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

Re: Mandatory vs optional codecs

From: Gili <cowwoc@bbs.darktech.org>
Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2013 18:37:06 -0400
Message-ID: <51CCBE92.7040104@bbs.darktech.org>
To: Ken Smith <smithkl42@gmail.com>
CC: Alexey Aylarov <alexey@zingaya.com>, Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>, "public-webrtc@w3.org" <public-webrtc@w3.org>

     +1 for avoiding gateways if humanly possible. I had the displeasure 
of dealing with this in the Flash world and it was hell both from a 
technical and scalability point of view. While it is true that some 
use-cases will require a gateway (sorry enterprise vendors), it's 
important to ensure that the "typical use-case" for web developers 
(one-to-one video chat) works out of the box without this headache.

Gili

On 6/27/2013 5:48 PM, Ken Smith wrote:
> 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 
> <mailto: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
>     <mailto: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
>     <mailto: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 <mailto:smithkl42@gmail.com>
> Blog: http://blog.wouldbetheologian.com/
Received on Thursday, 27 June 2013 22:37:41 UTC

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