Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 10th Jan 2018 23:49 UTC
Multimedia, AV

Apple joining the Alliance for Open Media is a really big deal. Now all the most powerful tech companies - Google, Microsoft, Apple, Mozilla, Facebook, Amazon, Intel, AMD, ARM, Nvidia - plus content providers like Netflix and Hulu are on board. I guess there's still no guarantee Apple products will support AV1, but it would seem pointless for Apple to join AOM if they're not going to use it: apparently AOM membership obliges Apple to provide a royalty-free license to any "essential patents" it holds for AV1 usage.

It seems that the only thing that can stop AOM and AV1 eclipsing patent-encumbered codecs like HEVC is patent-infringement lawsuits (probably from HEVC-associated entities).

I can barely believe this is still a thing, and that it seems like a positive outcome.

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Comment by FlyingJester
by FlyingJester on Thu 11th Jan 2018 01:01 UTC
FlyingJester
Member since:
2016-05-11

It's really something to see the companies that were dead-set against actually open codecs last time coming together for it. I have no idea what changed, but I hope it's changed for the better.

It's also really good to know that at least some of the effort that went into Daala wasn't wasted!

Reply Score: 6

Software Patents
by Alfman on Thu 11th Jan 2018 01:55 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

Tom Holwerda,

I can barely believe this is still a thing, and that it seems like a positive outcome.

Now all the most powerful tech companies - Google, Microsoft, Apple, Mozilla, Facebook, Amazon, Intel, AMD, ARM, Nvidia - plus content providers like Netflix and Hulu are on board.


The legal landscape hasn't changed much. It may be that the patents holding back encumbered codecs are beginning to expire. Or it may be that the entire patent system is extremely costly and unprofitable to most software companies who are in the business of selling rather than litigating. Some companies, like oracle and ibm, who produce income through litigation, but the vast majority of companies just want to sell products unencumbered and recognize that the software patents have been a net loss to the industry. Billions spent with very little ROI (like google paying billions to buy motorola's patents just to be able to defend itself). The patent system has failed to live up to it's intended purposes and most of these companies have been victimized by it at one point or another.


This one's not related to video codecs or anything, but I mention it because it's one of the most absurdly maddening patents I've ever read. I challenge others to post something more ridiculous!

http://www.patentbuddy.com/Patent/7120591
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Manufacturers and service providers offer rebates as a financial incentive to increase sales. Rebates offer cash back to consumers who fulfill a set of requirements after purchasing a product bearing a rebate. By requiring post-purchase activities, the rebate offerer attempts to reduce the number of successful rebate claimants. Breakage occurs when a product bearing a rebate is sold, but the rebate is not successfully claimed. Because rebate programs offer the potential for breakage, manufacturers can offer a more valuable rebate compared to a straight reduction in product price. Thus, manufacturers establish procedures to maintain a sufficient rate of breakage and to prevent fraudulent rebate claims.
Consumers, in contrast, desire the quickest and easiest process for receiving their rebates. This creates a tension between the manufacturer's desire to maintain consumer satisfaction and the need to sustain a sufficient level of breakage in rebate programs.


Edited 2018-01-11 01:57 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: Software Patents
by Lennie on Fri 12th Jan 2018 17:10 UTC in reply to "Software Patents"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I can barely believe this is still a thing, and that it seems like a positive outcome.


From what we know of Apple 'joining' IETF standards body they would have someone sit in but that doesn't mean they will actually implement it.

The patent system has failed to live up to it's intended purposes and most of these companies have been victimized by it at one point or another.


Well, the current situation clearly is wrong: because of wrong policies (or not adhering to them) aka: to long and to broad.

Reply Score: 2

empty
by nicubunu on Thu 11th Jan 2018 08:48 UTC
nicubunu
Member since:
2014-01-08

This sounds a lot like back when Microsoft joined the Linux Foundation

Reply Score: 0

RE: empty
by zima on Sat 13th Jan 2018 17:05 UTC in reply to "empty"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

And now MS offers Linux subsystem on Windows, Linux on Azure, releases apps/services for Android, Skype for Linux, .Net is multiplatform...

Reply Score: 3

Comment by kurkosdr
by kurkosdr on Thu 11th Jan 2018 21:13 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

Since old patents for old formats will eventually expire sometime in the 2020s, does this mean we are headed towards patent-unencumbered video encoding and decoding for old and new formats? A man can hope.

