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Hardware-Accelerated Ogg Theora For Firefox Mobile

timothy posted about 4 years ago | from the those-words-in-that-order dept.

Firefox 176

An anonymous reader writes "Matthew Gregan is working on bringing David Schleef's DSP accelerated port of Theora to Firefox Mobile. He writes on his blog: 'The C64x+ DSP is often found in systems built upon TI's OMAP3 SoC, such as the Palm Pre, Motorola Droid, and Nokia N900. Last year, Mozilla funded a port, named Leonora, of Xiph's Theora video codec to the TI C64x+ DSP. David Schleef conducted the port impressively quickly and published his results. The intention of this project was to provide a high-quality set of royalty-free media codecs for a common mobile computing platform. The initial focus is Firefox Mobile on the N900, so I am working on integrating David's work into Firefox. To experiment with other facilities Firefox could use to accelerate video playback, and test integration, I've been hacking on a branch of a stand-alone Ogg Theora and Vorbis player originally written by Chris Double called plogg.'"

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176 comments

Firefox (-1, Troll)

kyrio (1091003) | about 4 years ago | (#31880762)

LOL

Re:Firefox (2, Interesting)

sopssa (1498795) | about 4 years ago | (#31880820)

I have no idea why Firefox still fights against the giant and loses money and time on it. Great, they got hw-accelerated Theora to one single mobile phone. What about all the televisions, other mobile phones, computers, airplanes, PS3, 360, and everything else under the sun that has H.264 hw supported? It's a lost battle.

If I were them, I would seriously start concentrating on the next generation of video codecs. It might be closed H.264 for now, but if you want to get an open source product out there, you have to make it technically better, make sure (and contact!) companies to support it in their products, and just do marketing and PR.

Open source has some advantages, but if it's technically lesser and doesn't work with companies, it's not going to win.

Re:Firefox (3, Funny)

HeikkiK (1517929) | about 4 years ago | (#31881076)

We need a backup in the case H.264 patent owners start collecting some money when H.264 is spread everywhere. If I understood right, the current permission to use H.264 freely in free web content is just temporary and ending December 31 2010! Developing and optimizing these codecs take time, so better start working now. In fact we should hurry!

Also the situation is very similar to using OpenOffice-threat to blackmail discounts for Microsoft Office. So even if you happen to like H.264 more than Theora, this development is a win for you (unless you happen to be H.264 patent owner).

One phone is a good start. If you carefully read the introduction, it says that C64x DSP is quite common. The optimization just have to be taken into use. N900 just happens to be the most open phone right now so it is a natural first target.

Also well working and hardware optimized codec brings some pressure to hardware optimize also H.264 for common platforms.

h.264 use in free web content ends 2015 (3, Informative)

tk77 (1774336) | about 4 years ago | (#31881288)

Please check your facts on the licensing dates, they changed in February.

http://www.mpegla.com/main/Pages/Media.aspx [mpegla.com]

(direct PDF of the press release is here: http://www.mpegla.com/Lists/MPEG%20LA%20News%20List/Attachments/226/n-10-02-02.pdf [mpegla.com] )

Re:h.264 use in free web content ends 2015 (2, Interesting)

Jenming (37265) | about 4 years ago | (#31881848)

(DENVER, CO, US – 2 February 2010) – MPEG LA announced today that its AVC Patent Portfolio License will continue not to charge royalties for Internet Video that is free to end users (known as Internet Broadcast AVC Video) during the next License term from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2015. Products and services other than Internet Broadcast AVC Video continue to be royalty-bearing, and royalties to apply during the next term will be announced before the end of 2010.

So how about instead of touting a codec thats already outdated use h.264 for now and use the next 5 years to develop a codec that is actually better in some way.

Re:h.264 use in free web content ends 2015 (4, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | about 4 years ago | (#31882098)

If all internet use h.264 now, will still be using, and in far more ways, in 5. You now can move away with not so big effort, in 5 years will be impossible, and most of the internet content will be tied to the will of a single company wanting that you and everyone else in the planet pays them for every device and app that potentially connects to internet. Support it "by now",and will never be pressure to change till will be too late.

And open source somewhat follows the "shoulders of giants" idea, all have the source, so the experience could be used with another future open source codec if necessary.

Re:h.264 use in free web content ends 2015 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31883202)

I'd say it would be a big effort to move away now, if not already impossible. The big players support H.264, in hardware and software.

If you really think it wouldn't be a big effort to move away from it, then I invite you to start the process and prove me wrong.

Good luck.

Re:h.264 use in free web content ends 2015 (1)

stinerman (812158) | about 4 years ago | (#31883022)

I don't see how that would matter. MP3s are still ubiquitous, and the format was finalized in 1991. Of course, they weren't used in earnest until the mid-90s, but that's still almost 20 years of them being around.

Re:Firefox (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31882056)

So even if you happen to like H.264 more than Theora, this development is a win for you (unless you happen to be H.264 patent owner).

My company was looking into theora last year. Some of our senior programmers, a patent lawyer, and I went through the code and the h.264 patents. Our opinion: theora violates multiple h.264 patents. I contacted the theora people to clarify but they didn't want to hear about. Sticking your head in the sand and pretending there are no patent violations doesn't make it so.

Yes you have no idea (4, Informative)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | about 4 years ago | (#31881132)

They made their point quite clearly.

They can't embed the codec and remain truly Free software.

Second, while they could link to platform-provided codecs, it's a support nightmare.

Third, it would legitimize patented crap.

Is English your 2nd language? (0, Flamebait)

aristotle-dude (626586) | about 4 years ago | (#31881702)

They made their point quite clearly.

They can't embed the codec and remain truly Free software.

Second, while they could link to platform-provided codecs, it's a support nightmare.

Third, it would legitimize patented crap.

It is you who has no idea. Software can be free "gratis" but it is property and therefore cannot have "rights and freedoms". People have right and freedoms which can be extended by licenses by the original rights holders.

