist side-by-side.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: NO excuse
by kaiwai on Tue 4th May 2010 00:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: NO excuse"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Nitpick: this is technically incorrect. Media Foundation supplements DirectShow, and will eventually replace it. Right now, they exist side-by-side.


True, but I am speaking from the position of what is happening in the future once Internet Explorer 9 is released - which by that time we'll know about Windows 8 and hopefully they would have built a replacement for DirectShow.

Edited 2010-05-04 00:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2

They invest money, they support it.
by Envying1 on Mon 3rd May 2010 18:24 UTC
Envying1
Member since:
2008-04-22

Is that easy & simple. Everyone in this world cares about money.

Companies invest some and want to make more;
Individuals don't want to pay for it;

Eventually, we will find way(s) to get around it.

Reply Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Is that easy & simple. Everyone in this world cares about money. Companies invest some and want to make more; Individuals don't want to pay for it; Eventually, we will find way(s) to get around it.


Only some companies (a small set of software vendors) want H264. For everyone else, the vast majority of companies big and small, organisations, governments and individuals, using royalty-free Theora is a cost reduction.

There are essentially two ways for companies big and small to increase profits: (1) increase their prices, or (2) reduce costs.

Using H264 as the web standard would achieve #1 for a very, very few interests (and mean the opposite of #2 for everyone else), whereas using Theora would achieve #2 for eveyone. Absolutely everyone. It would even reduce costs for Microsoft and Apple, according to this blog from Microsoft.

If everyone cares about money, then Theora is the only choice.

Edited 2010-05-03 23:35 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Mon 3rd May 2010 18:24 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

I would have added that if Microsoft receive less from the MPEG-LA than they pay in, that still pales in comparison to the amount they receive by the fact that if you are a company utilising H264 your only real choice is Mac or PC. (Linux is an insignificant spec on an insignificant dot when it comes to video work in business). Everybody using H264 means more PC sales!

But yeah. FUD. The whole article substantiates absolutely nothing.

Name just one patent number that any other video codec infringes upon, Microsoft. One.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Kroc
by Preston5 on Mon 3rd May 2010 18:55 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
Preston5 Member since:
2010-03-19

Umm, aren't you spreading FUD? Canonical has paid for their H.264 license.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/05/03/free_video_music_on_the_web...

They, like any other company, realize that you have to spend money to make money.

Edited 2010-05-03 18:57 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Mon 3rd May 2010 19:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Is it hardware accelerated, and name a Linux video editing tool that replaces FCP / Vegas / AE.

The web being tied to H.264 content will not sell more Linux machines. It will make life on Linux harder and less diverse.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by Kroc
by Preston5 on Mon 3rd May 2010 19:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Kroc"
Preston5 Member since:
2010-03-19

Unless I'm misunderstanding this

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VaAPI

Recent ATI, Nvidia and Intel hardware accelerate H.264 in Linux.

I'm glad you pointed out that Linux does not have good H.264 editing tools, but does it have good Theora editing tools?

So yes, that pretty much sums up the whole H.264 vs Theora debate. The Microsoft article points out that two-thirds of the web video is in H.264.

http://techcrunch.com/2010/05/01/h-264-66-percent-web-video/

Edited 2010-05-03 19:43 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Kroc
by tupp on Mon 3rd May 2010 20:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Kroc"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

... name a Linux video editing tool that replaces FCP / Vegas / AE.

Ant: www.ifxsoftware.com/ant

Piranha: www.ifxsoftware.com/products/piranha

That's two, and, actually, they don't replace FCP/Vegas/AE as much as they blow them out of the water.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Mon 3rd May 2010 21:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Kroc"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Well played Sir.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by Kroc
by Preston5 on Mon 3rd May 2010 22:27 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Kroc"
Preston5 Member since:
2010-03-19

Interesting product page. I notice that the video and audio formats they support exclude theora and vorbis, respectively.

+1 for proprietary formats.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by Kroc
by tupp on Tue 4th May 2010 18:54 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Kroc"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

I was responding to Kroc's comment.

Nevertheless, Ant and Piranha support open codecs.

