Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 30th Oct 2013 23:33 UTC, submitted by drcoldfoot
Multimedia, AV

Remember the whole H.264 thing? Cisco just solved it for us - more or less.

The industry has been divided on the choice of a common video codec for some time, namely because the industry standard - H.264 - requires royalty payments to MPEG LA. Today, I am pleased to announce Cisco is making a bold move to take concerns about these payments off the table.

We plan to open-source our H.264 codec, and to provide it as a binary module that can be downloaded for free from the Internet. Cisco will not pass on our MPEG LA licensing costs for this module, and based on the current licensing environment, this will effectively make H.264 free for use in WebRTC.

Cisco will release the code of its H.264 codec under the BSD license, and will also make binaries available for just about every possible platform. Cisco will pay all the licensing costs - over the coming decade, this will cost them a whopping $65 million, illustrating just how expensive H.264 is, and how unrealistic it was to expect it to become a standard without a free implementation being available for everyone to use. It has to be noted that both end users and developers can make use of this.

Mozilla has already announced it will implement this codec into Firefox. All this is great, but it doesn't really address the issue in the long term - the next generation of codecs is coming, and once they arrive, this whole process starts all over again. Will another sugar daddy step up by that time?

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lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

It's also interesting that Cisco participates in Daala development (at least they claim they do). I hope it won't introduce any potential hidden patent problems.


Whilst h.265 HEVC and VP9/Opus (whatever that is called) are evolutionary advancements respectively on h.264 and VP8/Vorbis (Webm), Daala is apparently a whole new thing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Efficiency_Video_Coding

High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) is a video compression format, a successor to H.264/MPEG-4 AVC (Advanced Video Coding) that was jointly developed by the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) and ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) as ISO/IEC 23008-2 MPEG-H Part 2 and ITU-T H.265.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VP9

VP9 is an open and royalty free video compression standard being developed by Google. VP9 had earlier development names of Next Gen Open Video (NGOV) and VP-Next. VP9 is a successor to VP8.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daala_(video_codec)

Daala is the current working name of a video codec under development by the Xiph.Org Foundation. Daala is intended to be a high-efficiency codec for use cases similar to those of High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC or H.265) and VP9. Daala will use a lapped transform to reduce the blocking artefacts characteristic of other video codecs that use the discrete cosine transform directly.

Daala is a fundamentally whole new approach.

In June 2013 Chris Montgomery (founder of Xiph.org) stated that the performance goal for Daala is to be a generation beyond HEVC and VP9.

http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/daala/demo1.shtml

Daala is a new general-purpose video codec currently under development at Xiph.Org. Our performance target is roughly a generation beyond current 'next-generation' codecs like VP9 and HEVC, making Daala a next-next-generation effort. As with other Xiph codecs, the Daala format is and will always be royalty-free with a permissive FOSS license.

...

The next-generation VP9 and HEVC codecs are the latest incremental refinements of a basic codec design that dates back 25 years to h.261. This conservative, linear development strategy evolving a proven design has yielded reliable improvement with relatively low risk, but the law of diminishing returns is setting in. Recent performance increases are coming at exponentially increasing computational cost.

Daala tries for a larger leap forward— by first leaping sideways— to a new codec design and numerous novel coding techniques. In addition to the technical freedom of starting fresh, this new design consciously avoids most of the patent thicket surrounding mainstream block-DCT-based codecs. At its very core, for example, Daala is based on lapped transforms, not the traditional DCT.


Edited 2013-10-31 07:22 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

Whilst h.265 HEVC and VP9/Opus (whatever that is called) are evolutionary advancements respectively on h.264 and VP8/Vorbis (Webm)


Vorbis and Opus don’t share much at all, all your comments are just about the video codecs.
It’s very likely that Opus will get paired with Daala.

Reply Parent Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Whilst h.265 HEVC and VP9/Opus (whatever that is called) are evolutionary advancements respectively on h.264 and VP8/Vorbis (Webm)


Vorbis and Opus don’t share much at all, all your comments are just about the video codecs.
It’s very likely that Opus will get paired with Daala.
"

In theory any of these video codecs can be paired with any of the audio codecs mentioned. As far as I know there is nothing to prevent h.265 to be paired with, say Opus, within, say, a mkv container. It is simply that no-one is pushing such a combination.

I only mention VP8 in combination with Vorbis because that combination (within a mkv-like container) defines Webm. As far as I know the combination of VP9 and Opus does not yet have an official name, but that combination is currently shipping as an experimental feature within the Chrome browser.

To preserve freedom from patent encumbrances, it makes sense to combine Daala with a free/open audio codec, within a free/open container format, and as far as I know Daala + Opus within a mkv container would be the best candidate at this time.

Edited 2013-10-31 13:00 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3