Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 16th May 2010 12:52 UTC, submitted by mrsteveman1
Internet & Networking Mozilla, sticking to its ideals of the open web, decided long ago that support for the patent-encumbered H264 codec would not be included in any of its products. Not only is H264 wholly incompatible with the open web and Free software, it is also incredibly expensive. Mozilla could use one of the open source implementations, but those are not licensed, and the MPEG-LA has been quite clear in that it will sue those who encode or decode H264 content without a license. Software patents, however, are only valid in some parts of the world, so an enterprising developer has started a project that was sure to come eventually: Firefox builds with H264 support.
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It’s not as simple as that. Outside rendering, such as with Flash and QuickTime do not act as a native element that you can apply CSS effects to nor layer correctly. HTML5 video acts the same as any image element. To do this, the video decoding has to be part of the browser engine, and this gets particularly tricky around colourspace conversion. HTML5 also provides the ability to get the current frame of a video playing. This sort of thing could prove to be really tricky to do when another thread of another system is doing the video rendering (even in the GPU).

To have any hope of this working cross platform in a reasonable time frame (and not potentially requiring changes to upstream projects) they will have to build the decoder in.

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