×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

YouTube Hints At Support For Free/Open Formats With HTML5

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the when-it-happens-I'll-believe-it dept.

Media 133

shadowmage13 writes "After the recent post about YouTube, so many votes were put in for HTML5 using Free and Open formats that Google has already cleared them all out (to make space for others) and issued an official response (requires Google login): 'We've heard a lot of feedback around supporting HTML5 and are working hard to meet your request, so stay tuned. We'll be following up when we have more information. We're answering this idea now because there are so many similar HTML5 ideas and we want to give other ideas a chance to be seen.' Now all the top ideas are concerning copyright and DMCA abuse."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

133 comments

Well then... (4, Insightful)

nametaken (610866) | more than 4 years ago | (#30788314)

What's a more polite way to say, "be more like Vimeo"?

Google's purchase of On2 (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 4 years ago | (#30788350)

It will be interesting to see if Google would use On2's compression technique on YouTube.

Re:Google's purchase of On2 (3, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30788430)

Plus releasing On2 tech as a standard without legal encumbrances, for everyone to take & implement freely, and opening its adoption as the HTML5 video?

That would be interesting...

Re:Google's purchase of On2 (2, Insightful)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#30788736)

technically thats what ogg theora is, as it was on2's submission for mpeg4 standardization that was not selected, and that they later handed over to ogg.

Re:Google's purchase of On2 (2, Informative)

jonwil (467024) | more than 4 years ago | (#30788748)

OGG Theora is based on On2 VP3.
On2 VP8 is a much better codec than VP3 ever was.

Turtle logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30789272)

a is based on b
c is much better than b

ergo c is much better than a ?

It wasn't a syllogism (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30789796)

@Anonymous Coward: I don't think jonwil intended that his comment be taken rigorously as a syllogism. Specifically, I took "VP3 ever was" to imply VP3 and all codecs based closely on its principles. But even though VP3-based codecs like Theora can't compete with H.264 or VP8, they occupy a space between MPEG-2 and H.264, similar to the MPEG-4 Part 2 familiar from the DivX scene.

VP 3 vs VP 8 (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 4 years ago | (#30788782)

VP 4 has higher compression ratio than VP 3.

VP 6 reportedly has 50% more compression than VP 4.

According to ON2's site, they are saying that VP 8 achieves 40% more compression than VP 6, with much less noise.

Of course I take all those claim with a grain of salt. Let's half the claims, then.

VP 6 achieves 25% more compression than VP 4.

VP 8 achieves 20% more compression than VP 6.

Which means VP 8 is at least 50% better than VP 4, which is in itself better than VP 3 / Ogg Theora.

Re:VP 3 vs VP 8 (1)

cortana (588495) | more than 4 years ago | (#30789656)

Ogg theora is no longer the same as VP 3. It has had many years of improvements!

Are there any decent comparisons of the two?

Re:VP 3 vs VP 8 (1)

FrostedWheat (172733) | more than 4 years ago | (#30789670)

Which means VP 8 is at least 50% better than VP 4, which is in itself better than VP 3 / Ogg Theora.

Only if you ignore the significant improvements the Xiph guys have made to Theora recently.

Re:VP 3 vs VP 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30790240)

That's not correct. What would happen, if you added procentages like 25% better, 50% better, and 50% better?

Using On2,'s numbers the final improvements from VP3 to VP8 is:

(1+(50/100))+(1+(40/100)) = 2.9

times better than VP3.

Re:VP 3 vs VP 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30791226)

So, 50% of all quoted percentages are made up on the spot?

Re:Google's purchase of On2 (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30790014)

There has been a lot of FUD about Theora's patent status, however. On2 gave away the patents that covered VP3, but it's possible that some patents were infringed later, or were infringed by VP3 but no one bothered suing. No one has done an exhaustive patent search on Theora to see if it infringes any submarines. With the MPEG standards, there is less of an incentive to sit on patents that the standard infringes, because if you disclose them early then there is a mechanism set up for you to get royalties.

VP8, on the other hand, is a modern codec and now Google owns the rights to it. If they release it publicly as open source then they could easily push widespread adoption. If they simultaneously release a new YouTube which recommends a browser that supports VP8 and a new version of Chrome that does, then they'll probably get a lot of people switching, and other browser writers will have their users complaining that YouTube doesn't work right and asking why they don't support VP8.

Re:Google's purchase of On2 (1)

kill-1 (36256) | more than 4 years ago | (#30790218)

I'm convinced that this is exactly what Google plans to do once the acquisition of On2 is finished. The lack of an open, royalty-free video format with better compression than Ogg Theora is the one thing that's keeping HTML5 video behind.

