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Re: Google launches open WebM web video format based on VP8

From: Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 20 May 2010 22:25:28 +1000
Message-ID: <AANLkTik--z18wwASPbfZhUCkMiHHyd_tScEocH4-nams@mail.gmail.com>
To: Davy Van Deursen <davy.vandeursen@ugent.be>
Cc: raphael.troncy@eurecom.fr, erik mannens <erik.mannens@ugent.be>, Media Fragment <public-media-fragment@w3.org>
On Thu, May 20, 2010 at 9:34 PM, Davy Van Deursen
<davy.vandeursen@ugent.be> wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> On May 20th, 2010 at 12:10, RaphaŽl Troncy wrote:
>> Cc: 'Media Fragment'
>> Subject: Re: Google launches open WebM web video format based on VP8
>>
>> Dear all,
>>
>> > Fyi Ö
>> > http://www.engadget.com/2010/05/19/google-launches-open-webm-web-
>> video
>> > -format-based-on-vp8/
>>
>> Indeed, it was for me one of the highlight of yesterday's Google IO
>> keynote. I was excited by the news, given the support it receives:
>> Mozilla, Opera, Google + Adobe (Flash), therefore IE and Safari. But
>> then, I read this blog post: "The first in-depth technical analysis of
>> VP8", http://x264dev.multimedia.cx/?p=377 which I recommend to read ...
>>
>> The author wrote: "VP8 would be 'H.264 Baseline Profile with a better
>> entropy coder', better than theora ... but the main problem of patent
>> will still be here given the resemblance with H264."
>>
>> I would be happy to get the opinion of Davy who has more deep
>> knowledge of how codecs work ...
>
> The in-depth technical analysis is indeed a must read in the context of this
> discussion, and I agree with the author of this analysis: VP8 performs worse
> than H.264/AVC while it probably still have to deal with patent issues (in
> particular for its spatial intra prediction method -> quoting from the
> analysis: "H.264ís spatial intra prediction is covered in patents and I
> donít think that On2 will be able to just get away with changing the
> rounding in the prediction modes"). The key question here is "does VP8 has
> patent problems or not?". I'm not an expert on that so I don't know the
> answer. Only if it does not have patent problems, VP8 is a valuable codec
> for Web video and a good update for Theora, otherwise it is just yet another
> H.264/AVC competitor who didn't made it ...

Not quite, actually. The thing is: if you are pulled into a patent
lawsuit over Theora, there is only Xiph to defend you and Xiph doesn't
have any counter-patents to outweigh you. If the same happens over
WebM, Google will help you out and they are a pretty big patent
player, so you're much safer. Also, Google will probably be the main
one to be attacked in such a lawsuit, so the risk for others is
actually smaller. Also, VP8 has slightly better quality than Theora, a
300 pound Gorilla behind it, and already commitment from HW vendors to
support it. And Google's strategy for achieving uptake is amazing -
they basically have Microsoft on their side and can get onto user
machines through a new Flash update - the Adobe partnership is a
brilliant strategic move.

I think we have to calculate with WebM now and might actually need to
add some analysis to our documents on WebM.

Cheers,
Silvia.
Received on Thursday, 20 May 2010 12:26:23 GMT

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