They could add H264 support as a plug-in which would have its code stored in an external project which only mozilla staff would have access to. Mozilla could kick off official builds which had the plugin packaged with it while unofficial builds from the community would lack the plugin. Mozilla could also offer the plugin as a separate download either "free" or for a nominal fee to cover licensing costs.

Linking in support for windows 7 and OS X would be trivial. Linux support is platform issue and not the problem of mozilla if they go this route.

It is not crap and it is already legitimized. It has support of HD Cameras everywhere, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Blu-ray. Shall I go on? It is a licensed standard and now the defacto standard for video.

Re:Is English your 2nd language? (2, Informative)

Svartalf (2997) | about 4 years ago | (#31882658)

Excuse me... Video in HTML5 is supposed to get rid of that plugin thinking in the first place .

It's not that you can do that- HELL, you can do that NOW.

The real problem is that while it's implemented and "legitimized", each and every use requires a payment and a sign off against a license you may/may not agree with. Even to provide the content on the Internet will eventually require royalty payments with it. You won't be able to legally implement ANYTHING with video without their permission- and they can withhold it- just witness what's happening with Nokia and Apple right at the moment.

If you've not caught all of that, perhaps you need to pay closer attention.

Re:Yes you have no idea (1, Troll)

larry bagina (561269) | about 4 years ago | (#31882092)

Firefox isn't FREE software. Both the name and icon are closed source. If you modify, recompile, and redistribute your own version of the firefox code, you need to give it a different name and a different icon (cf Ice Weasel, Ice Cat).

Re:Yes you have no idea (5, Informative)

someSnarkyBastard (1521235) | about 4 years ago | (#31882292)

No, the name and icon are not closed-source, they are trademarked. There is a difference between the two. Linux is trademarked by Linus Torvalds, but to claim that makes it closed-source is patently ridiculous. Trademark only means that other parties cannot use your brand to advance their own products without permission, aka diluting your brand. The fact that you can point to Libre derivative forks of Firefox disproves your claim that Firefox is closed-source.

Re:Yes you have no idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31883072)

How the fuck can a name be "closed source"? What does the source code look like?

sopssa, maybe because FIREFOX has constant bugs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31881188)

sopssa you back the wrong source, see inside

"But the 3.6.2 update was ALREADY released WELL BEFORE the story was posted (Tuesday March 23, @02:51AM Eastern): https://developer.mozilla.org/devnews/index.php/2010/03/22/firefox-3-6-2-update-now-available-as-free-download/ [mozilla.org] Firefox 3.6.2 update now available as free download Version 3.6.2 was released THE DAY BEFORE this story even posted! Once again you are caught in your BOLD-FACED LIES, LOL! - by clone53421 (1310749) on Monday April 05, @01:36PM (#31736454) Journal

Funny how YOU backed up clone53421 above, here on your part, regarding firefox though (lol, when clone's information was STALE & OUT OF DATE alraady too no less):

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1591778&cid=31755996 [slashdot.org]

AND YET? LMAO:

FireFox turned up YET ANOTHER SECURITY BUG & right when you shot your big libellous mouth off in that quote above on 04/05/2010 above, taken from here:

----

Mozilla Firefox DOM Node Moving Use-After-Free Vulnerability:

http://secunia.com/advisories/39175/ [secunia.com]

Release Date 2010-04-02
Last Update 2010-04-06

----

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1591778&cid=31755996 [slashdot.org]

That's where you quote above is from, and, Where Germany advised its peoples to stay away from FireFox 3.6, as they had for IE before that (but, never for Opera).

(Thus, yet another security bug surfaced in FireFox 3.6.2 in that time frame, yet again, 2x that week it appears (LOL!)).

sopssa - How stupid do you feel after your backing up that moron clone, sopssa, when he was quoted in error in that rant of his above that opens this posting of mine in reply, and the URL above that shows you backing his stale & out of date information?

Why?? Because YET ANOTHER SECURITY VULNERABILITY SURFACED THAT DAY OR THE NEXT DAY in FIREFOX, YET AGAIN, lmao...

"too, Too, TOO EASY!"

Obviously sopssa, you lost yet again, and backed the wrong poster in clone53421, in such a stupid mistake on hiis part above.

Obviously, You're too stupid to exist sopssa and it's no small wonder that all you do is post on slashdot all day, as you don't have enough skills or degrees necessary to your name in computing to actually have or hold a job in the sciences of computing.

Re:sopssa, maybe because FIREFOX has constant bugs (2, Funny)

HazMat 79 (1481233) | about 4 years ago | (#31881310)

This is /. so how dare you try to use an argument that may or may not use facts and or logic in it. Plus I ain't clicking on any fancy links just because you want to blow steam off on the internet. Remember winning an argument on the internet is like winning the special olympics, your still retarded after you get that medal.

Re:Firefox (1)

Damnshock (1293558) | about 4 years ago | (#31881802)

They got hw-accelerated Theora for an OMAP3 SoC. The testing was on a *single* mobile phone, there's a difference ;)

Anyway, the thing is that theora is as good as H264 or even better at low resolutions and bitrates, that's the reason why they are working on this for mobile phones/devices. Furthermore, having this for a SoC makes it much easier to port to other platforms and will probably work on future evolutions of the SoC as long as they keep the instructions set...

So, it's reasonable what they are doing ;)

Damnshock

Re:Firefox (5, Informative)

Svartalf (2997) | about 4 years ago | (#31882740)

Heh... Damnshock, have you ever worked with a TI SoC?

The codec was implemented against the C64x+ on a Linux based target on OMAP3.

Each phone isn't magically different in that respect. In fact, TI provides a platform SDK to use the DSP and everybody using Linux as their base OS is using the same SDK and pathways to get the data in/out of the engine and merely specifying their own get/on get/off points, which are actually submitted to the DSP via the API TI provides to each and every customer of their hardware.

What does this mean?