Re:Google's purchase of On2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30788454)

What compression technique? VP8? I haven't seen anything concrete on this one yet, but I sure would be interested in it...

Re:Google's purchase of On2 (1)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 4 years ago | (#30788490)

Yes, VP8 is what they (and everyone else) are thinking of. But you are quite right, neither On2 nor Google has said anything to encourage that idea, and they probably won't until the acquisition is complete.

Re:Well then... (1)

stimpleton (732392) | more than 4 years ago | (#30788506)

Vimeo? So You Tube would use flash?

From Vimeo:
object class="swf_holder"type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="640" height="360" data="/moogaloop_local.swf?clip_id=7129398&server=vimeo.com&autoplay=0&fullscreen=1&show_portrait=0&show_title=0&show_byline=0&color=00ADEF&context=user:2433314&context_id=&hd_off=0&buildnum=32768"

Re:Well then... (4, Informative)

geckipede (1261408) | more than 4 years ago | (#30788616)

I would prefer "be less like vimeo" because the only difference between them that affects me is that the youtube player decodes video efficiently enough that my processor can handle it, and vimeo is a browser locking slideshow.

Re:Well then... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30789234)

Get a newer computer.

No, seriously, please do. What you're saying is akin to asking that new games don't get improved graphics etc. because your old box won't be able to handle it. It makes perfect sense from your point of view, but what's good for you is bad for everyone else and holds back progress.

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.

Re:Well then... (2, Insightful)

LiquidFire_HK (952632) | more than 4 years ago | (#30789396)

You're ignoring devices like netbooks, smart phones, etc. You can't just expect everyone to buy an i7 and ignore the problem.

Re:Well then... (1)

geckipede (1261408) | more than 4 years ago | (#30789406)

I already have several computers powerful enough to play vimeo video, but turning them on just for one clip isn't worth the effort when the same thing is usually available to see on youtube.

Re:Well then... (3, Insightful)

Skapare (16644) | more than 4 years ago | (#30789456)

Having a better box to get better stuff is always a good thing. But having to get a better box just for the same old stuff done poorly is always a stupid thing. Let me know when they have the latest dual-socket octo-core i7 processor with 64GB of RAM in a nice portable netbook form factor.

Re:Well then... (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 3 years ago | (#30790598)

Vimeo is fine on my desktop and main laptop but it's pretty awful for netbooks and smart phones. Between those sorts of devices and the shear amount of old hardware out there, I would guess the needs of the many would be for something that's not as processor intensive.

That's why PC gaming has always sold less than consoles and consists mainly of old titles being resold and browser based games.

Perhaps you need to listen to you own quote about the needs of the many.

Re:Well then... (3, Informative)

gedw99 (1597337) | more than 4 years ago | (#30789550)

There are many reasons why this is happening:

1. ACTA agreement and license fees are up for renewal.
http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/AVC/Pages/FAQ.aspx [mpegla.com]
All OEM product makers and content encoders are now waiting on the 2010 agreement from the mpegla licensing aggregation company . It will be stiff fees apparently, although not confirmed yet. What is even stranger is that we are now in 2010, and they have still not released the new licensing terms. Very weird; What are they waiting on i wonder ? Maybe ACTA resolution ?
Most China OEMS don't pay the fees, and hence why ACTA is being "negotiated" so secretly also.
http://www.eetasia.com/login.do?fromWhere=/ART_8800463180_499501_NT_5bb04467.HTM [eetasia.com]
So this is a "double whammy" waiting to explode.

2. There are many other codecs around to choose from and why not test the water for others.
There is much discussion in this area. But its a chicken and Egg game.
You can make a fantastic codec, but you gotta have GPU support, otherwise its pointless.
See below for how this can happen in the Long Tail version.

3. Google knows that its Chrome OS is reaching a tipping point where they need to decide how they will handle video - they need to resolve this and get their ducks in a row.
They can do flash on ARM CPU now, but i am sure they wish they did not have to.
And they also know that with JavaScript and HTML% coming through like a train, Flash days are definitely numbered. See Sproutcore JavaScript framework for example of one of the many "flash replacements".
And they have OpenGL covered with O3D and WebGl also moving forward very fast now with working implementations and even content conversion thinks to the Collada Open 3d format specification not fully entrenched.

they can do NACL (NativeClient), and have already implemented a NACL c language h264 decoder. This was one of the first libraries they did !!
Native Client FAQ: http://code.google.com/p/nativeclient/wiki/FAQ [google.com]
H264 Implementation: http://geekglue.blogspot.com/2008/12/google-native-client.html [blogspot.com]

So the cards on the table are all congealing based on the above factors, and its a good time for Google to see where the cards fall for them and their various business models.
So, why not ask the users too.

