Breaking News
Blog

Who'll win the consumer video codec battles?

Bernard Cole
3/1/2013 00:15 AM EST

 2 comments   post a comment
NO RATINGS
View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
DMcCunney
User Rank
CEO
re: Who'll win the consumer video codec battles?
DMcCunney   3/3/2013 3:36:59 AM
NO RATINGS
"I could not find any video-enabled mobile, desktop or embedded consumer device using those open-source alternatives." What counts as such a device? Web developers are all moving to HTML5. One major attraction is the VIDEO keyword, which allows embedding video without the use of Adobe Flash. But you still need a codec to show video. YouTube had a beta site that used HTML 5 instead of Flash, and it worked in IE and Chrome, but not Firefox. The issue was licensing: the YouTube site used H.265. IBM and Google had paid the license fee to use the video codec in IE and Chrome. Mozilla did not. The issue wasn't the fee, but the commitment to open source. Mozilla needed *everything* to be available in source form if desired, and the H.265 codec could not be. The license did not permit source distribution. Google subsequently announced a commitment to make Chrome open source, and that it would end support for H.265 in Chrome. It felt open source alternatives like WebM had achieved levels of performance that made them competitive. I expect H.265 to have a market in the embedded and mobile device spaces, but not in places like browsers where the availability of source for everything shipped with the browser is a requirement.

Bert22306
User Rank
CEO
re: Who'll win the consumer video codec battles?
Bert22306   3/1/2013 10:39:16 PM
NO RATINGS
I think the main issue in these codec wars is only about licensing. From what I've seen in the past, the proprietary codecs (open source or not) use the same algorithms generically as the ITU blessed ones, with just enough variation, or feature purge, to allow them to sidestep the licensing issue. So I don't expect any (factual) technical superiority from the alternatives. What makes H.265 interesting to me is that compared with MPEG-2 compression, i.e. H.262, it offers enough of an improvement as to make UHDTV feasible for the masses. As opposed to UHDTV being a cool oddity you see only at trade shows. And what makes UHDTV interesting is that at long last, here comes a TV standard that can actually match the quality of excellent camera lenses. The lens now being the next weakest link in the chain. Until now, even HDTV did not come close to exploiting what image info a good lens passed through. The licensing arrangements will make or break H.265.

More Blogs
The Arduino WiFi Shield 101 is designed to enable rapid prototyping of IoT applications on the Arduino platform.
Do you need to take your signals to the next level? What techniques do you use?
The state of the art has progressed spectacularly since early forays into FPGA-based prototyping, but there are still challenges to be overcome.
IoT companies need to provide a positive user experience that drives value, which is exactly the focus for home automation and business monitoring company GridConnect.
The ways we express units of measurement should be perfectly clear, but they aren't.
August Cartoon Caption Winner!
August Cartoon Caption Winner!
"All the King's horses and all the KIng's men gave up on Humpty, so they handed the problem off to Engineering."
5 comments
Top Comments of the Week
Like Us on Facebook

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
EE Times on Twitter
EE Times Twitter Feed
Flash Poll
Radio
LATEST ARCHIVED BROADCAST
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.