It means that the DSP work done now is available, largely ready for use on:

Motorola Droid
Palm Pre
Palm Pixi
Nokia N900
BeagleBoard and derivatives...
Gumstix Overo Water & Fire
Open Pandora Handheld
iPhone GS... ...and anything else using an OMAP3 SoC and Linux.

Seriously. Done once, able to be used elsewhere as long as you provide consistent interface rules. You might need to adjust the place you get and put the data for the operation, but the algorithm and the vast bulk of the DSP code doesn't change from device to device.

More to the point, you're going to find that with a bit of tweakage, the work can probably be implemented on OMAP2 platforms such as the Nokia N800/N810 as there's more than enough headroom on the C64x+ to lead me to believe that there's a possibility of doing it on a C55x class DSP- not that someone would go to that trouble unless there was a business case for it.

Now, this doesn't mean everybody gets "hardware" Theora yet- you still need to implement for at least Blackfin and Snapdragon as well for the bulk of the mobile device space. The main big deal here is that it has now been shown that it CAN be done and done fairly easily.

Re:Firefox (1)

Svartalf (2997) | about 4 years ago | (#31882746)

and before you remark... iPhone uses a similar DSP edge so my offhand remark about iPhone alongside with "anything else Linux" shouldn't nullify the argument... I added iPhone at the last moment and didn't qualify it this way.

Re:Firefox (1)

sjames (1099) | about 4 years ago | (#31882286)

While streaming H.264 is currently royalty free, distributing a codec for it is NOT. So how about it moneybags, would you care to foot the bill for a worldwide unlimited license from MPEG-LA?

NO? That's what everyone else says, and there's your answer. Mozilla made the choice they did because that's the one they are legally able to make. If you find it that objectionable, perhaps you can help Mozilla get a deal from MPEG-LA?

Re:Firefox (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | about 4 years ago | (#31883166)

``Open source has some advantages, but if it's technically lesser and doesn't work with companies, it's not going to win.''

I've emphasized the part that I think is the main point here. It's not about quality. It's not about cost. It's about how businesses work.

I don't know this for sure, but I would be surprised if H.264 weren't pushed through the normal corporate channels. If you run a company that makes H.264 decoders, you are going to have some of your people meet with people from other companies to try and sell them your decoder. Your salespeople have lunch with representatives from other companies, they play golf with them, and they show them some shiny demos. This is how the game is played: the same way as it is played for many other products.

Conversely, I would be highly surprised if there was nearly as much time, effort, and money being spent on selling Theora. It doesn't even matter very much how good Theora is relative to H.264, or which will be cheaper to run your website on. It's simply not being sold like H.264 is. Theora is this scary thing: made by a bunch of idealists who believe in freedom and openness.

Now picture yourself in the position of any of the large stakeholders in this game. Could be one of the desktop OS giants: Microsoft and Apple. Or one of the entities that are in the multimedia business, say Macromedia, MPEG-LA, Sony, or Universal. Or perhaps you are one of the players in the very important field of mobile devices; say, HTC, RIM, or AT&T. Would you rather go with the technology pushed by the nice salesman who treated you to dinner and made you a nice, business to business, the way things have always been done offer? Or would you go with the rebels, who are screaming that you should implement their technology so that they will be in control instead of you?

Re:Firefox (1)

Pecisk (688001) | about 4 years ago | (#31883170)

I have no idea why Firefox still fights against the giant, emm, I mean Microsoft and loses money and time on it. I mean, great, geeks have nice browser on Linux, but what about Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, etc. and everything else...emmm there is no anything else that has Internet Explorer support? It's a lost battle.

If I were them...ok, I can't continue this with straight face.

I have question - why do you ask? Mozilla can't distribute H.264, period. Not in this, nor in parallel universe (assuming that they have softpatents too). What is left for them? Theora is here and while some of cool guys don't use, I and lot of geeks do. It is functional, it is usable. So why do you care? It's their decision.

If you don't dig reasons why open source community sometimes do things they do - fine. If it won't succeed in overtaking H.264 - fine. But you have to think about that there never be one, holy video format. That there will be multiple competitive ones. Theora suits very good for distributing content where you need to avoid to touch softpatents (ok, some people insist that there should be some threats but it's not in the open like MPEG-4, which has special agency who collects royality). H.264 is and probably will be used for distributing lot of commercial videos where distributor already paid royalties. There comes Dirac.

And in the end - open source has always been some kind of underdog, so fighting instead of accepting defeat is in our blood.

Re:Firefox (1)

westlake (615356) | about 4 years ago | (#31883232)

I have no idea why Firefox still fights against the giant and loses money and time on it. Great, they got hw-accelerated Theora to one single mobile phone. What about all the televisions, other mobile phones, computers, airplanes, PS3, 360, and everything else under the sun that has H.264 hw supported? It's a lost battle.

The number of licensees for AVC/H.264 [mpegla.com] has passed the 800 mark.

They include - for all practical purposes - every significant player in consumer tech, video production and video distribution in the world.

You could begin, if you like, with

Give it up, Mozilla :) (0, Troll)

carlhaagen (1021273) | about 4 years ago | (#31880794)

Just... let it die. I know free/open is awesome, but Theora is just bad bad bad on top of awesome. If you refuse to look towards H.264, then at least now you can look towards Google and VP8 now. Bury Theora.

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 4 years ago | (#31880826)

But even if it is bad now because it is free/open and being used, is it not very likely to improve in the future?
But I know very little about the format, maybe it is just fundamentally flawed.

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (1)

carlhaagen (1021273) | about 4 years ago | (#31880848)

It is fundamentally flawed. And, sure, the encoder might improve (even if this does not solve the fundamental problems), but with time passing by, people embracing Theora will be stuck with a lesser and thinner experience, while the rest of the world plays grande ball with the H.264 format and the superior encoders available for it, while Theora falls behind and Firefox loses ground.

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (2, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | about 4 years ago | (#31881164)

the rest of the world plays grande ball with the H.264 format and the superior encoders available for it

Up until Dec 31, 2010 when the patent holders have stated that they're ending the royalty-free period and it becomes the GIF of the video world.