I think it will come down to the h264 licensing terms to be released, and the ability for GPU's and embedded GPUs to handle video decoding.

Re:Well then... (1)

gedw99 (1597337) | more than 4 years ago | (#30789560)

LONG TAIL version of what could happen

On the Long Tail, what we REALLY need is the open codecs to be built into the GPS for encoding and decoding.
Now with the purchase on ON2, Google will essentially have purchased patent power. This is the main thing.
So Google will potentially be pushing to get a GPU manufacturer to implement a non patented codec into GPU, and use it for their Google Chrome OS ?
Very similar business play to what they did with the Google Nexus Mobile phone. Work with the Hardware guys and supply the software, legal housing and OEM sales volume to make it all a sensible ROI for the hardware makers like HTC. Oh, and get the bandwidth providers to suck it up too _ Telecos are really just getting in the way, and the release of the Google Nexus is testament to this view that Google clearly has.

Of course, this does not make sense for the purchase of the ON2, so the really long tail prediction, would be that with the patent and intellectual property, Google would make their own video / audio codec, make it open, and make the GPU hardware (with an OEM of course). With ON2 patent, they can isolate a patent war (MAD - mutally assured destruction), and protect the open codec they made.
Eventually, as critical mass of potential unit sales took over, most of the other GPU manufacturers would also implement the open patent codec.

Re:Well then... (1)

gedw99 (1597337) | more than 4 years ago | (#30789674)

This is the proposal from Google as part of their "Long Tail" requirements

This allows native code running from the browser.
https://wiki.mozilla.org/Plugins:PlatformIndependentNPAPI [mozilla.org]

There is also once for Audio, and its fully featured.
https://wiki.mozilla.org/Plugins:PepperAudioAPI [mozilla.org]

This stuff is basically allowing the idea of Google Chrome OS to become a reality.
But it also has much wider implications. For instance for the YouTube Video codec question, it opens up the door for the codec to be delivered via the web site playing it.
The same goes for anything.
Mayeb you want to interact with Git and your file system.
NACL does not allow file system access, but if you had a NAS sitting at home or anywhere you could fully interact with it over tcp/ip or Http/ running inside NCL.

How about "Could you please ban gaming videos?" (5, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30789816)

What's a more polite way to say, "be more like Vimeo"?

How about "I know a lot of people who, to put it mildly, aren't a fan of video games. Can you make subtle changes to your policy so that videos of video games end up all but banned?"

Background: Vimeo bans use of its service for commercial purposes; this rules out any video uploaded by the video game's publisher. Vimeo also rejects videos uploaded by anyone other than the author; this rules out videos of game play uploaded by anyone other than the video game's publisher because they're "derivative works".

Re:How about "Could you please ban gaming videos?" (1)

arose (644256) | more than 4 years ago | (#30790468)

No reason to use scare quotes on derivative works. They are.

Jew Tube (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30788324)

I just wish Jew Tube had video of Jew Liberman selling out his countrymen for insurance company profits.

Re:Jew Tube (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30788460)

It's no secret that gimmel [hebrew4christians.com] is just "gimme" without the "l".

is html5 going to provide faster better video? (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30788344)

because if it doesn't, using it will be a mistake.

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30788374)

I agree. For example, I think vaginas are fucking revolting. They look like monster faces for fucks sake. They leak blood. BLOOD. And sometimes babies, little mini-people that come into this world screaming and shitting. It's both a biological oddity and quasi-mystical force of nature, and when I think of sticking my dick into one, I imagine it temporarily transitions into a multidimensional hell where up is black and down is white and people hear with their noses. And when my cock returns, it looks and feels and smells like my cock, but it is subtley transformed in some uncanny way, never to be the same again.

you must be a Macfag (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30788630)

you must be a Macfag... you prefer guys' buttholes to a pussy

UR DISGUSTING

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (4, Informative)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#30788388)

Video tags are easier to accelerate. They can be handled by just about anything. That means rather than being locked to Flash, it can be played with Xine/GStreamer on Linux, Quicktime on OSX, DirectShow on Windows, DSP codecs on your phone, etc.; it might also be possible to use VLC on any platform, although that defeats the "accelerate" part.

And of course, you've always got Flash as a fallback.

P.S. Posted before, but this might be of interest to someone: Javascript-free HTML5/Flash video embedding, which works on desktops as well as devices like the iPhone: http://camendesign.com/code/video_for_everybody [camendesign.com]

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (4, Informative)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 4 years ago | (#30788428)

VLC generally supports acceleration when os/driver/card support exists

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30788442)

VLC or more generally libavcodec, even if not using any latest hardware decoding support, would still be much better than Flash...

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (1)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 4 years ago | (#30788468)

faster how? encoding? decoding? downloading?