From the second paragraph on the Ant web page: "Ant packs all the features necessary to professionaly finish digital film work originating from 4K Red Camera files or industry files such as DPX, Cineon, OpenEXR, or any of 20 other formats supported by the system."

DPX is a SMPTE standard. Cineon was originated by Kodak, but I think it is completely free. Open EXR is released under a free software license.

The web page doesn't seem to list all of the "... 20 other formats supported by the system," so other open formats might be stock.

Furthermore, if one made a request, they probably would make a Theora plugin (if it doesn't already exist), before they sent over a crew to install a $200,000 Piranha system in one's edit bay.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Kroc
by _xmv on Tue 4th May 2010 01:44 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Kroc"
_xmv Member since:
2008-12-09

"... name a Linux video editing tool that replaces FCP / Vegas / AE.

Ant: www.ifxsoftware.com/ant

Piranha: www.ifxsoftware.com/products/piranha

That's two, and, actually, they don't replace FCP/Vegas/AE as much as they blow them out of the water.
"
the truth is all the people complaining here pirate fcp/vegas/ae
the software you've linked appears very good but theres no pirated copy, so very few use it.

ps: osnews quoting seems bugged on this post

Edited 2010-05-04 01:45 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by pepa on Thu 6th May 2010 03:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
pepa Member since:
2005-07-08

Canonical is a licensee, which means that for some machines with Ubuntu pre-installed, the OEM has requested a H264 license to be part of that install. Then Canonical acquires a license, and is thus a licensee. We don't know for how many installs, I would think not too many.

Reply Score: 2

And the problem is... ?
by merkoth on Mon 3rd May 2010 18:33 UTC
merkoth
Member since:
2006-09-22

IE only needs to be able to connect to google.com or mozilla.com so you can download a proper browser. Why would anyone need h.264 and / or Theora?

Reply Score: 2

RE: And the problem is... ?
by Kroc on Mon 3rd May 2010 18:36 UTC in reply to "And the problem is... ?"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Because it weights where businesses invest their money for content creation.

If you build it, they will come.
See ActiveX.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: And the problem is... ?
by nt_jerkface on Mon 3rd May 2010 19:12 UTC in reply to "RE: And the problem is... ?"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Yea but IE9 is only going to Vista and 7 which would still leave chunk of users larger than Apple's entire base.

The winner in all this is actually Flash. Why bother with HTML5 when you can keep using Flash and get 97% of all visitors? That's how the big publishers will think.

This whole war has just given time to Adobe to improve their plug-in. The window of opportunity to dislodge Flash has already passed.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: And the problem is... ?
by kaiwai on Mon 3rd May 2010 23:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: And the problem is... ?"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Yea but IE9 is only going to Vista and 7 which would still leave chunk of users larger than Apple's entire base.

The winner in all this is actually Flash. Why bother with HTML5 when you can keep using Flash and get 97% of all visitors? That's how the big publishers will think.

This whole war has just given time to Adobe to improve their plug-in. The window of opportunity to dislodge Flash has already passed.


Well in the case of Microsoft they're looking in the long run; Windows 7/Vista will eventually be running on the majority of desktops/laptops/netbooks in 5 years time so it is about planning for the long run rather than the immediate war which Apple likes to think is occurring right now. For all of Apple's RDF, this is a Flash world and either you try to work with Adobe to fix some of the problems has Microsoft has done or chuck a hissy fit and refuse to work with Adobe as Apple has done.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: And the problem is... ?
by mrhasbean on Tue 4th May 2010 00:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: And the problem is... ?"
mrhasbean Member since:
2006-04-03

For all of Apple's RDF, this is a Flash world and either you try to work with Adobe to fix some of the problems has Microsoft has done or chuck a hissy fit and refuse to work with Adobe as Apple has done.


