Linked by ddc_ on Mon 30th Mar 2015 21:14 UTC
Multimedia, AV

HEVC Advance, another patent licensing group, completely independent from MPEG LA, has announced its existence, but not its licensing fees. The uncertainty and potential costs may hinder acceptance of MPEG's next generation HEVC coding format, also known as h.265.

This is good news for Google, who has just released another RC for their VP9 codec and for Xiph.org, who are finalizing their Daala.

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FUD
by Alfman on Mon 30th Mar 2015 23:34 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

This is good news for Google, who has just released another RC for their VP9 codec and for Xiph.org, who are finalizing their Daala.


On the one hand, this brings fear, uncertainty, and doubt to the h265 camp, which could help advance alternatives. But on the other hand, an enemy you know (Mpeg-LA) is better than one you don't (HEVC Advance). If they're determined to litigate, there's no guaranty they wouldn't bring others into the folds of litigation hell - especially if they see money to be had.

Reply Score: 5

RE: FUD
by galvanash on Tue 31st Mar 2015 01:15 UTC in reply to "FUD"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

I am really curious what the inside story is with this. I guess we will know when the list of licencors is released. If all of the MPEG-LA HEVC licencors are on board then this is just a money grab. If, however, there are some key holdouts things might get interesting.

Then again, if some key licencors end up pulling out of MPEG-LA HEVC pool, things will get really interesting...

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: FUD
by 1c3d0g on Tue 31st Mar 2015 04:08 UTC in reply to "RE: FUD"
1c3d0g Member since:
2005-07-06

I wouldn't call it "interesting" by any stretch of the imagination!

The last time these patent trolls had a spat, things turned out pretty nasty for every side involved with video codecs. H.264 adoption temporarily ground to a halt due to its uncertain future (hardware-based accelerators especially were delayed an eternity), VP8 was under siege by pretty much every media/encoding company in existence and any other company trying to come up with an alternative codec for proposal as a standard quickly shelved their products or even destroyed any documents relating to codec development out of fear from litigation by the army of lawyers greedily anticipating big payouts.

And I'm not even going into all the technical deficiencies in codecs these patent wars have caused (there's only so many ways to efficiently compress a frame before you run into all sorts of serious problems - energy-related, iq-related, footprint-related etc. etc. etc.). Not to mention the difficulties (to put it lightly) every other open source project had to endure to come up with a competing, but almost always inferior, codec, that ultimately didn't get implemented as a standard anyway - thanks to these patent trolls.

No, "interesting" is the last word I would use in such an event. ;)

Edited 2015-03-31 04:12 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: FUD
by Alfman on Tue 31st Mar 2015 04:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: FUD"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

1c3d0g,

And I'm not even going into all the technical deficiencies in codecs these patent wars have caused (there's only so many ways to efficiently compress a frame before you run into all sorts of serious problems - energy-related, iq-related, footprint-related etc. etc. etc.). Not to mention the difficulties (to put it lightly) every other open source project had to endure to come up with a competing, but almost always inferior, codec, that ultimately didn't get implemented as a standard anyway - thanks to these patent trolls.


This is the saddest part of it all IMHO. Having stupid patent policies creates pressure for software developers to design sub-optimal software around legal restrictions instead of building the best software we can. It's not just open source either, even closed proprietary software vendors get sued for royalties and to cease using the best algorithms. Most devs are in agreement that incentives under the US patent system are ass backwards for the software industry. The problem is that politicians are too busy lining their pockets with lobbying money to give a crap.

Edited 2015-03-31 04:44 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: FUD
by galvanash on Tue 31st Mar 2015 05:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: FUD"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

The last time these patent trolls had a spat, things turned out pretty nasty for every side involved with video codecs.


So a unified patent pool aggressively going about the business of marginalizing efforts such as VP9 and Daala would be better? I say let them have their in-fighting, I'd much rather them pointing their guns at each other...

