Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 24th Jan 2010 17:59 UTC
Mozilla & Gecko clones This week, both YouTube and Vimeo opened up beta offerings using HTML5 video instead of Flash to bring video content to users. Both of them chose to use the h264 codec, which meant that only Safari and Chrome can play these videos, since firefox doesn't license the h264 codec. Mike Shaver, Mozilla's vice president of engineering, explained on his blog why Mozilla doesn't license the h264 codec.
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h.264 is a MUST in our world
by Auxx on Mon 25th Jan 2010 12:23 UTC
Auxx
Member since:
2007-04-05

Even though I do really support open standards, yet I realize that there is an industry which dictates rules. I already stated in Opera blog the same issue ( http://my.opera.com/haavard/blog/show.dml/6779841#comment16761561 ), let me quote myself:

h.264/h.263 is already supported by most devices out there. Even my three years old feature phone support h.263. h.264 is an industry standard, not supporting it is silly.

I suppose 10.50 will be more of a testing version for VIDEO support. I suggest making a proper cross-platform media framework for future versions, whitch will simply be a wrapper around native media playback using WM on Windows, QT on Apple, GStreamer on *nixes and other APIs for other devices. h.264 is playable by WM, QT, GStreamer and on most modern mobile phones/smart phones/pdas/tv set boxes/etc, along with other media formats.

I believe that in near future we will see three dominating media formats: OGG, h.264 and MP3 and I believe that most web-devs will have streams in all these formats. This will resolve incompatability issues (since web dev can figure out which formats are supported by client via JS) and make web trully accessible.

Current problem with accessibility is that OGG is NOT support by most hardware (I'm not speaking about PCs, but about phones/players), so h.264 and MP3 dominate. Including support for OGG is only a way to speed up the process of its adoption. Disabling h.264/MP3 will cause Opera/whatever browser vendor to loose in this game - You can't force Sony Ericsson to exclude their h.264 hardware support and put OGG instead - that will never happen.

So here is a very simple conslusion forced by current industry situation - h.264 is a MUST. No workaround accepted.

Reply Score: 2

RE: h.264 is a MUST in our world
by darmin on Mon 25th Jan 2010 14:16 in reply to "h.264 is a MUST in our world"
darmin Member since:
2010-01-25

You're not getting the big picture here. It's not just about playback. If you have your own website and want to use h264 in the video tag, you have to pay MPEG-LA too. There's also a third payment for the content itself. With a free format everyone can do videos on their website, not just the people who negotiated deals with MPEG-LA.
I'm glad Mozilla is doing this. It reminds me of the take back the web movement of the "dark ages" when IE had a 90% market share.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Auxx Member since:
2007-04-05

This is a point of view of site owners who do not want to pay. But I'm talking about industry, a media industry that is. Media giants do not care about YOU! And since that you are locked into using h.264. Opera and Mozilla talk about accessibility on mobile devices a lot. But what do we see? SE Xperia - h.264 support, no OGG. Symbian S60 phones from Nokia, LG and other? h.264 is supported, no OGG. Need more examples?

So currently if we are speaking about desktop AND mobile accessibility like Opea and Mozilla do, then h.264 is a way to go.

Let me be clear, I prefer using OGG, but reallity and my wishes are different.

Reply Parent Score: 1

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

I suggest making a proper cross-platform media framework for future versions, whitch will simply be a wrapper around native media playback using WM on Windows, QT on Apple, GStreamer on *nixes and other APIs for other devices. h.264 is playable by WM, QT, GStreamer and on most modern mobile phones/smart phones/pdas/tv set boxes/etc, along with other media formats.

While it may sound good at first, it's not so good after you think about it a bit. For example, not all frameworks support the same video formats. F.ex. apparently Directshow does not support h.264 on Windows XP, only on newer Windowses, and there's still millions of XP installations in heavy use all over the world. As you can't guarantee on all the different frameworks supporting the same formats it's just a clear no-go.

Secondly, having to support 15+ different frameworks would create massive amounts of code, would create unnecessary complexity and most of that code would not be shareable with other platforms at all.

So here is a very simple conslusion forced by current industry situation - h.264 is a MUST. No workaround accepted.

It's a must only if you accept it. And as already said, if you f.ex. set up a small company of your own, no matter how small, you'd have to buy the MPEG-LA license if you wanted to have any kind of h.264 content on your site. And heck, even if you were just having a popular personal blog with lots of video content you'd be in danger of getting sued for using h.264 without a license. Does that really sound a future you wish?

It might not be a big issue for large corporations, but it sure is an issue for small ones and for personal video needs, and I am honestly slightly baffled by that you don't see that.

Reply Parent Score: 3

computeruser Member since:
2009-07-21

apparently Directshow does not support h.264 on Windows XP, only on newer Windowses, and there's still millions of XP installations in heavy use all over the world.

Windows XP and Vista do not come with a DirectShow H.264 decoder. This doesn't mean that one cannot be installed on an existing system. Microsoft could include one with an update to Windows Media Player or Internet Explorer, for example.

Secondly, having to support 15+ different frameworks would create massive amounts of code, would create unnecessary complexity and most of that code would not be shareable with other platforms at all.

Major web browsers already use platform-specific code to some extent.

Not supporting the platform's native video framework(s) is a bad idea, and is likely to lead to high CPU usage (like Flash) or poor video quality (like Flash). Here are a few advantages of using a native API:
* The OS's (often accelerated) video scaling and deinterlacing code can be used
* Any decoder using the supported video framework can be used, allowing the decoder to be replaced with a more CPU efficient or hardware accelerated one
* Video decoding can take place entirely in hardware when supported
* For remote desktop/thin client systems, the compressed video can be streamed directly to the client and decoded on the client

These advantages apply to any video encoding, not just H.264.

Reply Parent Score: 1

KAMiKAZOW Member since:
2005-07-06

having to support 15+ different frameworks would create massive amounts of code, would create unnecessary complexity and most of that code would not be shareable with other platforms at all.

GStreamer solves that. Just look at Songbird which uses GStreamer for music playback on all platforms.
After starting Songbird for the first time, Songbird asks to download GStreamer wrappers for DirectShow as well as QuickTime.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Auxx Member since:
2007-04-05

Read my reply above - this NOT what I want, this is what reallity IS.

Reply Parent Score: 1

jrincayc Member since:
2007-07-24

H.263 is much better patentwise than H.264. The standard came out in 1996, so patents should expire in about 2017 at the worst in the US. The baseline version of the standard may already be patent free. H.264 has US MPEG-LA patents that don't expire until 2028.

Reply Parent Score: 1