There is a third alternative. You use standards to achieve the same result and dump the proprietary environment. One of the biggest Flash games on the 'net is Evony, and there are plenty of clones of it too, but one company, EA, has taken the bull by the horns and built a much nicer version of this type of game - Lord of Ultima - using HTML, CSS and Javascript. I don't have an iPad to test it on but it certainly runs in the emulator. The biggest issue at the moment with the game seems to be getting on - their servers have been swamped and are often unavailable, or so my kids tell me. ;)

It's amazing that the people on this site who cry out most about H.264 vs Theora have no issues supporting Flash, which is a totally closed proprietary product, rather than promoting the idea that alternatives be found using open standards. And there are plenty of frameworks out there for everything from games to full web apps. Maybe if those who would promote Theora over H.264 because one is open and the other isn't spent as much time promoting alternatives to Flash we could get rid of another proprietary component from the web.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: And the problem is... ?
by nt_jerkface on Tue 4th May 2010 01:23 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: And the problem is... ?"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

You use standards to achieve the same result and dump the proprietary environment.


Who is supposed to do this? Companies that already have invested in Flash-based video distribution? Developers that have experience in actionscript?

Hulu has stated that they are not interested in HTML5 because it doesn't offer content protection. What is your response to them? Dump Flash anyways? Why should they? Flash makes them money and has an incredibly high install rate.

Flash makes a lot of people money. You can't tell companies with working business models to invest in an alternative platform for the sake of your open source ideals.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: And the problem is... ?
by snadrus on Tue 4th May 2010 22:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: And the problem is... ?"
snadrus Member since:
2010-05-04

Except big companies like to own technologies rather than license them. This includes Apple desktops, laptops, phones, and book readers. It also includes Google phones, & most Google services.

There's plenty of room to dislodge a fast, DRM-capable Flash plugin.

Reply Score: 1

Push MPEG-LA not other companies
by ramasubbu_sk on Mon 3rd May 2010 18:36 UTC
ramasubbu_sk
Member since:
2007-04-05

Push MPEG-LA to remove you uncertainty that you have on H.264 format not the companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google (also has small part of this).
Youtube, has great power (I see as responsibility) to change any browsers behaviour. We would have to wait till how On2 VP8 codec is going to be.
But remember, just making it irrevocable royalty-free license won't make the industry change, Google should potect and take the hit from all the Villain on behalf of all the users of VP8 against any patent/IP,..all other techinical terms. I know this is a how ask for Google (for any company). But that is want every developer and free/low cost software companies (Opera, Mozilla) are asking for. Does Theora provides this now ?
With all the above, wondering how/Why Microsoft is missing WMV support for HTML 5 video?

Reply Score: 1

Forgetting one thing
by fretinator on Mon 3rd May 2010 18:46 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

By the time IE 9 comes out, IE may be down to a market share of 30-40%. It may become even less relevant as much of the market moves to non-traditional computing devices - tablets, smartphones, etc.

I realize this doesn't change the overall larger debate about H264 - I just wouldn't get my knickers in a twist about IE9.

Edited 2010-05-03 18:49 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Forgetting one thing
by Kroc on Mon 3rd May 2010 19:00 UTC in reply to "Forgetting one thing"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

This is all about mobile. Flash is a battery-draining wrapper around content that could otherwise be easily accessible. HTML5 video is the only sane solution that will work everywhere [ignoring codec issues for the moment] without having to rely on a third party to get with the programme, and allows video content to be handed directly to the hardware for optimal power-management.

Lots of H264 content on the web means lots of HTML5 video, means good battery life with H264 decoding hardware.

If a Windows Phone would only eek out half the battery time an iPhone can, then that’s simply not acceptable. Microsoft have to beat the iPhone, not fart in its general direction.

In fact, is it known yet if Windows Phone includes Flash? If it’s not there yet, I’m thinking that there is a real possibility Microsoft will ship without it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Forgetting one thing
by MollyC on Mon 3rd May 2010 22:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Forgetting one thing"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

Steve Ballmer said at MWC back in February, at WP7's announcement that it would not ship with Flash, "but we don't OBJECT to" Adobe porting Flash in the future. (I captalize, bolded, and italicized "OBJECT" because he emphasized that word (as if to contrast with Apple)). Time constraint before RTM date in "holiday season" 2010 was the main factor preventing WP7 from shipping with Flash at that time.