HTML5 video doesn't inherently say anything about video "speed" or quality, because it does not define a codec.
Some browsers support h.264, which is an option in recent flash, but not yet the standard. Other browsers support Theora, and some support whatever gstreamer/directplay/quicktime support.

Of course, if Google opens up On2's VP8 codec, and pushes it on Youtube (with fallbacks, of course), browsers will be all over it, and Flash (for video), Theora and perhaps even h.264 will irrelevant just like that.

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (5, Insightful)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 4 years ago | (#30788614)

Faster at all 3 if we use h264 because:
Hardware h264 encoders exist, and I bet google would use them – it would cut their power use massively
Hardware h264 decoders are common on just about all graphics cards
h264 can compress a video much more for a given quality than the current flash video they use

Not faster at all if we use ogg theora because:
Hardware Ogg encoders don't exist
Hardware Ogg decoders don't exist
Ogg barely uses less bandwidth than flash video for a given bandwidth

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#30788744)

that depends, if the video cards behaved more like a DSP when it came to video decoding, they can support just about anything.

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30788814)

The Beauty of ogg however is that it is Open Source. Thus it can grow to such a point that it is better then h264, however such will never happen unless it gains such a spot light as Youtube. H264 on the other hand is owned and is at the mercy of its maker.

The web has thrived on oss, we should keep it that way.

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30789016)

There's a few problems with backwards compatibility in there...

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (2, Insightful)

Goalie_Ca (584234) | more than 4 years ago | (#30789326)

H264 is an open standard as well in many ways as many academics and companies have contributed to it. it is literally the best because everyone has worked on it for years and years and years. the only potential pitfall is that en/decoders might be covered by patents.

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (4, Insightful)

True Grit (739797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30789352)

H264 is an open standard

A standard that requires shelling out $$ for a license to use it isn't 'open', not by most people's definition of 'open'.

en/decoders might be covered by patents.

There should be no 'might' in that sentence. Patents on h264 is the reason for MPEG-LA's very existence. They hold more patents on it than you can shake a stick at.

That mountain of patents and the control it gives its owners is *precisely* the problem with h264.

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (1)

True Grit (739797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30789392)

They hold more patents on it than you can shake a stick at.

Clarification: MPEG-LA doesn't own the patents, they are a patent & licensing 'management' company setup to work on behalf of the actual patent owners. They are to the patent owners of MPEG tech what RIAA is to the record studios. They are the 'enforcers' who would show up at your door if you ever use h264 tech without a license.

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30789800)

A standard that requires shelling out $$ for a license to use it isn't 'open', not by most people's definition of 'open'.

It's certainly better than "closed" in that ffmpeg and x264 have excellent en/decoders because they didn't have to reverse engineer it.

There should be no 'might' in that sentence. Patents on h264 is the reason for MPEG-LA's very existence. They hold more patents on it than you can shake a stick at.

Which is exactly why people are worried about Theora and On2. There's a ton of patents on h.264, held by many different major companies in the area. I couldn't find a number for H.264, but the wikipedia page for MPEG2 says that alone is covered by 640 patents. Now take a deep breath and forget all your anger and frustration with how the patent system is and should be, and honestly answer: Do you seriously think On2 has, in the middle of that patent thicket, managed to create a codec that nobody else holds a patent to? All it takes is one bad patent to be upheld, and you might have to change the bitstream and replace every existing en/decoder. Otherwise it would no longer be an "open" standard in your meaning of it.

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (2, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#30790258)

But you are missing the BIG "gotcha" like what happened with Ogg...hardware support. Sure MP3 in "patent encumbered" but you know what? I can buy an MP3 player at Walgreens for under $15 so as a consumer I don't care. We have the same problem here, in that pretty much every single GPU released in the last few years supports H264 out of the box. Both the onboard that came with my PC as well as the 4650 I paid a whole $35 for has hardware support for MPEG 2/4, DivX/Xvid, WMV 7-9, and H263/264 out of the box. Nothing for me as a consumer to mess with, and even on a quad core having the video accelerated makes for a nicer experience for me, so the patents? I really don't care as a consumer.

And THAT right there, that is the gotcha that will most likely screw Theora. You see FLOSSies care about things like patents, the Average Joe? Hell he never comes in contact with them. It is just like how the average Joe don't give a crap about DRM unless it bites him in the ass. But unlike DRM I don't see this ever actually biting the consumer in the ass, so I don't see them giving a crap. The producers, OTOH, will just pay off the licenses if they are big, or if they are small will more likely hope that users will still come to them even if they don't use what everyone else does, which with the rise of netbooks and how many of the newer ones are getting decent GPUs like the new AMD Neo and the Ion, might not work.

