Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 19th Mar 2010 14:15 UTC
Internet & Networking Now that Internet Explorer 9 has been let out its cage, we all know a great deal more about Microsoft's position towards the video codec situation with the HTML5 video tag. Microsoft has chosen for H264, a codec it already includes in Windows by default anyway. This means that apart from Firefox and Opera, every other major browser will support H264. Some are seeing this as a reason for Mozilla to give in to their ideals and include support for H264 as well - I say: Mozilla, stick to your ideals. The last people you should be listening to in matters like this are web developers.
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what if everybody supported both?
by pianom4n on Mon 22nd Mar 2010 20:30 UTC
pianom4n
Member since:
2010-03-21

Best way this situation can be resolved: Every browser supports both.

The main reason for supporting Ogg is that nobody should ever be forced to pay licensing to publish something on the Web. In this solution, nobody has to; you can use H.264 if you want (or need, like for phones, at least in the near future), but get ready to pay at some point.

All video currently in H.264 will just work and the video tag will be a success. People will realize that in 5 years licensing fees are going to hit them, and new video will trend towards Theora (especially as it improves). Even if Theora doesn't get used much, knowing that there is a viable alternative will keep the MPEG-LA honest so they can't pull a Unisys and start charging absurd amounts because there's no alternative.

To implement H.264, browsers should just tie into the OS support. For XP users (and Linux users without GStream Ugly), provide an official plugin and suck up the licensing costs until XP dies (most Linux users install the Ugly plugins, so the cost of them is not really significant).

Basically Mozilla has to trade Microsoft, "we'll support both if you do". Opera will follow Mozilla, and developers need to berate Safari users and make them install the Ogg plugin for Quicktime until Apple gives in and supports Ogg out of the box.

Reply Score: 1

Preston5 Member since:
2010-03-19


People will realize that in 5 years licensing fees are going to hit them, and new video will trend towards Theora (especially as it improves).

Why are you assuming that H.264 encoders won't improve during the next 5 years? The H.264 encoders have been improving over the past 5 years, so nothing should prevent them from improving in the coming 5 years.
At the end of the day, if the licensing fees are less than the costs of hosting Theora videos, companies will continue to use H.264.

Edited 2010-03-22 22:02 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

pianom4n Member since:
2010-03-21

They probably will, but I'd guess that since there's been more work put into improving H.264 encoders like x264 than has been put into Theora, there is more relative headroom for Theora to improve (just a logical guess, I could be wrong).

But yes, if the fees are small enough the savings of smaller videos and less bandwidth could outweigh them, but you have no long-term guarantees to what the fees are going to be. The MPEG-LA could decide to triple them the next time they renew licensing scheme.

But my (and Mozilla's) point is about the "little guy", meaning somebody with a blog or small businesses, where bandwidth/disk space are trivial compared to what the MPEG-LA could make them pay.

Edited 2010-03-23 01:09 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1