Free H.264 codec not quite as free as it appears

iCubed.Saajid

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#2
I've got this relationship with Apple and Microsoft, it's a Love-Hate relationship. Right now I'm leaning on the later...
 

Valerion

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#3
The ITU have already started to ask for submissions for H.265, so the better question is how long H.264 will be in use. The previous promise ran until 2015, but a lot can happen in 5 years. Also, as long as Google is correct about WebM not violating patents, it may well take off quite well. The only group still opposed to it in the browser market is Apple. Chrome, Opera and Firefox will use it exclusively, while IE will use H.264 natively, but allow WebM as a codec if it's installed on the PC.

In any event, something like a media format shouldn't be as heavily patent-encumbered as H.264 are. I see it as patent abuse.
 

shogun

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#4
MPEG are famous for doing this. Same thing goes for MP3. People think it's free, but far from it. If you are a manufacturer, you pay a licence. If you are a developer, you're lucky if your application runs on windows, as microsoft have paid the license for you. If not, you still need to purchase a license (ubuntu and MP3 anyone).

That's why I still prefer ogg vorbis over MP3.
 

murraybiscuit

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#5
i think it's clear from mpeg-la's shifting stance that they realise that they need to play things very carefully.
if they had felt confident enough about the weakness of google's webm patent stance, they would have pulled the trigger already. they may still yet.
alistair, i'm interested to understand the issue with the codec on mobile phones.
no doubt, mobile browsers other than safari would be happy to support webm, (especially opera which has the largest market share) and linux-based os's like android, meego and bada shouldn't have too many issues porting the codec to their platform - if porting is even required.
i can understand the issue with legacy mobile devices, but mobile is different to desktop in this area - the product lifecycle is much shorter allowing faster software adoption.
would opera on iphone not be able to bypass the issue as well by including the webm library in their application?
 
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Valerion

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#6
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WebM

AMD, ARM, and Broadcom have announced support for hardware acceleration of the WebM format.[32][33] Intel is also considering hardware-based acceleration for WebM in its Atom-based TV chips if the format gains popularity.[34] Qualcomm and Texas Instruments have announced support.[35][36]

NVIDIA has stated that they support VP8 adoption, but they have no specific plans to provide hardware support.[37]
Hardware support in embedded devices may not be far behind if the hardware vendors above supports it.
 

Jan

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May 24, 2010
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#7
MPEG are famous for doing this. Same thing goes for MP3. People think it's free, but far from it. If you are a manufacturer, you pay a licence. If you are a developer, you're lucky if your application runs on windows, as microsoft have paid the license for you. If not, you still need to purchase a license (ubuntu and MP3 anyone).

That's why I still prefer ogg vorbis over MP3.
Just as a point of interest the MPEG-LA doesn't administer the MP3 patents. Technicolor (who seem to have obtained the "rights" from Thomson SA) and Fraunhofer have sued over MP3 patent infringements, though.

This detail doesn't change anything about your argument, however.
 
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