After all if your competitor's content places nicely on my netbook thanks to GPU acceleration, but yours don't? Well I probably wouldn't come back to your site. That is the problem I think many FLOSSies here don't get. Frankly the average user don't give a wet fart about "free as in freedom" because if they did they wouldn't be buying all the proprietary software they currently do. As long as it goes when they push the button that is all the user cares about, and the others have acceleration and Theora don't. Sorry to be the bearer of that bad news, but dealing with retail for going on 15 years that is pretty much how the "average Joes" think and behave.

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (3, Insightful)

cyclomedia (882859) | more than 4 years ago | (#30790310)

Problem is, whether we like it or not, h264/mp4 is the standard, because every dvd player, blu ray player, laptop and toaster oven already support it. The same reason Mp3 became the standard portable audio format, not because it's free, or better or gives blow jobs but because everything and everybody already supported it.

No amount of bitching and whining on slashdot or the w3c mailing list will change the reality of the remainder of the planet. It's the way it is and at the end of the day it's a video codec, not genocide, so there's really no harm in accepting it and getting on with supporting it ourselves.

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 3 years ago | (#30790588)

H264 is an open standard as well in many ways as many academics and companies have contributed to it. it is literally the best because everyone has worked on it for years and years and years. the only potential pitfall is that en/decoders might be covered by patents.

Sounds a bit like JPEG 2000. A provably superior standard, the product of many top minds, yet not one in a million sites ever uses it, and I'm not even sure there's a browser out there that supports it.

Yes H264 is the superior standard. We all know that. But H264 is unusable as a web standard while protection money needs to be paid to MPEG-LA. It's that simple. Google and apple have their eye on embedded devices, where h264 will probably end up working as a standard. But on the web? With site hosts and browser makers both vulnerable to take downs by a single company? It will never work.

JPEG 2000 proved that the web will -- quite rightly -- drop a superior technology if patent restrictions are placed on it(And that was back in the days before a major alternative browser presence). The web is going to do the same for H264. The HTML5 video tag is dead. We're back to ad hoc solutions for video; oh yes, and flash. And it's going to be like this for the next 20 years until the H264 patents expire.

"To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts,...". What a joke.

Bullet point 4 (1)

RichiH (749257) | more than 4 years ago | (#30788852)

4) Google and youtube are large enough to make companies reconsider about hardware support.

I am not certain how good you can pour Theora into silicon, but I seem to remember easy hardware decoding (i.e. not using much silicon real estate) was one of the goals.

Richard

PS: Ogg is a container, Theora is the actual video codec

PPS: _If_ they do it, do it right. Use Theora in a MKV

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (1)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 4 years ago | (#30788854)

Hardware Theora encoders don't exist
Hardware Theora decoders don't exist
Theora barely uses less bandwidth than flash video for a given bandwidth

Fixed. Stop conflating a wrapper (Ogg) with codecs (Theora and Vorbis, commonly used with Ogg), people!

Grammar nutsies (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30789830)

If you correct a point of terminology in a post, it is also polite to correct a point of substance along with it. Otherwise, you look like you're in the National Socialist Grammar Teachers Party.

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (1)

xous (1009057) | more than 4 years ago | (#30788876)

Hi,

I believe Google's model for hosting is using cheap commodity hardware and making it redundant at the software level.

As far as I am aware cheap video cards do not include a hardware encoder which is what Google would care about at their end. Most users do not know or care if their system has a hardware decoder as they don't understand it's value.

There may not be cheap hardware Ogg Encoders/decoders as of yet but if it gains popularity these should be able at a fraction of the cost of h264 counterparts because there is no license fee per implementation. This also has the advantage of keeping the content fully viewable with a completely free browser.

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (2, Informative)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 4 years ago | (#30788920)

Most users *absolutely* do care about having hardware decoding – on their cell phone.

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (2, Insightful)

True Grit (739797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30789002)

Hardware h264 encoders exist, and I bet google would use them – it would cut their power use massively

First, do you have a citation for this 'massive' reduction in power?

Second, Google's two main concerns in the case of video and youtube is bandwidth and codec licensing costs, not power. They've already become masters at power efficiency from their experience with their search server farms. Power is not the main issue here, the amount of streaming data they have to pump to the user is.

As for the licensing issues with h264, why do you think they're buying On2? They've seen the statements from MPEG-LA about future hikes to the cost of using h264 and have decided they need a viable alternative, ie. a backup plan.

We won't know for sure what is ultimately going to happen until a) MPEG-LA reveals sometime this year what their new fees will be for h264 licensing, and b) Google's On2 buyout is completed (until its complete neither party is saying anything).