You can bet that with all the money youtube loses now, Google ain't going to pay for millions of H.264 videos and H.264 will literally disappear overnight. I'm sure Google is working overtime on getting that shiny new codec they just bought into chrome, if not firefox. Perhaps they'll write a flash player for it too.

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (2, Informative)

Jenming (37265) | about 4 years ago | (#31881860)

That is not correct.
http://www.mpegla.com/Lists/MPEG%20LA%20News%20List/Attachments/226/n-10-02-02.pdf

(DENVER, CO, US – 2 February 2010) – MPEG LA announced today that its AVC Patent Portfolio License will continue not to charge royalties for Internet Video that is free to end users (known as Internet Broadcast AVC Video) during the next License term from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2015. Products and services other than Internet Broadcast AVC Video continue to be royalty-bearing, and royalties to apply during the next term will be announced before the end of 2010.

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (1)

Pecisk (688001) | about 4 years ago | (#31883336)

I would argue that Youtube qualifies. But let's see. Also this claim is not binding. In fact, MP3 patent holders had a public pledge of not enforcing patent fees from free software/open source mp3 players, but later changed their mind. So I wouldn't sleep on it.

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 4 years ago | (#31880850)

Just... let it die. I know free/open is awesome, but Theora is just bad bad bad on top of awesome. If you refuse to look towards H.264, then at least now you can look towards Google and VP8 now. Bury Theora.

I can't tell if you're being serious or trolling.

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (1, Redundant)

sopssa (1498795) | about 4 years ago | (#31880886)

I think he is serious, and so am I.

Theora is a shitty format. I wrote a long post about it before, but like the parent stated, it's fundamentally flawed. You can't improve it because of the initial design and its limitations.

If we want a open source codec, it's way better to support VP8. You do know that Theora is based on VP2, right?

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31880912)

VP3. One bigger.

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31880930)

You do know that Theora is based on VP2, right?

No it isn't.

sopssa you back the wrong source, see inside (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31881160)

sopssa you back the wrong sources as usual, like below:

"But the 3.6.2 update was ALREADY released WELL BEFORE the story was posted (Tuesday March 23, @02:51AM Eastern): https://developer.mozilla.org/devnews/index.php/2010/03/22/firefox-3-6-2-update-now-available-as-free-download/ [mozilla.org] Firefox 3.6.2 update now available as free download Version 3.6.2 was released THE DAY BEFORE this story even posted! Once again you are caught in your BOLD-FACED LIES, LOL! - by clone53421 (1310749) on Monday April 05, @01:36PM (#31736454) Journal

Funny how YOU backed up clone53421 above, here on your part:

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1591778&cid=31755996 [slashdot.org]

AND YET? LMAO:

FireFox turned up YET ANOTHER SECURITY BUG & right when you shot your big libellous mouth off in that quote above on 04/05/2010 above, taken from here:

----

Mozilla Firefox DOM Node Moving Use-After-Free Vulnerability:

http://secunia.com/advisories/39175/ [secunia.com]

Release Date 2010-04-02
Last Update 2010-04-06

----

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1591778&cid=31755996 [slashdot.org]

That's where you quote above is from, and, Where Germany advised its peoples to stay away from FireFox 3.6, as they had for IE before that (but, never for Opera).

(Thus, yet another security bug surfaced in FireFox 3.6.2 in that time frame, yet again, 2x that week it appears (LOL!)).

sopssa - How stupid do you feel after your backing up that moron clone, sopssa, when he was quoted in error in that rant of his above that opens this posting of mine in reply, and the URL above that shows you backing his stale & out of date information?

Why?? Because YET ANOTHER SECURITY VULNERABILITY SURFACED THAT DAY OR THE NEXT DAY in FIREFOX, YET AGAIN, lmao...

"too, Too, TOO EASY!"

Obviously sopssa, you lost yet again, and backed the wrong poster in clone53421, in such a stupid mistake on hiis part above.

Obviously, You're too stupid to exist sopssa and it's no small wonder that all you do is post on slashdot all day, as you don't have enough skills or degrees necessary to your name in computing to actually have or hold a job in the sciences of computing.

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (2, Informative)

Nadaka (224565) | about 4 years ago | (#31881748)

VP8 is RUMORED to be made open source sometime in the near future.

We do not know for sure.

Theora isn't very good, but that doesn't mean that it is utter crap.

At youtube video quality it uses somewhere around 10% more bandwidth than h.264. It gets less efficient with HD content.

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 years ago | (#31880884)

Theora isn't bad. It's better than MPEG-1 and a MPEG-2, and similar quality to MPEG-4 part 2. It's not as good as H.264, VC-1, or Dirac, but that's not the same as being bad. It's perfectly acceptable for a lot of uses.

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (4, Insightful)

imroy (755) | about 4 years ago | (#31880892)

I'll admit that Theora isn't the greatest video codec. But it's been explained many times that Mozilla simply can't use MPEG-4 AVC/h.264 because of the patents involved.

Mozilla and wider Open Source world has three options: (not mutually exclusive)

  • Work to kill software patents so they can use AVC/h.264 and other codecs that come after it.
  • Make Theora better.
  • Make something better than Theora, but free of patents.

But no amount of whinging will make them use AVC/h.264. It's simply not an option at the moment.

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31880948)

I'll admit that Theora isn't the greatest video codec. But it's been explained many times that Mozilla simply can't use MPEG-4 AVC/h.264 because of the patents involved.

yes they CAN!

all they have to do is allow a plug in codec to play it/play it through the OS's video subsystem. then the liability is shifted onto someone else (or in the case of OSes that already have a license it's a non issue)

they're just being bloody minded and stubborn

it pisses me off too, I live in a country where this is a non issue anyway as software patents don't exist anyway.

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 4 years ago | (#31880982)

That sounds like the worst possible solution, because then you'd have Firefox working differently on different platforms. I sure don't want to go back to the Bad Old Days where FF on Linux couldn't view the same media as FF on Windows.