Then there was speculation as to how Adobe would port Flash to WP7, since WP7's api is based on Silverlight, and it would be weird and/or inefficient to run Flash on top of Silverlight. But it was later reported that Micrsoft was working with Adobe to allow Adobe to port Flash directly to WP7's underlying WinCE 6 rather than having to run on top of Silverlight.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Forgetting one thing
by kaiwai on Mon 3rd May 2010 23:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Forgetting one thing"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Lots of H264 content on the web means lots of HTML5 video, means good battery life with H264 decoding hardware.


Flash could accomplish it right now had Apple exposed to them access to the video card's video hardware acceleration. Microsoft has exposed it in DXVA 2.0 which is what Adobe is using right now, Android is exposing hardware acceleration in the hand held devices and so on. The only one that has held out is Apple and their refusal to provide access to the video card - Apple has recently added it but for a very small subset of video cards are actually supported (no support for ATI).

The reality is that the OpenScreen partnership does allow Apple to work with Adobe to address the short comings but the reality is that Apple simply refuses. Its their right to refuse but lets not try to make out that Adobe isn't making an effort to improve Flash.

Reply Score: 2

LACHES, The Anti-FUD Law...
by curio on Mon 3rd May 2010 19:10 UTC
curio
Member since:
2010-05-03

The doctrine of laches which may pertain to companies like Microsoft and MPEG LA continually FUDing about their IP being infringed but never acting on it. Instead just using unsubstantiated threats to damage their competition by instilling Fear Uncertainty and Doubt in people who might otherwise use their competitors products. Thereby, in real terms damaging them.

"LACHES, DOCTRINE OF (legal definition)

Based on the maxim that equity aids the vigilant and not those who procrastinate regarding

their rights; Neglect to assert a right or claim that, together with lapse of time and other

circumstances, prejudices an adverse party. Neglecting to do what should or could, have been

done to assert a claim or right for an unreasonable and unjustified time causing

disadvantage to another.

Laches is similar to 'statute of limitations' except is equitable rather than statutory and

is a common affirmative defense raised in civil actions.

Laches is derived from the French 'lecher' and is nearly synonymous with negligence.

In general, when a party has been guilty of laches in enforcing his right by great delay and

lapse of time, this circumstance will at common law prejudice and sometimes operate in bar

of a remedy which is discretionary for the court to afford. In courts of equity delay will

also generally be prejudicial.

But laches may be excused from ignorance of the party's rights; from the obscurity of the

transaction; by the pendency of a suit, and; where the party labors under a legal

disability, as insanity, infancy and the like."

By my understanding of this, a submarine patent may be upheld if the patent holder can claim ignorance (believably)of the infringement, but in Microsoft's and MPEG LA's case the allegedly offending codec's are open source so they can't claim ignorance. They've been claiming for years that their patents have been infringed by others but they never act.

In the very least we should be able to use this point as counter-FUD.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by Parry Hotter
by Parry Hotter on Mon 3rd May 2010 19:47 UTC
Parry Hotter
Member since:
2007-07-20

Among all this "uncertainty", one thing's for sure; I'm posting Theora vids from now on. IE9 users can watch them the best they can. Tough luck.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by Parry Hotter
by bousozoku on Mon 3rd May 2010 21:16 UTC in reply to "Comment by Parry Hotter"
bousozoku Member since:
2006-01-23

Among all this "uncertainty", one thing's for sure; I'm posting Theora vids from now on. IE9 users can watch them the best they can. Tough luck.


Yes, threaten people by posting videos in a format they can't watch. What's the expression "cutting off your nose to spite your face"? If almost no one notices, you'll be fighting a battle and causing yourself to lose it.

Does it make sense to have one video codec? No. Is HTML 5 set in stone and everyone in compliance? No.

Microsoft could have pushed their own bits instead of H.264, but they wanted to be compliant with most of what will be out there. Would it hurt them to support more? Probably, since they have all these different versions of things inside their browser. It's not as though they're going HTML 5 only.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Parry Hotter
by WorknMan on Mon 3rd May 2010 21:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Parry Hotter"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Yeah, I'm just happy that I don't have to install 4 different apps anymore to make video work on the web. As long as I can click a link and have the video play, I don't care what codec it uses. Hell, I might even be willing to pay a little just to have that functionality if I had to. I don't expect to have every single program on my PC cost $0.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Parry Hotter
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 3rd May 2010 21:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Parry Hotter"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Yes, threaten people by posting videos in a format they can't watch.