Expect them to be 'following up when we have more information' within days of the finalization of the On2 acquisition, especially if MPEG-LA thinks that they've now got the market locked-in to their solution and decides to get greedy.

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 4 years ago | (#30789056)

Don't get me wrong – if google manages to come up with an open source video codec that's competitive with h264 in terms of bandwidth use for a given quality *and* has hardware decoding support for phones then I would be 100% behind it.

I'm not even above commenting that h264 is better than OggTheora as a choice necessarily. Only that it at the moment is the only one that satisfies the parent's criterion.

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (1)

True Grit (739797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30789236)

if google manages to come up with an open source video codec that's competitive with h264 in terms of bandwidth use for a given quality *and* has hardware decoding support for phones

Right, I understand the importance of hardware support for handheld devices, just keep in mind that that can happen for any codec if there was demand for it. Hardware accelerated Theora (or Thusnelda - the later, better version of it) could exist right now, if there had just been some demand.

If a major player like Google opened up one of the advanced On2 VP codecs as an alternative to h264, it would instantly become a viable, if not downright *attractive*, option for gadget makers, because unlike Theora, it would have the backing of one of the market's gorillas, which would eliminate the concern some hardware makers may have about using Theora (which has no major player committed to legally backing it up - thus fear of patent trolls).

Technically, they wouldn't even need to 'open-source' it, they'd only need to release it for completely royalty-free use (making it obviously much cheaper to implement in hardware), but h264 already has such a dominance of the market, and almost all the mindshare, they would almost have to totally open-source it so it could have a chance at competing with, and ultimately replacing, h264.

The interesting question is this: does MPEG-LA see Google and its On2 VP tech as a serious threat? If so, they may tone down their future licensing fees, and make it much harder for Google to unseat them from the perch they're already on.

Obviously, I'm hoping they're greedy and push those fees to high, since I'd rather have an open codec that anybody in the world can use, thats both free & Free, rather than one that only relatively rich companies can afford to license. If MPEG-LA succeeds, then 7-10 years down the road (when everybody is then dependent solely on h264), it'll be the GIF fiasco all over again.

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30789860)

Hardware accelerated Theora (or Thusnelda - the later, better version of it) could exist right now, if there had just been some demand.

Thusnelda is the name of an encoder that produces Theora bitstreams compatible with all conforming Theora players. For a service like YouTube, it's less important for the encoding to be hardware accelerated because encoding happens once on fast servers, but decoding might happen 24,576 times (or more often if you're Fred).

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (5, Informative)

moreati (119629) | more than 4 years ago | (#30789128)

First, do you have a citation for this 'massive' reduction in power?

Langen, Germany, October 30, 2008 - Fujitsu Microelectronics Europe (FME) today expanded its line-up of H.264*1 CODECs with two new devices that encode and decode full high-definition (HD) (1920 dots x 1080 lines) Video in H.264 format. The first of the two products to be launched, the ultra-low power MB86H55, features power consumption of only 500mW during full HD encoding including the built-in memory, an industry-leading level for low power consumption. In addition, the upcoming MB86H56 will offer processing of full HD video at 60 frames-per-second (progressive) '60p'*2, to improve picture quality even further.

-- http://embedded-computing.com/fujitsu-full-h-264-codecs [embedded-computing.com]

That's half a Watt encoding HD, a general purpose CPU would be consuming tens, or even a hundred watts to do that.

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (1)

True Grit (739797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30789324)

That's half a Watt encoding HD, a general purpose CPU would be consuming tens, or even a hundred watts to do that.

This is a special device/chipset for embedded devices, however, Google isn't running youtube on embedded devices.

Once you take into consideration the power their server farms are already consuming, any savings just from hardware encoding (which they would only need to do *once* if they could move the market to one Internet video codec standard) becomes a small percentage of their total power consumption.

Never mind that doing something like this would require them to add a PCI card with this chipset to every one of their server PC's. See xous's comment above us about Google's hardware strategy (using cheap, bog-standard, commodity hardware).

You can bet Google has looked at hardware options like this, but instead, they bought On2. Hmmm...

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (2, Informative)

molecular (311632) | more than 4 years ago | (#30790038)

That's half a Watt encoding HD, a general purpose CPU would be consuming tens, or even a hundred watts to do that.

They wouldn't have to put that into the youtube web-servers, because, as you said later in your post, they'd only have to do it once. They would certainly pre-encode all the videos and put them on storage somewhere (cloudy place).
Also: noone forces them to use an embedded device, even if the chip was specifically made for use in such.

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#30790686)

When you handle as much video as youtube, "pre-encoding the videos" is a huge technical challenge that hardware acceleration would be incredibly useful for.