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31881028)

it would display the same media, if the right codecs were installed.

surely it is a better solution than playing no videos with HTML5 at all because mozilla refuse to provide a way to decode the files?

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (5, Informative)

imroy (755) | about 4 years ago | (#31881148)

I sure don't want to go back to the Bad Old Days where FF on Linux couldn't view the same media as FF on Windows.

That's currently the situation with plugins. They're pieces of object code, so you're dependent on the plugin developer to provide you with a version for your OS/architecture. For example, Flash (something that HTML 5 and the video tag could replace) is (AFAIK) only available on three mainstream platforms - Win/x86, OSX/x86, and Linux/x86. There's a beta version for x86-64 and special versions (Lite?) for embedded devices, but that's pretty much it. As for the Quicktime plugin, there's no Linux or *BSD support at all (mainly because there's no QT on those platforms), although there's plugins that use VLC or totem, etc instead.

Now, lets look at Firefox. The Debian iceweasel package [debian.org] (Firefox without the branding) is listed as being available for 14 architectures (not counting the unofficial 68k port that languishes at 2.0). That includes x86-64 for your latest AMD64/Intel64 machines, armel for your portable ARM devices, powerpc for your old G3/G4/G5 PowerMacs, and a bunch of other architectures too. None of those are supported by Adobe or the many other companies that have, over the years, tried to lock us into their proprietary software with binary-only plugins. So I'm siding with Mozilla for some very practical reasons. Theora's not the best out there, but I'd prefer the web to be open to all.

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31881248)

Theora's not the best out there, but I'd prefer the web to be open to all.

when every website has H.264 videos the web will be closed to all who use firefox, what a great result...

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 4 years ago | (#31882270)

As for the Quicktime plugin, there's no Linux or *BSD support at all (mainly because there's no QT on those platforms), although there's plugins that use VLC or totem, etc instead.

Now you're on to something...!

That's right, since Quicktime uses standard H.264 with AAC, there were plugins for nearly every system on the planet since day 1.

The problem with flash isn't that it's a big bad plugin. The problem is that it's proprietary. H.264 is NOT proprietary. It just happens to be patented.

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (0, Troll)

Abcd1234 (188840) | about 4 years ago | (#31882498)

That sounds like the worst possible solution, because then you'd have Firefox working differently on different platforms.

Oh please, I can't believe this bullshit. All you need to do is put up a little box that says "Sorry, you don't have that codec installed. Go install it", just like they already do for plugins.

Honestly, this must be the worst excuse yet. The Mozilla defenders sure seem to be getting desperate...

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31882690)

>The Mozilla defenders sure seem to be getting desperate...

What exactly are you trying to imply with that? From what I saw, the desperation was from the h.264 brigade. So now theora isn't in the HTML5 spec; well guess what, neither is h.264 and its egregious licensing!

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | about 4 years ago | (#31883250)

What exactly are you trying to imply with that?

I'm not implying anything. I'm *saying* that defenders of Mozilla's ridiculous stance have tried to claim:

1) Mozilla simply *can't* support H.264 for legal reasons. This is false, as there is no need for Mozilla to ship any codecs.
2) Mozilla simply *can't* support H.264 using OS-provided codecs because it's, like, hard and stuff. This is just BS.
3) Mozilla simply *can't* support H.264 using OS-provided codecs because of, like, security and stuff. As if Mozilla packaging it's own multimedia framework is suddenly so much better, and it's much wiser to not take advantage of OS-provided services that are regularly vetted and patched.

And now Mozilla simply *can't* support H.264 because then Firefox would behave differently on different platforms. As if it doesn't do so already.

In short, I'm saying, not implying, flat out stating, the people defending Mozilla's ridiculous position (either Mozilla staff themselves, or Mozilla fanbois) are now scraping around at the bottom of the barrel to come up with excuses to support their stance, instead of just admitting that the original choice was purely ideological, and their current stance is essentially an unwillingness to simply admit they were wrong.

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (3, Insightful)

arose (644256) | about 4 years ago | (#31881932)

And Microsoft and Apple CAN implement Theora, then we can have a nice baseline and H.264 fans can still use it if they wish to.

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31882124)

No, that's a stupid idea.

Not all systems have an h.264 codec installed. Mac OS X does (via QuickTime). Windows 7 has an included h.264 codec, but neither Windows Vista nor Windows XP do. The only available h.264 codecs for Windows Vista and Windows XP are either commercial (which nearly nobody will have installed) or unlicensed. On Linux, there is exactly one licensed h.264 codec (Fluendo's GStreamer plugin), which virtually nobody has installed.

So this doesn't solve the problem at all. It also has some rather bad side-effects.

First, it makes the browser behave differently depending on which OS you're using. Mac OS X can basically only play h.264 and MPEG-4 ASP out of the box, and only in the MPEG-4 / QuickTime container format. Windows XP and Vista can play a couple of useless, outdated codecs in the AVI container, or one of several versions of WMV. Oh, and Windows XP didn't ship with a WMV9 codec. On Linux... anything can happen - GStreamer may or may not be available, and what codecs it actually contains varies widely (although it almost always includes Theora). What about embedded systems that don't even have their own codecs? What about embedded systems which have their own codecs, but provide no way to install new ones?

It also increases the attack surface, which will cause more security vulnerabilities. Say you just let DirectShow handle any media type. You've not only exposed Windows' h.264 decoder, but also every other decoder and parser available through DirectShow. Some of those are from the mid to late 90's. More likely than not, they're full of security vulnerabilities.

To put it another way:

IE9 ships with it's own h.264 decoder. It's the only way to support h.264 on Vista, and it limits the attack surface. Silverlight ships with it's own h.264 decoder, for exactly the same reasons. So does Flash. Safari on Windows effectively ships with it's own h.264 decoder (via QuickTime). It only uses the OS supplied codecs on a Mac, where Apple control the entire platform anyway. Chrome includes it's own h.264 and Theora decoders on all platforms. Opera includes it's own Theora decoder, via an included version of GStreamer. Firefox includes it's own Theora decoder.