Err, HTML5/Theora has far bigger audience than HTML/H264. Theora is supported by ~35% of the market (Firefox, Opera, Chrome), while H264 covers about ~8% (Safari, Chrome).

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Parry Hotter
by arpan on Mon 3rd May 2010 22:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Parry Hotter"
arpan Member since:
2006-07-30

You forgot Flash! That makes h264 accssible by 99% of computers.

If you want Theora to succeed, you need to somehow convince Adobe to add support for it. Only way for Theora to even have a chance.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Parry Hotter
by Preston5 on Mon 3rd May 2010 22:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Parry Hotter"
Preston5 Member since:
2010-03-19

It seems you didn't see that 66% of the videos on the web are encoded in H.264; Theora stands at 4% and I don't think Wikimedia or Dailymotion will be able to convince content providers to switch.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Parry Hotter
by lemur2 on Tue 4th May 2010 12:58 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Parry Hotter"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

It seems you didn't see that 66% of the videos on the web are encoded in H.264; Theora stands at 4% and I don't think Wikimedia or Dailymotion will be able to convince content providers to switch.


Mozilla developers seem to be pretty convinced that Google is going to open up VP8.

http://www.h-online.com/open/features/Firefox-and-the-open-web-9893...
Google's prospective announcement of the open sourcing of VP8, due to be made at the Google I/O developers event at the end of May, has been a big fillip for the Mozilla developers who are "excited that Google has been willing and interested to make this contribution. The suggestion of a video tag within the browser came from Opera's CTO, Hakon Wiem Lie, some years ago," and was finally accepted for HTML5. Since then the issue of the patents surrounding H.264 has created problems both for Mozilla and the future of standards on the Web, so it is seen as a significant step forward for Mozilla that Google has used its resources and investment to release a codec that is at least the equal of, and probably superior to, H.264, "on an open basis". The Mozilla developers evidently believe that the codec will be royalty-free and unencumbered by patents when Google makes its announcement.

"But there's work to do going forward, encouraging websites to implement the codec, building tools, making it easier for people to use rich video, and administering everything so it can be done through open standards and HTML5. Opening VP8 is a big step and makes the work in front of us so much more exciting."


My bold.

(This article is in part an interview with Mozilla's Mitchell Baker, chairperson of the Mozilla project, but it is unclear if she is being quoted in this section. Anyway, this represents a second source of this rumour now.).

If Mozilla is right, presumably YouTube will go to VP8, and perhaps Wikipedia would follow. That would change the dynamic considerably.

Edited 2010-05-04 13:02 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Parry Hotter
by MollyC on Mon 3rd May 2010 22:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Parry Hotter"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

I've never even viewed a Theora video. I've viewed plenty of H.264 videos. I think you're going by the wrong metric.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Parry Hotter
by apoclypse on Mon 3rd May 2010 22:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Parry Hotter"
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

"Yes, threaten people by posting videos in a format they can't watch.


Err, HTML5/Theora has far bigger audience than HTML/H264. Theora is supported by ~35% of the market (Firefox, Opera, Chrome), while H264 covers about ~8% (Safari, Chrome).
"

Okay. So then Mobile users don't count? What's the number going to be like when IE gets added to the mix? When IE on WP7 gets added as well. Who will be the minority then? While you are at it add Flash H.264 support because, no media company I know will encode their video in two different formats just to comply with Mozilla let alone Opera with its minuscule userbase. They will have users use Flash as a fallback instead. If you stop being a smart ass and really look at the mount of penetration that H.264 actually has you will see that its clearly already "won" the race. It did so about 3 years ago, when Theora wasn't even in the game.