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: FUD
by 1c3d0g on Tue 31st Mar 2015 17:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: FUD"
1c3d0g Member since:
2005-07-06

The thing is, you have to look at it from a litigation point of view. Once a big patent troll is defeated in the courts, progress can continue rapidly on development of the codec, or in case of failure, development of a modified or completely "cleanroom-type", next-generation codec. If there's more than one patent troll however, things can and will get ugly pretty fast, with some choosing to negotiate & settle and others willing to continue relentless litigation until the end of time, if they have to.

The important thing to focus on here is certainty. As long as the future of a particular codec is in doubt, no company will touch it with a ten foot pole. This hampers progress in every sector you can think of. All those 4K videos that will be coming out in the near future will be useless without h.265/VP9 or some other advanced codec to, for example, minimize footprint. Hardware accelerators also take a long time to develop, the more there's a threat of litigation, the more companies will refuse to invest in R&D. Those videos that are encoded in a particular next-gen codec will absolutely suck your battery dry without these dedicated accelerators in place. And since most of them are part of an SoC, you can begin to understand the scope of the problem if there are multiple patent trolls roaming free.

Reply Score: 4

RE: FUD
by shmerl on Tue 31st Mar 2015 02:32 UTC in reply to "FUD"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Until they make any accusations, they aren't any better than any other random obscure patent troll that can surface up any second. So they can be ignored for all intends and purposes. And Xiph take active approach to repeal any accusations, instead of waiting for them to escalate into long standing FUD. So if they'll ever attack Daala, Xiph will fight back.

Edited 2015-03-31 02:37 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: FUD
by fithisux on Wed 1st Apr 2015 07:49 UTC in reply to "FUD"
fithisux Member since:
2006-01-22

FUD or not, we are proud as ICCS/NTUA that we adopted VP8 as our internal X3D / streaming format.

All partners were happy and the project worked very well.

Reply Score: 3

h265 will take over from h264
by leos on Tue 31st Mar 2015 04:08 UTC
leos
Member since:
2005-09-21

VP9 and Daala don't have a snowball's chance in hell.

Reply Score: 4

RE: h265 will take over from h264
by Luminair on Tue 31st Mar 2015 04:18 UTC in reply to "h265 will take over from h264"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

I think this is not accurate because the state of the industry is not as it was before. It does seem like everyone will support h.265 at first, but with such viable alternatives coming online so quickly and SO much power in the hands of hardware manufacturers like Apple and Samsung, why not just migrate to free alternatives as soon as possible? They could pay for h.265 support in one generation of hardware now, and leave it out of the next one.

Reply Score: 1

RE: h265 will take over from h264
by ddc_ on Tue 31st Mar 2015 06:04 UTC in reply to "h265 will take over from h264"
ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

VP9 and Daala don't have a snowball's chance in hell.

While VP9 seems to be small incremental improvement over VP8 (if not bugfix to the spec), Daala has technical its merits. If its performance turns out to be competitive to HEVC's, it has its chance. FWIW vorbis is supported on most hardware these days.

Reply Score: 2

RE: h265 will take over from h264
by shmerl on Wed 1st Apr 2015 18:16 UTC in reply to "h265 will take over from h264"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

More chances than HEVC which has patent trolls crawling all around it. Wake up.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by cjcox
by cjcox on Tue 31st Mar 2015 21:29 UTC
cjcox
Member since:
2006-12-21

Right now we're all riding MPEG-LAs (I think expire) promise not to enforce. They "say" it's always free for the end user (that's not really in writing folks)... but not for encoders and not for distributors. The promise to not go after free distributors is renewable on a 5 year basis. For example if you make a site that encodes video into h264 format for free playback by everyone, you are ok... at least until the promise expires....

It's more than mere "FUD"....

However, if we must talk "FUD", the FUD is aimed actually at MPEG-LA and the like who fear what will happen if they do choose to enforce licensing.... would the world move to vp9 (or something else)?

With that said, it's scared all major companies into getting a license deal from MPEG-LA.... but their base terms are expensive.... good luck in your negotiations!

Reply Score: 0