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (1, Redundant)

sopssa (1498795) | about 4 years ago | (#31880978)

Mozilla can use AVC/H.264. They just need to do it via the OS, like I think IE and Safari will do, and Opera already does. H.264 is already directly supported on Windows 7 and Mac OSX. Linux users need to do their tricks, like with MP3.

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31881102)

Mozilla can use AVC/H.264. They just need to do it via the OS, like I think IE and Safari will do, and Opera already does. H.264 is already directly supported on Windows 7 and Mac OSX. Linux users need to do their tricks, like with MP3.

They only way they can do as you suggest is by severely compromising Firefox. This has been answered exhaustively many times. See Mike Shaver's blog post about it [off.net] . To quote:

People have raised questions about using existing support for H.264 (or other formats) that may already be installed on the user’s computer. There are issues there related to principle (fragmentation of format under the guise of standardized HTML), to effectiveness (about 60% of our users are on Windows XP, which provides no H.264 codec), to security (exposure of arbitrary codecs to hostile content), and to user experience (mapping the full and growing capabilities of to the system APIs provided); I’ll post next week about those in more detail, if others don’t beat me to it.

Security is not to be underestimated. It's worth noting that IE9 will not support all media formats supported on the host operating system, purely to limit the attack vector surface area available. See this comment by Microsoft's Frank Olivier on the IE blog [msdn.com] . He's talking about image formats but the same applies to video formats:

We've not heard many requests for additional image types - to limit the attack surface in a web browser, it is a good idea to not expose more decoders.

See also Chris Blizzard's blog post [0xdeadbeef.com] about the decision to only support open video in Firefox. And most importantly of all, don't worry about. Open video is the way forward for video on the web. Theora is here now, VP8 may be joining it next month, and Dirac may join both in the future.

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | about 4 years ago | (#31882266)

They only way they can do as you suggest is by severely compromising Firefox. This has been answered exhaustively many times. See Mike Shaver's blog post about it [off.net]. To quote:

People have raised questions about using existing support for H.264 (or other formats) that may already be installed on the user’s computer. There are issues there related to principle (fragmentation of format under the guise of standardized HTML), to effectiveness (about 60% of our users are on Windows XP, which provides no H.264 codec), to security (exposure of arbitrary codecs to hostile content), and to user experience (mapping the full and growing capabilities of to the system APIs provided); I’ll post next week about those in more detail, if others don’t beat me to it.

We've all read the arguments (I hope), we just don't buy them. I'm sorry but the OS should be handling video codecs for applications. Too many different applications such as video players, teleconferencing, browsers, and editing software all need to use codecs and the OS handling them on behalf of applications is simply the right way to engineer things. I can use Theora in my browser right now using HTML5 tags because I gave the OS a codec and my browser can use any codec I have installed. In practice I don't use it though.

See also Chris Blizzard's blog post [0xdeadbeef.com] about the decision to only support open video in Firefox. And most importantly of all, don't worry about. Open video is the way forward for video on the web. Theora is here now, VP8 may be joining it next month, and Dirac may join both in the future.

As I said, I can use Theora, but I don't... because there are basically no Theora streams in any of the mainstream video sites I use. Theora may be here, but you'd never notice. To a whole lot of us this the refusal of Firefox to build in support for the OS's video codecs (and yes there are plenty of h.264 codec available for WinXP via WMP) means Firefox just can't watch some of the video on the Web without reverting back to a Flash plug-in. Great job promoting security there guys. I feel so much safer.

You say don't worry about Firefox's open video. I'm not, I'm worried about it's ability to play mainstream video securely, because it sure as hell can't do so today like other browsers can. I don't know if they're trying to get people to fork Firefox or if they think Firefox has too much market share and they're determined to get people to switch to Chrome. It looks like pigheaded ideology being put before users to me.

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (2, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | about 4 years ago | (#31882514)

They only way they can do as you suggest is by severely compromising Firefox.

Utter garbage. Firefox is *already* subject to any bugs in the underlying OS on an incredibly wide range of issues. Hell, just a few years back, Firefox was compromised thanks to an image rendering bug in GDI on Windows. So, what, *now* they've suddenly decided they're going to reimplement OS-supplied services for fear of security issues? Please.

On the bright side, at least the Mozilla devs *tried* to invent a technical excuse for not supporting H.264, now that people have realized there are no legal barriers to doing so. Of course, it's a stupid, irrelevant, indefensible technical excuse. But, hey, kudos for trying, guys.

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31883172)

Utter garbage. Firefox is *already* subject to any bugs in the underlying OS on an incredibly wide range of issues. Hell, just a few years back, Firefox was compromised thanks to an image rendering bug in GDI on Windows. So, what, *now* they've suddenly decided they're going to reimplement OS-supplied services for fear of security issues? Please.

Maybe you should read the comment again carefully. If video codec support can be treated as an "OS supplied service", why won't IE9 support all OS supplied codecs?

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | about 4 years ago | (#31883182)

Maybe you should read the comment again carefully. If video codec support can be treated as an "OS supplied service", why won't IE9 support all OS supplied codecs?

They *are* using OS supplied codecs, they're just choosing to limit the options available to reduce the security footprint. Firefox could do exactly the same thing.

Meanwhile, the MS statement was about image codecs. The OP was speculating they would do the same for video codecs, without any actual evidence to back that claim.

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31883350)

They *are* using OS supplied codecs, they're just choosing to limit the options available to reduce the security footprint. Firefox could do exactly the same thing.

Uh huh. And why doesn't Chrome? And what of the 60% of Windows users with no H.264 support in the OS? And what of other desktop platforms and mobile platforms?

Your approach is a poor solution which limits cross platform deployment, which limits Firefox source distribution, which promotes closed formats, all of which limits competition and innovation with artificial barriers to entry for new developers and is ultimately bad for the web.