I'm kind of getting tired of these articles, and everyone arguing in circles. I'm still not convinced that Theora doesn't infringe on patents. The only reason i think so is because while VP3 was opened and patent free when it was released, the Theora team has added countless features many of which use the same techniques that H.264 and other codecs use. Patents of these kind are fairly broad. Any modern techniques that Theora uses can and most likely do fall under some sort of patent. Just because it was patent free ten years ago doesn't mean it may not infringe on patents now. That is why the waters are so murky with Theora. I also believe that the main reason that google is sitting on VP8 is because that format may infringe on some broad patent of sort as well and most likely contains some licensed bits. Video and Audio is patented to the teeth I find it hard to believe that any modern format using modern techniques is not infringing on some form of patent. I would hope not but that doesn't change the fact that most companies especially media networks will not support it due to 1) lack of hardware support and install base 2) Lack of control of the format 3) possible lack of DRM 4) Lack of easy to use tools and quality encoders 5) some kind of fallback that will allow users of older non-compliant browsers to view the video (ie. Flash) without requiring more resources.

I have yet to hear any real solutions for these issues suggested by the theora evangelists, just a whole bunch of rhetoric about the freedom of the internet, practicality be damned. In-fact I've seen more FUD flung by Theora advocates than the other way round. The gist of Apple and MS' claims are that the format may not be safe from patents. The theora faithful arguments have been fear mongering. The internet will not be free, we will loose our freedom (which we never actually had to begin with), is what I'm hearing. However, no one here actually knows that to be the case. No one knows if MPEG-LA will actually charge royalties after the set date. What if they don't? What will you say then. No one really knows how the situation will play out in the future. I will focus on now. For now H.264 is the better format, has more support, and has the most tools to create and edit the format, comes licensed and installed on most major OS, yes even Linux (in this case Ubuntu). Its open to implement if you can pay the license and any major hardware released within the last 3 to 4 years has a license already with it.

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Okay. So then Mobile users don't count?


They add up to less than 1% of total web traffic. Don't overstate their importance.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by Parry Hotter
by bousozoku on Tue 4th May 2010 23:46 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Parry Hotter"
bousozoku Member since:
2006-01-23


They add up to less than 1% of total web traffic. Don't overstate their importance.


Isn't that about the same as Linux/*BSD users?

Edited 2010-05-04 23:46 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Parry Hotter
by lemur2 on Tue 4th May 2010 01:51 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Parry Hotter"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I'm kind of getting tired of these articles, and everyone arguing in circles. I'm still not convinced that Theora doesn't infringe on patents.


There is at this time not a single named patent claimed against Theora, by anybody.

The only reason i think so is because while VP3 was opened and patent free when it was released,


No. VP3 was patented technology of On2 when it was released. On2 decided to go ahead with other technologies, so they made an irrevocable deal with Xiph.org that Xiph.org could develop the VP3 technologies and release resulting code (Theora) as open source and royalty-free.

the Theora team has added countless features many of which use the same techniques that H.264 and other codecs use.


Your evidence for this? VP3 was released to Xiph.org in 2003, and in 2004 the format was frozen. Since then, changes have been restricted to optimizations of the encoder. This implies that no new techniques have been used.

Patents of these kind are fairly broad.


The seeemingly-broad scope of a patent is not what is covered. It is only the detailed claims (which represent some of the steps) that are covered by the patent restrictions, and all the rest of the patented method is just there as context, to fully explain the invention.

Any modern techniques that Theora uses can and most likely do fall under some sort of patent. Just because it was patent free ten years ago doesn't mean it may not infringe on patents now. That is why the waters are so murky with Theora.


Pfft. Name a patent. Give us a patent number, and then we can look at the detailed claims therein. Anything else is FUD.

I also believe that the main reason that google is sitting on VP8 is because that format may infringe on some broad patent of sort as well and most likely contains some licensed bits.


Google have owned VP8 for just over two months now. A thorough patent search takes longer than that.

Video and Audio is patented to the teeth I find it hard to believe that any modern format using modern techniques is not infringing on some form of patent.


Fallacy of personal incredulity. Google it.

There are actually myriad mathematical techniques that can be applied for the purposes of compressing digital data.

