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[whatwg] MPEG-1 subset proposal for HTML5 video codec

From: <jjcogliati-whatwg@yahoo.com>
Date: Sun, 31 May 2009 07:46:12 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <659437.46414.qm@web63206.mail.re1.yahoo.com>



--- On Sat, 5/30/09, Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1 at gmail.com> wrote:

> From: Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1 at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [whatwg] MPEG-1 subset proposal for HTML5 video codec
> To: jjcogliati-whatwg at yahoo.com
> Cc: whatwg at lists.whatwg.org
> Date: Saturday, May 30, 2009, 6:45 AM
> On Fri, May 29, 2009 at 10:03
> PM,? <jjcogliati-whatwg at yahoo.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > I propose that a MPEG-1 subset should be considered as
> the required
> > codec for the HTML-5 video tag.
> >
> > == MPEG-1 Background ==
> 
> <...>
> 
> > == Brief comparison to other video codecs ==
> >
> 
> <...>
> 
> > Ogg Theora and Ogg Vorbis are newer standards than
> MPEG-1. ?My guess
> > is that they can do substantially better at
> compression than MPEG-1.
> > Assuming there are no submarine patents, I think the
> OGG codecs would
> > be a better choice than MPEG-1.
> 
> That's good to know.
> 
> <...>
> 
> > == Remaining Work ==
> >
> > I am not a lawyer. ?In order to use MPEG-1 PRF,
> patent lawyers will
> > have to investigate the patent issue and publicly
> report on the
> > patent status. ?Unless there is a report sitting
> around that can be
> > published, this will likely be expensive.
> 
> The reason that current browser vendors put forward for not
> supporting
> Ogg Theora/Vorbis is that there is no thorough report
> available on
> their patent status which also convincingly shows that the
> risk of
> submarine patents is minimal.
> 
> If you would also prefer Ogg Theora/Vorbis over MPEG-1 PRF,
> then I
> don't understand why such a report should not rather be
> created about
> these codecs than on MPEG-1 PRF.
> 
> > As well, the prior art review is not complete. ?The
> biggest missing
> > piece is synthesis window for the audio layer.
> 
> Same argument here for Ogg Theora/Vorbis.
> 
> <...>
> 
> > == Satisfaction of requirements ==
> >
> > >From 4.8.7.1 HTML 5 draft:
> > 1. does not require per-unit or per-distributor
> licensing
> > Probably. ?There does not seem to be anyone
> requesting this kind of
> > licensing right now.
> >
> > 2. Must be compatible with the open source development
> model.
> > Probably. ?There does not seem to be any identified
> patents for MPEG-1 PRF.
> >
> > 3. Is of sufficient quality as to be usable
> > Yes. ?Much better than the next best option of Motion
> JPEG. ?Probably
> > worse than Ogg Theora or H.264.
> 
> These three are better satisfied by Ogg Theora/Vorbis.
> 
> > 4. Is not an additional submarine patent risk for
> large companies.
> > Probably. ?It has been widely implemented (in DVD
> players, in Apple
> > Quicktime and Microsoft Media Player) Note that these
> example uses
> > have either a license for MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 however.
> 
> Wide implementation does not save you from submarine
> patents. Nothing
> really does. Wide implementation only spreads the risk
> across more
> bodies. An existing lawsuit that has been resolved reduces
> the risk.
> But there will always be the risk of another unknown patent
> that could
> be interpreted to be infringed.
> 
> > == Conclusion ==
> >
> > The MPEG-1 PRF subset defined here seems to fit all
> the requirements
> > of a codec for video for HTML5. ?It seems to be
> patent free. ?A final
> > conclusion will depend on whether or not patent
> lawyers can sign off
> > on this proposal and if the quality of MPEG-1 PRF is
> deemed
> > sufficient.
> 
> Honestly, I'd rather suggest spending the money on Ogg
> Theora if you
> are really suggesting spending money on lawyers and patent
> research.
> Ogg Theora/Vorbis is miles ahead of MPEG-1 in Quality and
> in
> increasingly wider spread use on the Web.


If the cost for patent clearing MPEG-1 PRF and Ogg Theora and Vorbis were the same, then I would completely agree with you.  I think that the cost for patent clearing MPEG-1 PRF would be cheaper for the following reasons:

1.  Age of Standard.  MPEG-1 final standard (parts 1,2,3) came out in August 1993.  Ogg Theora standard came out in about 2004.  Basically, for all but the oldest unexpired patents, the MPEG-1 standard can be considered prior art, but for Theora, there is another decade of time where outside prior art needs to be found. 

2.  Simplicity.  MPEG-1 PRF is quite a bit simpler than Ogg Theora and Vorbis.  Ogg Theora contains much of what is in MPEG-1 Video (such as Motion vectors) and much that is newer than MPEG-1.  

3.  Existing use.  MPEG-1 has been in use by major media players such as Apple Quicktime and Microsoft Media Player, so there probably are internal patent reviews that have been done.  (These are probably considered very proprietary, so this reason is very weak.)


So I think that a MPEG-1 PRF patent review would be cheaper than a Ogg Vorbis and Theora review.  

The questions I don't have a good answer to are how much better Ogg Theora and Vorbis are than MPEG-1 PRF, and how much more expensive patent reviewing Ogg Theora and Vorbis is compared to MPEG-1 PRF.  

I would like to see a comparison that shows Ogg Theora/Vorbis is miles ahead of MPEG-1 in Quality.  I would also like to know what kind of patent review has already been done on Ogg Theora and Vorbis.  

Josh Cogliati

> <...>
> 
> Regards,
> Silvia.
> 
Received on Sunday, 31 May 2009 07:46:12 UTC

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