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (1)

True Grit (739797) | more than 3 years ago | (#30791182)

They wouldn't have to put that into the youtube web-servers, because, as you said later in your post, they'd only have to do it once.

They'd only do it once if they were able to use a real, open, universal standard. We don't have that yet.

And no, h264's de-facto standard is not a *real* standard, its derived solely from popularity, not from an industry-wide agreement (if it was a real standard it would be part of HTML5 right now).

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30790138)

Every server? They are smarter than that. They could add the encoder cards to every server in a single data center (or some portion) and offload the encoding to that farm, and just store the data everywhere.

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30790680)

I work for a major company the produces popular digital HD video cameras. The codec that is used to encode/store videos on the device is a big deal. If you choose the wrong codec, your battery life with be awful.

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (1)

gedw99 (1597337) | more than 4 years ago | (#30789386)

http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/AVC/Documents/AVC_TermsSummary.pdf [mpegla.com]

its free for the first 100,000 oem units, and then pretty cheap.

BUT; it states these are for up to 2010, so we are now in 2010 and i cant find the costs on their site yet

ged

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (1)

True Grit (739797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30789416)

BUT; it states these are for up to 2010

Bingo, this is that 'other shoe' everyone is waiting for to be dropped.

IIRC, there is no firm date for when they'll release their new licensing plans, but I read somewhere its most likely to come out early this year, say March-May, or so. The current regime expires at the end of this year (Dec. 31), so they'll have to get the new one out with enough lead-time for everyone deal with and, they hope, eventually accept, the suspected new 'pain' that will be involved...

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 4 years ago | (#30789496)

Where's the obligatory URL to a H.264 decoder chip with a fully documented and open, royalty-free and unencumbered INTERFACE (we don't need a driver for BSD or Linux, because if it is truly an open chip, the driver will be developed)?

I have no issue with using some proprietary patent encumbered protocol or format where all the work to process it is inside a licensable piece of hardware (which could even have its own firmware and CPU built inside to do it all). If the manufacturer of the chip requires that it be pre-loaded with a binary blob, it's OK to do it this way, too, as long as they make the blob itself freely available and freely distributable as a separate file (it doesn't have to be integrated into GPL software when it's a separate file ... for example the driver for the chip can create /proc/load-the-h264-blob-here and let an init script provide it from the file).

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 4 years ago | (#30789780)

If you don't mind a binary blob (as you said), see any modern (G92 or later) nVidia card...

I believe intel's new IGPs have open drivers for video decoding too.

If you want embedded platforms, the PVR MBX/SGX does video decoding, and there are many linux distros with it implemented.

You probably want to go look at vdpau in general though ;).

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#30789892)

Hardware h264 encoders exist, and I bet google would use them

They already do. Google encodes YouTube stuff in h264, and includes h264 support in Chrome. I could see something changing with the On2 purchase, but for now, h264 is a good bet.

Terrible performance (1)

Inf0phreak (627499) | more than 4 years ago | (#30789012)

Not any time soon. Embedded Theora video in Firefox 3.5 still uses at least twice as much CPU as downloading the file and playing it with a proper video player. It's better than Flash which is even more greedy with your CPU cycles, but it is by no means anywhere near close to being called good.

Re:is html5 going to provide faster better video? (2, Informative)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#30789950)

Can you explain why it would be a mistake? If we were to assume for a second that performance on the client end would be exactly the same, then what would be the mistake in using standards instead of a proprietary stuff?

But anyway, it will provide some benefits. They're already encoding all their video in h264, but they're using Flash as the player, which is pretty inefficient. For one thing, Flash means no hardware decoding. Also, Flash itself can be a bit of a resource hog. Providing the same video stream but allowing the browser to hand it off to a better decoder will be much better.

Can we dump flash now? (4, Insightful)

Djupblue (780563) | more than 4 years ago | (#30788422)

Youtube is pretty much the only reason I need Flash. If it was possible to watch Youtube videos without plugins it would be great. No more choppiness or Flash using 100% CPU. Playing some videos from internet shouldn't be rocket surgery so this is really about time. Flash seems almost purposefully bad on Linux.

Re:Can we dump flash now? (4, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#30788458)

If you use Firefox, have you tried some greasemonkey script that replace the Flash player with an embedded version? Like http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/46219 [userscripts.org]

Re:Can we dump flash now? (1)

PenquinCoder (1431871) | more than 4 years ago | (#30788564)

Thanks for the link. This greasemonkey script greatly improved my youtube experience under Linux x64.

Re:Can we dump flash now? (1)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 4 years ago | (#30788498)

Are you using the newest version? The current 64 bit version has been working great for me, no problems unless my browser has been up with lots of flash for a week. Admittedly, I never use fullscreen.

I still agree that Flash should go away, though.