Finally, even if patent trolls come up with something they claim is vaugely related to (and older than) VP3, then be aware that in the current climate, patent trolls do not necessarily win:

http://opensource.com/law/10/5/total-victory-patent-lawsuit-against...

Edited 2010-05-04 01:54 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by Parry Hotter
by apoclypse on Tue 4th May 2010 02:23 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Parry Hotter"
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

Patent trolls don't often win, the issue is that you actually have a consortium with resources (MPEG-LA) assembling a patent portfolio that Theora may be infringing. They may or may not win, who knows, however just that alone will scare away content producers and site owners from using it. With H.264 you at least have a group who's job it is to actively protect the format.

As for if Theora actually infringes on patents. I never said it does, what I said was that I believe due the broad scope of patents that even in just optimizing the codec to perform on par with H.264 it may infringe on some patent as even optimization techniques can be patented in today's environment. Again, i don;t know that to be the case, it just something to be wary of.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Parry Hotter
by bousozoku on Tue 4th May 2010 20:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Parry Hotter"
bousozoku Member since:
2006-01-23


Err, HTML5/Theora has far bigger audience than HTML/H264. Theora is supported by ~35% of the market (Firefox, Opera, Chrome), while H264 covers about ~8% (Safari, Chrome).


Potential audience. Nothing is set in stone.

Edited 2010-05-04 20:03 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Parry Hotter
by Parry Hotter on Tue 4th May 2010 22:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Parry Hotter"
Parry Hotter Member since:
2007-07-20

Yes, threaten people by posting videos in a format they can't watch. What's the expression "cutting off your nose to spite your face"? If almost no one notices, you'll be fighting a battle and causing yourself to lose it.

Threaten? No, it's a promise, there is no choice involved here. Almost no one will notice? Well, at least everyone running IE9 will notice. I'm sure they are resourceful enough to dig up some tool to watch my vids if they really want to.

Reply Score: 2

Welcome h.264 Overlords!
by jokkel on Mon 3rd May 2010 22:33 UTC
jokkel
Member since:
2008-07-07

I for one welcome our h.264 overlords. It's a lot better to have ONE open (not free) standard video codec, than a lot of closed codecs.

The situation just recently has been: you need
Quicktime, Windows Media and Flash to watch most available videos on the web. And you might run into Real files now and then.

If we have just h.264 for web video in the future, it will be a lot better than it has ever been.

Be realistic. The MPEG-LA won't force everbody to pay them lots of royalties. Look how it worked with MP3. You could get around paying for a license, if you didn't sell hardware of software.
Saying that the MPEG-LA will hold all our videos hostage, that is spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt. Microsoft is actually pretty clear about what they want.

I have heard similar doom predictions concerning the PC universe. Not one of them turned out to be as horrible as predicted. (just remember: Palladium/TPM, Y2K, Apple dying again, there will only be DRM music, MS will DRM all your media files, etc.)

Reply Score: 3

Ideal for users vs ideal for corporation
by mrhasbean on Mon 3rd May 2010 23:18 UTC
mrhasbean
Member since:
2006-04-03

There is no doubt that "free and open" is better for users, however all of these arguments for Theora fail to take one thing into consideration. There is absolutely no compelling reason for major corporations like Apple or Microsoft to support Theora. H.264 is an ISO standard that's set in concrete, there are hardware encoders and decoders available for it, it's supported on all major platforms and by all major applications (yes even those "killer" Linux editing apps linked by another poster), it's at the core of video on other devices and most sharing / download sites, and most importantly for the mobile marketplace it's "supported" by the engines at the core of the web browsers on nearly all modern mobile OSes.

If you want Theora to be adopted by corporations who already have all these goodies available to them you'll need to do better than being "free and open". Them's the facts. It's put up or shut up time...

Reply Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

It's put up or shut up time...


We're nutting up. As OSNews, we do all we can do to spread the word. It seems like it's working - our articles on H264 pop up all over the web.

