Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 12th Dec 2007 05:56 UTC
Benchmarks A lot was said lately about the Vorbis/Theora vs h.264/AAC situation on the draft of the HTML5. As some of you know, video is my main hobby these days (I care not about operating systems anymore), so I have gain some experience on the field lately, and at the same time this has made me more demanding about video quality. Read on for a head to head test: OGG Theora/Vorbis vs MP4 h.264/AAC. Yup, with videos. And pictures.
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I don't get it
by RIchard James13 on Wed 12th Dec 2007 08:12 UTC
RIchard James13
Member since:
2007-10-26

Why does the HTML 5 standard say you must use this Codec or that Codec? Won't the web in say 10 or 15 years be forced into using an old standard? Why can't they just say this is a video stream and let the page author choose the Codec just like currently you can choose the embedded picture type?

Reply Score: 3

RE: I don't get it
by KugelKurt on Wed 12th Dec 2007 08:40 in reply to "I don't get it"
KugelKurt Member since:
2005-07-06

Why does the HTML 5 standard say you must use this Codec or that Codec?


It doesn't (any longer): http://www.w3.org/html/wg/html5/#video0

Won't the web in say 10 or 15 years be forced into using an old standard?

Theora is already old and outdated today.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: I don't get it
by hobgoblin on Wed 12th Dec 2007 09:01 in reply to "I don't get it"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

"must" was never used, "should" on the other had.

basically ogg for both audio and video was put forward as a kind of baseline. without it the media tags becomes a kind of joke, as one just moves the video controls out of the flash file and the plugins are still needed for the codecs.

but, as anyone could expect that ogg should at least be supported, everyone would be using it unless they had some kind of specific reason not to.

as for choosing? i would go for open vs quality any time...

hell, i suspect that most users would not care as long as they had a simple way to put that family movie online. or maybe that shaky party movie, taken using a low quality mobile phone or camera while drunk.

only issue then is that you really need to look around to find a chip that can encode ogg native. but you will find plenty of chips that will do mpeg/h264 in one form or other...

and i think thats whats getting the codec companies and hardware companies up in arms. they either loose market share (cant sell their IP to others), or have to find new chips to put into designs. designs that maybe have been on the drawing board for a year or more, waiting for the steam to run out of the existing ones.

ogg is a wild card in all this, and was suggested by the wild card in the browser field, opera.

thing is, they all know ogg would be acceptable for most users. just look at how much high def formats in audio and video stand vs divx and mp3 (to use known examples). i suspect that the non-technical consumer is tired of formats that give no no practical value vs the old ones. the cd is dead, long live the audio file, and there the mp3 have become ubiquitous (but i cant help wonder what would happen if you could get ogg support in those small flash devices from sandisk, or heaven forbid, the ipod. this not because of quality, but because you didnt have to run into alternative os's that could not support the format because of some vague patent issues).

the dvd is dying a similar death. and for most, hd-dvd or blu-ray isnt interesting as its still a physical format. and one that requires the user to replace both player and display for it to be of any use. hell, is there not a physical audio media based on dvd? does anyone own, or know of someone that do, any copies in that format?

all im saying is that for most users quality comes second to ease of use. and whatever format that would be the base line for streamed media on the net would be king of ease.

and introducing a wild card, by someone that have no vested interest in either hardware or codec. they only produce a browser, for many platforms.

hmm, when i think about it i can suspect one reason for opera suggesting ogg, licencing. as it stands, they have to licence flash, windows media and maybe quicktime to make sure that they are covered when supplying a third party (like say nintendo) with a browser for their product.

with ogg they could probably show the middle finger to all of those, and keep the difference.

so i guess everyone have some kind of interest in the choice of codec chosen, and i fear that quality is the last of those.

Reply Parent Score: 12

RE[2]: I don't get it
by Coxy on Wed 12th Dec 2007 09:36 in reply to "RE: I don't get it"
Coxy Member since:
2006-07-01

'thing is, they all know ogg would be acceptable for most users. just look at how much high def formats in audio and video stand vs divx and mp3 (to use known examples). i suspect that the non-technical consumer is tired of formats that give no no practical value vs the old ones. '

I think most users have no idea what formats are or care - nor should they have to. They just watch films, there not interested in OSS values, they just want to be able to view their films in what ever media player comes with their computers.

'all im saying is that for most users quality comes second to ease of use.'

What research have you done on the subject?. Ease of use for most people would probably be that it runs in Windows Media Player or iTunes and that they don't need to download or install anything else just to see the 'shaky party movie, taken using a low quality mobile phone or camera while drunk.'

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: I don't get it
by setec_astronomy on Wed 12th Dec 2007 09:14 in reply to "I don't get it"
setec_astronomy Member since:
2007-11-17

HTML 4.x is more or less agnostic towards picture formats [1] :

This attribute specifies the location of the image resource. Examples of widely recognized image formats include GIF, JPEG, and PNG."


This laissez faire approach has caused some medium to major problems for web developers, customers and the software vendors behind browsers in the past ( GIF not unanimously acceptable due to software patent baggage, no png support in IE < 7, etc. ) and it is likely, that the W3C aims at a bit more specificity for future standards / recommendations, especially since the potential for troubles inherent in the current situation with several competing, incompatible ( and differently licensed) video codecs is magnitudes higher than for picture formats.

Note, that - to my knowledge - the current draft speaks of "SHOULD" and not of "MUST" wrt these multimedia codecs, e.g. vendors would be able to claim compability with HTML5 without supporting Theora ( So much for being more specific this time around :-)
).

The situation is a royal mess, agreed. The strict guidelines of the W3C and their aim at vendor independence, cross platform and FOSS compability rule most established (properitary) codecs out. In the light of this commitment (and since it is safe to assume that the bulk of tomorrows video content will be delivered
via what we call now webpages while the current trend towards a higher diversification of the consuming software platforms is likely to continue) the HTML5 spec can not neglect the discussion of video formats without risking a fragmentation of the web along vendor lines (or facing little adoption, which is imho not unlikely).

On the other hand, we have the situation that the big boys (Microsoft, Apple, Nokia et al) have invested considerable amount of time, development man-hours, money and patent cross licensing deals to keep the
legal mine field underneath their favoured formats clean. And while it is imho likely, that Ogg-Theora is the best researched contemporary video format when it comes to "IP" risks, even I can understand why in this age of patent trolls the big vendors have reservations about introducing additional (e.g. additional to their own, already established formats) risks of submarine patents. This seems to be at least the major, official argument against Ogg-Theora in this discussion (although I'm pretty sure, that other aspects of Ogg-Theora - no DRM underpinnings, no properitary vendor backing it 100%, being truly cross platform and therefore a potential lock-in-breaker besides its - agreed - lackluster performance ) contribute to the reservations.


[1]http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/struct/objects.html#edef-IMG

Reply Parent Score: 1