W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webrtc@w3.org > June 2013

Re: Mandatory vs optional codecs

From: Ken Smith <smithkl42@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2013 14:48:37 -0700
Message-ID: <CACbRcAqew38Ng+-j5iukZVBtzqxUsZmyYutgwXD0oCrmzm48OA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Alexey Aylarov <alexey@zingaya.com>
Cc: Gili <cowwoc@bbs.darktech.org>, Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>, "public-webrtc@w3.org" <public-webrtc@w3.org>
Obviously the best option would be to get everyone to agree on using only
the best codecs out there. But since the earlier debacle over the <video>
and <audio> tags set an unpleasant precedent in that regard, I think it's
reasonable to assume that the players in question will once again fail to
reach that sort of an agreement, whether it's to force everyone to use VP8,
or force everyone to use H.264, or (even less likely) force everyone to use
both.

Given that assumption, a decision to implement H.263 or some other
low-functionality and low-patent-risk codec would certainly be a second
best outcome.

BUT LET ME BE CLEAR ON THIS. (And yes, I'm about to shout. Sorry.) IT WOULD
BE ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE BETTER THAN THE OTHER ALTERNATIVE, OF COMPLETELY
INCOMPATIBLE IMPLEMENTATIONS. I DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO IMPLEMENT A GATEWAY
EVERY TIME ONE OF MY CHROME USERS WANTS TO TALK TO IE.

Sorry for the shouting. I just wanted to make sure everyone on the
committee knew how a real user feels about this decision.

Ken Smith


On Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 10:37 AM, Alexey Aylarov <alexey@zingaya.com> wrote:

> H263 is not a good idea. There should be a better solution for the
> problem. For example , making both codecs mandatory.
>
> 6/27/13 9:32 PM пользователь "Gili" <cowwoc@bbs.darktech.org> написал:
>
> >On 6/27/2013 12:34 PM, Silvia Pfeiffer wrote:
> >> On Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 10:19 AM, Gili <cowwoc@bbs.darktech.org> wrote:
> >>> Ending the VP8/H264 war: A proposal was made to mandate a
> >>> patent-unencumbered codec (whose patents have expired or are not
> >>>enforced)
> >>> as mandatory and optionally upgrade to other codecs such as VP8 or H264
> >>> depending on peer capabilities and personal preferences. VP8 guys can
> >>>use
> >>> VP8. H264 guys can use H264. And if the two camps need to chat with
> >>>each
> >>> other they can fall back on H263. This gives you the flexibility of
> >>> arbitrary codecs without the need to do transcoding.
> >> I'd just like to note that this is not a new proposal and has had
> >> extensive discussion. If you search for it, you will find a lot of
> >> discussion about it.
> >Hi Silvia,
> >
> >     Next time please change the subject line when discussing individual
> >items, as the original email requested.
> >
> >> In summary, it has been rejected mainly because it's a huge step
> >> backwards in encoding quality, which would take away a big reason of
> >> the uptake of WebRTC.
> >
> >     This is only true when mixing parties which cannot agree on a
> >higher-end codec. If the connected peers agree on a higher-end codec
> >(which will be the case most of the time) you will get an excellent user
> >experience.
> >
> >     My own take is that H264 and VP8 proponents are lying to themselves
> >if they believe that they can force their views on others. I don't see
> >Microsoft, Apple convincing Google to accept a mandatory H264 codec or
> >the other way around (VP8 for Microsoft and Apple). What I am proposing
> >is the lesser evil, when compared to not being able to connect to such
> >endpoints or being forced to do transcoding.
> >
> >     To be clear, this is a legal and political matter. I don't
> >appreciate people trying to mask these issues by bringing up technical
> >arguments. This is perfectly doable from a technical perspective. We
> >don't need "the best" codec. We need a "good enough" baseline codec and
> >the ability to upgrade to "the best" codec if so desired.
> >
> >     Using H262 as a fallback means higher bandwidth usage for the same
> >visual quality. It only affects a tiny minority of cases and it's worth
> >noting that this problem is quickly going away, as the average internet
> >connection is improving by leaps and bounds with every passing year.
> >This is a self-correcting problem.
> >
> >     Patents issues are not going away anytime soon. Also, by taking
> >this approach there is far less incentive for a malicious company to sue
> >in the future because we've got an alternative to fall back on.
> >
> >> Also, the assumption that it's unencumbered when
> >> it's a known IPR-enforced format is flawed.
> >
> >     I don't understand. How is H262 an IPR-enforced format? I gave
> >H262/H263 as an example but don't get stuck on the specifics. Feel free
> >to use the best patent unencumbered codec you can find.
> >
> >> In comparison VP8 provides
> >> much higher quality and has the IPR agreement with MPEG-LA behind it
> >> and the license statement stops companies that are using the codec
> >> from suing on the codec. The Nokia court case around VP8 should
> >> further clarify the IPR situation around VP8 and, given the already
> >> widespread support of VP8, it seems likely that this is the last test
> >> on VP8.
> >
> >     This is a positive development but in no way guarantees that more
> >Nokia-like situations won't arise in the future. VP8 could be safe (for
> >the record, I personally think it is) but we don't know for sure.
> >Mandatory codecs should have expired patents, period. There is no risk
> >there.
> >
> >> Given that the choice of H.263 would be a huge step backwards, the
> >> easiest way to resolve this seems to me to just wait for the court
> >> resolution. We're much better informed after that.
> >
> >     "A huge step backwards" is subjective and vague. Again, we're not
> >shooting for "the best" codec. We're shooting for "good enough with the
> >ability to upgrade to the best".
> >
> >     I oppose waiting for the court resolution. Who knows how long it'll
> >take and, in any case, the outcome does not prevent other cases from
> >being raised in the future. If millions of users jump on board, VP8
> >becomes a juicy target for patent trolls. There isn't much you or anyone
> >else can do about this.
> >
> >Gili
> >
>
>
>
>


-- 

Ken Smith
Cell: 425-443-2359
Email: smithkl42@gmail.com
Blog: http://blog.wouldbetheologian.com/
Received on Thursday, 27 June 2013 21:49:06 UTC

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