I guess the reason Microsoft and Apple decided to join is the success Google had with the VP formats, which are used extensively in YouTube videos and decoders for which are found in any new GPU, as well as Google's refusal to use HEVC in YouTube.

Much like in the case of Linux Foundation, they are seeing the industry backing behind it and want to be in it.

Edited 2018-01-11 21:14 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Becomes real when...
by cjcox on Fri 12th Jan 2018 00:51 UTC
cjcox
Member since:
2006-12-21

Becomes real when there is a Roku that handles the codec. ;)

Reply Score: 6

Comment by Flatland_Spider
by Flatland_Spider on Fri 12th Jan 2018 13:56 UTC
Flatland_Spider
Member since:
2006-09-01

It seems that the only thing that can stop AOM and AV1 eclipsing patent-encumbered codecs like HEVC is patent-infringement lawsuits (probably from HEVC-associated entities).


And consumer apathy about open standards. It's not like they're paying the licensing fees for all of the patent encumbered stuff.

Tech history is littered with stuff that was better but never adopted by the masses.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Flatland_Spider
by kurkosdr on Fri 12th Jan 2018 21:18 UTC in reply to "Comment by Flatland_Spider"
kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

And consumer apathy about open standards. It's not like they're paying the licensing fees for all of the patent encumbered stuff.


Content is served to most consumers in pre-encoded and potentially DRMed form over the internet, so most of the time consumers have no choice in the matter even if they happen to care. If your device doesn't have the decoder for a format (be it VP9 or HEVC) all you can do is stream the H.264 version of the content, possibly at lower resolution or lower quality.

Much of the reason behind the success of VP9 is that Google chose VP9 exclusively over HEVC as their post-H.264 format (which was a good decision IMO) so any manufacturer that wants their device to be able to play those higher quality streams from YouTube has to have a decoder for VP9.

Edited 2018-01-12 21:32 UTC

Reply Score: 0

ATSC 3.0 just released
by phoenix on Fri 12th Jan 2018 21:48 UTC
phoenix
Member since:
2005-07-11

ATSC 3.0, the new digital "broadcasting" standard for North America, was just released, mandating the use of HEVC. So the "encumbered" codec won't be going anywhere anytime soon.

https://www.anandtech.com/show/12308/atsc-releases-atsc-30-digital-t...

Reply Score: 3

RE: ATSC 3.0 just released
by FlyingJester on Fri 12th Jan 2018 23:40 UTC in reply to "ATSC 3.0 just released"
FlyingJester Member since:
2016-05-11

How important is broadcast to all of this anyway? If you're receiving broadcast TV, you're already buying into the cable company oligarchy. The cable companies are about as dead set against an open and accessible Internet as imaginable.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: ATSC 3.0 just released
by JimB on Fri 12th Jan 2018 23:47 UTC in reply to "RE: ATSC 3.0 just released"
JimB Member since:
2006-12-29

Broadcast TV <> cable TV.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: ATSC 3.0 just released
by FlyingJester on Sat 13th Jan 2018 00:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ATSC 3.0 just released"
FlyingJester Member since:
2016-05-11

I mostly use older video equipment, or VGA/DVI, so I'm not sure under what other circumstances are you are stuck with ATSC though.

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: ATSC 3.0 just released
by kurkosdr on Sat 13th Jan 2018 12:49 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ATSC 3.0 just released"
kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11


I mostly use older video equipment, or VGA/DVI, so I'm not sure under what other circumstances are you are stuck with ATSC though.

Watching over-the-air TV broadcasts?

Edited 2018-01-13 12:50 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE: ATSC 3.0 just released
by kurkosdr on Sat 13th Jan 2018 00:28 UTC in reply to "ATSC 3.0 just released"
kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

ATSC 3.0, the new digital "broadcasting" standard for North America, was just released, mandating the use of HEVC. So the "encumbered" codec won't be going anywhere anytime soon.


Sad to hear that, it's the MTS thicket all over again, imposing a patent-encumbered standard for miniscule benefit (for history, the MTS people imposed dbx royalties on any NTSC-compatible TV that could receive stereo, because dbx encoding it was literally part of the MTS standard for stereo NTSC sound and dbx is unbearable without a decoder)

Edited 2018-01-13 00:30 UTC

Reply Score: 1