Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 28th May 2010 11:40 UTC
Intel One name was conspicuously absent from the list of companies backing Google's WebM project and the VP8 codec. Despite other chip makers and designers being on the list, like AMD, NVIDIA, ARM, and Qualcomm, Intel didn't make an appearance. Yesterday, the company made its first careful commitment to the WebM project.
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Preston5
Member since:
2010-03-19

The whole video quality discussion is a joke launched by H.264 backers like x264 devs in order to hide the real issue. If quality really mattered on the web, Youtube (which use H.264 by the way) wouldn't be #1 video site on the web.


The quality issue came about when YouTube refused to use Theora because of its quality/bandwidth usage. Adamant Theora supporters believed that the average user would not have noticed that Youtube's video quality had tanked or that the videos took longer to buffer. If Theora was a credible alternative, more sites would be using it. However, it is not, which explains why over 60% of the web's video is in H.264, and Theora has 4%. If Theora was supported by Flash (as H.264 is, and VP8 will be?), I believe it would have had a higher penetration.

It is good to see that VP8 appears to be a credible alternative to H.264. Companies can freeload on H.264 for the next 5 years, while deciding when/if to migrate to VP8. It might even mirror instances where companies would pretend to be eyeing Linux in an attempt to get a better deal from Microsoft ;) .

Who knows ... maybe there will be an H.265 by then, or devices get powerful enough to start using H.264 Mainline/High profiles, and we all will be having this spat all over again :-s.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

The quality issue came about when YouTube refused to use Theora because of its quality/bandwidth usage. Adamant Theora supporters believed that the average user would not have noticed that Youtube's video quality had tanked or that the videos took longer to buffer.

I'd gladly mod you up as informative if I could. I forgot about that episode, having x264dev's post about how high tech and incredible H.264 is and how crappy Theora is as the most distant thing in my memory on the subject.

If Theora was a credible alternative, more sites would be using it.

This does not take into account things like video conversion costs. MPEG-4 is around since the DVD days I think, whereas Theora is much younger. Most of the established video playing infrastructure on the web is based on H.264, and changing it would prove to be quite difficult, unless a big company like Google pushes change forward.

Then there's the visibility problem : honestly, who knew about Theora before trying multimedia on linux ?

These two problems are adressed by VP8, not because of its quality but because of the big company backing it. If google provides money, security through proper support, mature encoding software, FUD against the MPEG-LA, and cheaper licensing, chances are that VP8 will make it as the codec for the web.

Again, it's got nothing to do with quality, except when it's very bad (which Google argued about Theora. Don't know if it's true), it's about which company or organism is stronger ;) If Apple ruled the W3C, the whole video codec issue would never have occurred because the royalty free requirement would have been silently removed in some way ^^

(Actually, it's quite worrying to rely on companies owned and directed by a single man for everything, when you think of it)

Edited 2010-05-29 13:21 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

Preston5 Member since:
2010-03-19

Theora was built on VP3 which was competing with MPEG4. Just a few months ago, the notion of Google Chrome having native Theora support was the rallying cry for Theora supporters to coerce Microsoft and Apple to include native support in their browsers.

Then there's the visibility problem : honestly, who knew about Theora before trying multimedia on linux ?

True ... but I have yet to watch a VP8-encoded video file, so it is less visible than Theora in my (and many others) point of view.

Again, it's got nothing to do with quality, except when it's very bad


It has always been about quality. Nokia proposed MPEG1 for HTML5 video as its patents will expire in the near future, but no one wanted it due to its poor quality. It is possible to get high quality video encoded using Theora: the problem is that the bandwidth usage wasn't economical.

Actually, it's quite worrying to rely on companies owned and directed by a single man for everything, when you think of it


It has always been like that. Jobs, Gates, Shuttleworth; all rich and influential men who made their OSes popular (to varying degrees). Google was capable of getting more hardware support behind VP8 in the past few weeks/months (due to its similarity to H.264?) than Theora has gotten in its entire existence.

Reply Parent Score: 1