Meanwhile, the MS statement was about image codecs. The OP was speculating they would do the same for video codecs, without any actual evidence to back that claim.

Okaaay.. so you're suggesting that video codecs are somehow more secure that image codecs? I'd like to see that proof. It'd be spectacular. In any case, read here:

http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2010/03/16/html5-hardware-accelerated-first-ie9-platform-preview-available-for-developers.aspx#9979730 [msdn.com]

Microsoft doesn't even support WMV videos in IE9.

sopssa funny how you backed clone on STALE FF info (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31881220)

"But the 3.6.2 update was ALREADY released WELL BEFORE the story was posted (Tuesday March 23, @02:51AM Eastern): https://developer.mozilla.org/devnews/index.php/2010/03/22/firefox-3-6-2-update-now-available-as-free-download/ [mozilla.org] Firefox 3.6.2 update now available as free download Version 3.6.2 was released THE DAY BEFORE this story even posted! Once again you are caught in your BOLD-FACED LIES, LOL! - by clone53421 (1310749) on Monday April 05, @01:36PM (#31736454) Journal

Funny how YOU backed up clone53421 above, here on your part, regarding firefox though (lol, when clone's information was STALE & OUT OF DATE alraady too no less):

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1591778&cid=31755996 [slashdot.org]

AND YET? LMAO:

FireFox turned up YET ANOTHER SECURITY BUG & right when you shot your big mouth off in that url above on 04/05/2010 above, which had stale out of date information regarding FireFox security issues, & proof of that's taken from here:

----

Mozilla Firefox DOM Node Moving Use-After-Free Vulnerability:

http://secunia.com/advisories/39175/ [secunia.com]

Release Date 2010-04-02
Last Update 2010-04-06

----

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1591778&cid=31755996 [slashdot.org]

That's where you quote above is from, and, Where Germany advised its peoples to stay away from FireFox 3.6, as they had for IE before that (but, never for Opera).

(Thus, yet another security bug surfaced in FireFox 3.6.2 in that time frame, yet again, 2x that week it appears (LOL!)).

sopssa - How stupid do you feel after your backing up that moron clone, sopssa, when he was quoted in error in that rant of his above that opens this posting of mine in reply, and the URL above that shows you backing his stale & out of date information?

Why?? Because YET ANOTHER SECURITY VULNERABILITY SURFACED THAT DAY OR THE NEXT DAY in FIREFOX, YET AGAIN, lmao...

"too, Too, TOO EASY!"

Obviously sopssa, you lost yet again, and backed the wrong poster in clone53421, in such a stupid mistake on hiis part above.

Obviously, You're too stupid to exist sopssa and it's no small wonder that all you do is post on slashdot all day, as you don't have enough skills or degrees necessary to your name in computing to actually have or hold a job in the sciences of computing.

4th option (1)

Macka (9388) | about 4 years ago | (#31882160)

Mozilla and wider Open Source world has three options: (not mutually exclusive)

You missed a 4th option:

  • Drop Firefox and switch to Chrome

With support for H.264, Theora, (and hopefully soon VP8) all the bases are covered. This is the option that gets my vote, and now I can relax and enjoy the web as it's meant to be enjoyed, without having to worry or whinge about anything.

Re:4th option (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | about 4 years ago | (#31883344)

``Drop Firefox and switch to Chrome''

You could probably do that, but Chrome is not open source.

Can you legally do all the things that open source allows you to do _and_ support H.264? And before anyone says "yes, by using the H.264 support from some other component", I'm asking about whichever component contains the support for H.264, not the browser per se.

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | about 4 years ago | (#31882476)

I'll admit that Theora isn't the greatest video codec. But it's been explained many times that Mozilla simply can't use MPEG-4 AVC/h.264 because of the patents involved.

And has been explained many times before, that's complete, utter bullshit.

All Firefox needs to do is use a generic video decoding pipeline for it's backend. GStreamer and DirectShow come to mind (interesting sidebar, they're *already doing this with Fennec*, they just refuse to backport the changes to Firefox for idiotic political reasons). Then, Firefox can immediately use *any* codec those pipelines support, and given the video tag is supposed to be codec agnostic, that's a good thing, as it gives the web developer a choice of a wide variety of codecs to target. And if the user happens to have installed an h264 codec for one of those pipelines, then voila, Firefox immediately gets H.264 support without ever shipping any patented code.

Honestly, how is the hard to understand? The simple fact is, there are *no technical or legal arguments for not supporting H.264*. None. Zero. Nada. The only reason to refuse is for political or ideological reasons.

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (1)

msclrhd (1211086) | about 4 years ago | (#31882822)

If Firefox uses something like DirectShow on Windows:
    1/ they will need to have codec support for theora (not necessarily installed);
    2/ the H.264 codec is only available on Windows 7 and later, and they cannot legally ship a H.264 codec for XP/Vista;
    3/ they need to ensure that the DirectShow output works with the layers/svg/smil infrastructure as well as DirectWrite/Direct2D on Windows 7 -- e.g. does having a rotating, scaling video in a smil/svg file work;
    4/ they need to ensure that the audio output works well with other audio content (e.g. playing a and object at the same time);
    5/ they would have to work around/live with any issues in the use of DirectShow/framework.

Same for GStreamer (which may not necessarily be installed on all Linux platforms).

In addition, you also need a multimedia layer in the browser to support all of the multimedia frameworks, in addition to the audio and graphics support layers required at the moment.

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (1)

allo (1728082) | about 4 years ago | (#31882998)

but its not a firefox issue anymore. the user needs to get his codecs, as he needs for other purposes, too.

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | about 4 years ago | (#31883220)

1/ they will need to have codec support for theora (not necessarily installed);

User problem.

2/ the H.264 codec is only available on Windows 7 and later, and they cannot legally ship a H.264 codec for XP/Vista

User problem.