Reply Score: 2

apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

Its funny how you post an article about how MS is spreading FUD yet you have done more FUD spreading than Apple, MS or MPEG-LA against H.264. How many have they posted so far 4, 5? Meanwhile this site has posted more "articles" all with the intent of spreading FUD and a narrow opinion without much basis in fact. You actually seem proud of that. Didn't you post an article on this site not long ago about hypocrites?

Reply Score: 3

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Its funny how you post an article about how MS is spreading FUD yet you have done more FUD spreading than Apple, MS or MPEG-LA against H.264. How many have they posted so far 4, 5? Meanwhile this site has posted more "articles" all with the intent of spreading FUD and a narrow opinion without much basis in fact. You actually seem proud of that. Didn't you post an article on this site not long ago about hypocrites?


Meh, I'm ok with their FUD because it does provide great links to Microsoft blogs I never would have found. So I say keep up the FUD because it provides a great set of links for me to read.

Reply Score: 2

mrhasbean Member since:
2006-04-03

" It's put up or shut up time...


We're nutting up. As OSNews, we do all we can do to spread the word. It seems like it's working - our articles on H264 pop up all over the web.
"

There's a difference however between spreading the news and spreading your opinion. If you were interested in spreading the news you'd be posting lots of stuff about the alternatives to Flash too.

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Oh I get it - you're bummed because I rejected the item you submitted a few weeks ago about that Lord Of Ultima thing you mention a few comments up. Since I rejected it, that clearly means - in your world - we never report on alternatives to Flash.

I'd say we have written a whole lot about fhe issues with Flash, and we've devoted quite a few words on HTML5 as an alternarive to Flash. I'm sorry I rejected your submission, but please, don't get all melodramstic about it.

Reply Score: 1

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

We’re practically over-saturated with non-Flash news. If it’s not about Theora, it’s about HTML5 in general. If anything, we need more articles about the merits of Flash to balance this out, but none of the editors are Flash developers so we need users to contribute.

And even then, isn’t all this web news boring? What about desktop OSes? I wouldn’t want this web news to totally blat out the Amiga / Haiku / RISC OS &c. news.

Reply Score: 1

tyrione
Member since:
2005-11-21

Nothing new.

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Tom? Who's that?

Reply Score: 1

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Tom? Who's that?


Tom, son of Thom, cousin of Kroc twice removed.

Reply Score: 3

Familiar?
by DoctorD on Tue 4th May 2010 01:14 UTC
DoctorD
Member since:
2009-03-08

one codec to rule them all
one codec to find them
one codec to bring them all
and in the courtroom
bind them

Reply Score: 6

Devil's advocate
by dmantione on Tue 4th May 2010 09:52 UTC
dmantione
Member since:
2005-07-06

What I am missing in this discussion (and maybe I am playing the devils advocate here), is that there are many people out in the wild suing Microsoft for patent infringements. Microsoft does sue for patents (i.e. TomTom), but is not extremely agressive, and is as much a victim of greedy people who have their eyes at Microsofts steady stream of licensing income. As an example, Microsoft Word was almost banned.

So, you can imagine Microsoft is carefull. Anything going into Windows which is installed on hundreds of millions of computers. A status of "licensed" is in this situation better than "not known to require a license", because sooner or later a patent troll will show up. This may explain Microsofts behaviour.

Reply Score: 2

Glad we have lawyers
by Karitku on Tue 4th May 2010 11:48 UTC
Karitku
Member since:
2006-01-12

I'm so glad that OSNews staff seem to be legal experts. Thom, Kroc and Eugenia thank you for bring legal thruth with your high expertise and many years of education on copyright law in different countries. We bow in front of you all. I'm sure thanks to you our future is like Greece public workers current work.

Reply Score: 4

what would you expect?
by gehersh on Wed 5th May 2010 20:34 UTC
gehersh
Member since:
2006-01-03

After hysterical (and hilarious) "the skies are falling, the skies are falling, Microsoft and Apple adopted H.264" would you expect an article with a title "Microsoft tries to defend its position, succeeds"?

Reply Score: 1

Lackeys
by pepa on Thu 6th May 2010 03:48 UTC
pepa
Member since:
2005-07-08

Thom. you mean "lackeys" [denk aan lakeien].

Reply Score: 2