Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 14th Jan 2011 22:33 UTC
Google I didn't plan on this, but there's really nothing I can do. Unless you want me to write about the upcoming ten billionth download from the iOS App Store, you'll have to settle for this. On the Chromium blog, Google has clarified its decision to drop H.264 support from the Chrome web browser, and in it, Google basically repeats the things that those concerned about the future of video on the web have been saying for a long time now: H.264 on the web kills innovation.
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RE[4]: Reasonable overview
by brichpmr on Sun 16th Jan 2011 12:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Reasonable overview"
brichpmr
Member since:
2006-04-22

"Take a look at the content at this linked site in Berlin. I doubt they will be chomping at the bit to replace their high quality H.264 content with WebM any time soon.


First, from a simple practical point of view, they don't need to. Google removing h.264 from chrome would not affect a chrome user's ability to view that content were it offered using the tag, it would simply fall back to Flash and most users wouldn't even notice the difference.

Which brings us to point two: That site doesn't even USE the video tag!!!. They serve all video using Flash...

That is what is so infuriating about debating this issue - those against this are starting from Google=BAD and just making up bullshit arguments to support their prejudiced viewpoint.

The H.264 train left the station a long time ago; and by comparison, WebM is a solution to a non-existant problem, IMHO.


WebM will allow an open source developer to implement a browser or other software which incorporates a video encoder/decoder which will be inter operable with the HTML5 tag - without having to worry about royalty payments. It is a solution to a VERY serious problem - if you can't see what is plainly obvious and right in front of your face I don't know what else to tell you.

Here is a simple list of problems with h.264 that WebM solves in one way or another:

1. Firefox will not and can not EVER include h.264 - they have made that quite plain. That is a browser that represents an absolutely huge number of users...

2. Anyone wanting to write a browser in the future that incorporates the video tag will be expected to support h.264 if it becomes the defacto standard. If they do not wish to pay royalties they simply CAN'T implement one. That eliminates non-commercial browsers, which is ironic because the web was BUILT upon non-commercial browsers...

3. Software like Handbrake, VLC, Memcoder, FFMpeg, etc. ALL of these use unlicensed h.264 encoders. MPEG-LA could try to shut any or all of these down any time they felt like it. The fact that they don't and they let it slide doesn't change the fact that if you want to do things without violating US patent laws you can't use h.264 in open source software.

4. Sites that charge subscriptions to access their content, even if it is very small amounts or micro-payments, are technically required to pay royalties for h.264 if they offer ANY content using it.

5. There is simply no guarantee that MPEG-LA will keep non-commercial h.264 content royalty free. Sites that use it on a large scale (like youtube, vimeo, etc.) are at the mercy of MPEG-LA hitting them with unpredictably large royalty fees in the future.

Think about it....
"

There is no guarantee that WebM won't be subjected to the patent test down the road.

That site uses Flash only because of DRM considerations for their video content, but the video is H.264 at 1280x720 in an MP4 container with 320 kbs AAC audio. They also plan to offer streaming soon to iPhones and iPads, which would eliminate Flash from that picture.

There is no way that they would voluntarily replace this high quality content with WebM. They are a prime example of a content provider beaming to the entire world, and they are using the best tools to accomplish this. Millions of us users aren't looking to relinquish the long-existing quality of H.264 video codecs unless you (or anyone) can provide a compelling proof that WebM is equal to or better than H.264 in terms of quality....haven't seen it from any source yet. Arguably (in the real world) H.264 is the defacto standard already.

Edited 2011-01-16 12:51 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Reasonable overview
by galvanash on Sun 16th Jan 2011 22:05 in reply to "RE[4]: Reasonable overview"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

There is no guarantee that WebM won't be subjected to the patent test down the road.


Ditto. h.264... Can you guys all let this one go? The patent issue and who is violating what or whatever will either never come up or it will get settled in court. Either way it is not worth discussing at this point.

There is no way that they would voluntarily replace this high quality content with WebM.[q/]

Ok... So what?

[q]They are a prime example of a content provider beaming to the entire world, and they are using the best tools to accomplish this. Millions of us users aren't looking to relinquish the long-existing quality of H.264 video codecs unless you (or anyone) can provide a compelling proof that WebM is equal to or better than H.264 in terms of quality....haven't seen it from any source yet. Arguably (in the real world) H.264 is the defacto standard already.


If DRM is important to you, you HAVE to use Flash or Silverlight and currently could not switch to WebM even if you wanted to. If you already use h.264 and you use Flash do deliver it... there is no reason you would need to switch to WebM. If you use h.264 and use the video tag with Flash fallback, there is STILL no reason you would need to switch to WebM. If you use h.264 exclusively with the video tag, you still don't need to switch to WebM, you just won't get Chrome users (just like you don't get Firefox users already).

See the pattern here...

In fact, if you consider Flash as a fallback delivery mechanism acceptable (you pretty much have to if you are serving h.264 content and want to support Firefox) - there is no reason to EVER switch to WebM.

Why are you arguing again?

ps. You did not address a single one of my previous points concerning the problems WebM solves.... How about we discuss REAL issues instead of non-issues?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[6]: Reasonable overview
by brichpmr on Mon 17th Jan 2011 01:07 in reply to "RE[5]: Reasonable overview"
brichpmr Member since:
2006-04-22

"There is no guarantee that WebM won't be subjected to the patent test down the road.


Ditto. h.264... Can you guys all let this one go? The patent issue and who is violating what or whatever will either never come up or it will get settled in court. Either way it is not worth discussing at this point.

There is no way that they would voluntarily replace this high quality content with WebM.[q/]

Ok... So what?

[q]They are a prime example of a content provider beaming to the entire world, and they are using the best tools to accomplish this. Millions of us users aren't looking to relinquish the long-existing quality of H.264 video codecs unless you (or anyone) can provide a compelling proof that WebM is equal to or better than H.264 in terms of quality....haven't seen it from any source yet. Arguably (in the real world) H.264 is the defacto standard already.


If DRM is important to you, you HAVE to use Flash or Silverlight and currently could not switch to WebM even if you wanted to. If you already use h.264 and you use Flash do deliver it... there is no reason you would need to switch to WebM. If you use h.264 and use the video tag with Flash fallback, there is STILL no reason you would need to switch to WebM. If you use h.264 exclusively with the video tag, you still don't need to switch to WebM, you just won't get Chrome users (just like you don't get Firefox users already).

See the pattern here...

In fact, if you consider Flash as a fallback delivery mechanism acceptable (you pretty much have to if you are serving h.264 content and want to support Firefox) - there is no reason to EVER switch to WebM.

Why are you arguing again?

ps. You did not address a single one of my previous points concerning the problems WebM solves.... How about we discuss REAL issues instead of non-issues?
"

WebM, arguably, doesn't solve anything....just another solution to a non-existant problem, imho.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Reasonable overview
by JAlexoid on Sun 16th Jan 2011 23:05 in reply to "RE[4]: Reasonable overview"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

That site uses Flash only because of DRM considerations for their video content,

And they will not switch to HTML5 video, due to technical limitations(or lack of them to be precise).
This is not a discussion beyond HTML5 video tag. If someone has a collection encoded in H.264, nothing changes.

They also plan to offer streaming soon to iPhones and iPads, which would eliminate Flash from that picture.

And I bet, they are not going to use HTML5 features for that purpose. They will do it though an app. Getting to the same point again - Flash stays on the main site, Chrome users use it, IE9 users use it, Firefox users use it. iOS users have to get an app...

Literally where removing H.264 support from Chrome impacts that site, I fail to see...

Reply Parent Score: 3