Re:Can we dump flash now? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#30788512)

My version doesn't crash anymore, but I have an embedded card and while mplayerplug-in can display 720p video in fullscreen without any problems, the Flash players struggle to display normal youtube videos (non-hq versions!)

Re:Can we dump flash now? (2, Interesting)

Funnnny (1409625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30788596)

I replaced Youtube's flash player with html5 a long time ago with a Chrome's add-on, and it's great. Have another plugin to block all flash content, and we have a powerful browser

You always could. (3, Informative)

RichiH (749257) | more than 4 years ago | (#30788860)

If you use zsh:

youplayer () {
                mplayer "http://youtube.com/get_video?"${${${"$(wget -o/dev/null -O- "${1}" | grep -e watch_fullscreen)"}##*watch_fullscreen\?}%%\&fs=*}
}

If not:

youplayer() {
                mplayer $(youtube-dl -g $1)
}

How about comments like NicoNico? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30788716)

How about timed comments showing up on the page like NicoNico Douga and also live streaming with live comments like ustream?

UStream chat = IRC (1)

Inf0phreak (627499) | more than 4 years ago | (#30788804)

Actually UStream's chat is just regular old IRC. Seriously. /server c.ustream.tv and then /nick [username]:[password] and you're in business. Of course it's only UStream... livestream, justin.tv and pretty much everyone else are still using crappy proprietary chat interfaces as far as I can tell.

Of course Youtube moving away from Flash won't kill that abomination on the web anyway. Live video is becoming a lot more popular and Flash is by far the easiest way to make it happen right now. It's also pretty cheap---at least until MPEG-LA cranks up the price for streaming H.264 content in 2011.

So wait... (3, Funny)

gaelfx (1111115) | more than 4 years ago | (#30788750)

... you're telling me that I finally got Flash working on my 64-bit Ubuntu box for nothing??? (Admittedly, it wasn't really that difficult) To be honest though, it doesn't really matter for me since YouTube is still blocked in China, but it would be nice to see if this prompts the many streaming sites in China to embrace an open-standard such as this, but that will never happen since everyone continues to use IE6 here and I'm betting that IE will never implement HTML5 until it's long past finished...sooooo another 15 years before IE used HTML5? Bets anyone?

Re:So wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30790856)

I say 10 years, but they'll also screw up the implementation and never fix it.

this is google after all (0, Troll)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 4 years ago | (#30788976)

Another chance for them to redeem themselves and do some not evil shit.

Srsly when you see "don't be evil" think "Honest Google's Search Emporium".

How long? (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 4 years ago | (#30789532)

So the next big question is, how long will it take for all the über geeks at Google to make it happen? I wonder if they can pull it off quicker than the time it takes to hire a new person.

What is the problem with Flash? (0, Redundant)

master_p (608214) | more than 4 years ago | (#30790120)

As a Windows user, I have no problem viewing videos with Flash. I often have multiple Flash streams downloading and only one playing, so I don't have to wait for the next part of multipart videos.

So, what's exactly the problem with Flash?

Re:What is the problem with Flash? (1)

Narishma (822073) | more than 3 years ago | (#30790768)

For one it needs a huge amount of resources to play a simple video, which is a problem in low powered devices like netbooks or smartphones.

Leading the way (1)

slashmonkey (664188) | more than 3 years ago | (#30790742)

This can only be a good thing, maybe when GooTube adopts the HTML5 video tag, browsers will then adopt a common standard and behaviour.

Apple should do the right move here (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#30791120)

Almost everything already supports H.264 and AAC, they're both excellent CODECs and the *only* problem people have with it is the damn patents.

Apple should just buy all the rights to H.264 and AAC and then make them free to use/public domain.

Another solution would be to change the license requirements for software-only products (such as browsers), so that only hardware products require a license.

Re:Apple should do the right move here (1)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 3 years ago | (#30791214)

Which is great until H.265 is released and the whole problem repeats itself. It's also a matter of the FTC letting Apple purchase all of these companies (Some probably won't want to sell their patents.) and Apple actually wanting to spend all of this money for something that benefits them in no way at all. Maybe some goodwill but most people won't even understand what's being talked about.

Since most hardware buying built these days has H.264 decoding built in somewhere, wouldn't it just be sufficient for browsers to pass the decoding off to the hardware without implementing anything else beyond that? All we need for this is a few system calls that allow the browser to determine if there is hardware decoding available and then make the appropriate calls to use it.

Hardware always costs money to make so a price will always be charged for it which keeps the patent holders happy and every browser can support H.264 without having to write or implement a decoder in software. The only people this doesn't work out for are the folks with legacy hardware, but a lot of them will eventually upgrade to something new.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...