3/ they need to ensure that the DirectShow output works with the layers/svg/smil infrastructure as well as DirectWrite/Direct2D on Windows 7 -- e.g. does having a rotating, scaling video in a smil/svg file work;

Yup, it's a technical challenge. But don't tell me it's a blocker, as other browsers are already using this approach.

4/ they need to ensure that the audio output works well with other audio content (e.g. playing a and object at the same time);

See above. And this one's far easier (what audio output framework doesn't support hardware mixing multiple output streams in this day and age?).

5/ they would have to work around/live with any issues in the use of DirectShow/framework.

Yup, they sure do.

In addition, you also need a multimedia layer in the browser to support all of the multimedia frameworks,

You mean kinda like how they already wrap the platform-specific GUI libraries, rendering, etc, etc?

Sorry, *none* of these issues is a blocker. Not a single one. People are claiming Firefox *can't* support H.264, either for baseless legal reasons, or dubious technical reasons. But the reality is that Mozilla could add support if they wanted to. They *choose* not to because they took an ideological stance early, and now they don't want to back down, even if their choice is not in the best interests of their userbase.

Re:Give it up, Mozilla :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31883648)

Thank you for this deeply insightful evaluation.

Hardware Accelerated? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31880846)

In my mind, hardware accelerated means using fixed-function, special purpose functional blocks in silicon. Saying that using a DSP is hardware acceleration for video codecs is like saying that software is hardware accelerated by the execution units of a CPU.

Re:Hardware Accelerated? (4, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | about 4 years ago | (#31880918)

Your mind is wrong.

Lets look at graphics cards. A DSP is the same "thing" as a GPU is, in that it's a special purpose processing unit (ie, Graphics Processing Unit, Digital Signal Processor...). Rendering with a GPU is a hell of a lot faster than with a general CPU. Likewise, processing digital signals is a hell of a lot faster in a DSP than with a general CPU.

So, to reiterate: you are wrong.

Re:Hardware Accelerated? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31880990)

So then all the software codecs that use SSE, NEON, and AltiVec are also hardware accelerated? Sweet!

Re:Hardware Accelerated? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 4 years ago | (#31881024)

Yes. Unless you are using some weird definition for Hardware Accelerated, because SSE (and I assume NEON and AltiVec, since I've never heard of them) are hardware-specific accelerations.

Re:Hardware Accelerated? (3, Informative)

chill (34294) | about 4 years ago | (#31881060)

FYI: NEON is ARM and AltiVec is PPC. They're the other processor equivalents to SSE.

Re:Hardware Accelerated? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31881094)

OK, fine. My sarcasm was too subtle. Notice how the submission title reads "hardware-accelerated" and the summary reads "DSP accelerated." There IS a difference. The submission title was written specifically to fool people into thinking (if only for long enough to click the link) that someone had designed a synthesizable block for the express purpose of decoding Theora (among others) at minimal power draw. That would be a real game changer. Porting the decode routine to OMAP DSPs really isn't.

Re:Hardware Accelerated? (2, Insightful)

arose (644256) | about 4 years ago | (#31881206)

Wow, so doing the same thing as H.264 isn't good enough? Now you demand silicon for Theora where H.264 uses DSPs?

Re:Hardware Accelerated? (0)

zippthorne (748122) | about 4 years ago | (#31881404)

Ahh, but the real game-changer would be the ability to use the *same* DSPs as H.264 in a way that existing devices could take advantage of.

Re:Hardware Accelerated? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31881756)

This IS using the same DSPs!

Does no one read TFA?

The code uses the c64x DSP used by the entire OMAP platform, so it will also not be just Nokia and its N900 that will benefit from this.

Re:Hardware Accelerated? (2, Insightful)

arose (644256) | about 4 years ago | (#31881956)

Just to add to the other reply... Did you think that mobile devices just have random DSPs included for the purpose of eventual Theora support?

Re:Hardware Accelerated? (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 years ago | (#31882512)

One of the blobs on the OMAP chip's block diagram is the IVA (Image, Video, Audio) coprocessor. This includes a DSP (the C64x), a DMA engine, and a couple of other features. All of the video CODECs that are hardware accelerated on the OMAP (H.264, RealVideo, and WMV) use the IVA part, and now Theora does too.

The C64x is found in most of TI's ARM SoCs, being omitted from only the very cheapest. This means that the implementation of Theora there could relatively easily be deployed on any handheld computer or telephone containing a TI OMAP chip, which is a lot of them.

Unlike some of the earlier DSPs included in this sort of chip, recent OMAPs (maybe older ones; not sure) have an MMU attached to the DSP, so the kernel can restrict the memory that a program using the DSP can use.

Re:Hardware Accelerated? (3, Informative)

O'Nazareth (1203258) | about 4 years ago | (#31881064)

DSP is hardware acceleration for signal processing (this is the name). A video frame is a 2D signal. So yes, this is hardware acceleration.

Re:Hardware Accelerated? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 4 years ago | (#31882626)

Yep, by this definition *all software* is hardware accelerated, even software running on an emulator (the emulator is hardware accelerated, just not optimized for that instruction set).

Battery life? (4, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 4 years ago | (#31880864)

It's great seeing the benchmarks showing the CPU usage dropping from 99% to 1%, but at the same time the DSP and GPU usage is going up by some unstated amount. It would be really great to see some comparison of how this effects the battery life. Playing MP3s on the C64x can be done in a bit under 15mW, but Theora is a lot more complex and doing the colourspace conversions and compositing on the GPU is going to add a bit too. I'd expect the power usage to be lower than doing it on the CPU, but maybe not by a huge amount.

Either way, it's great that they can free up the CPU to do other stuff. 0.4% of the ARM core isn't really enough to run the scripts that typically accompany a web page that uses the video tag, 99% almost certainly is.

Re:Battery life? (3, Interesting)

X0563511 (793323) | about 4 years ago | (#31880964)

Looking at the datasheets for a few TI C64 DSPs, we are looking at supply voltages under 2v and current draws measured in microamps (yes, micro, smaller than milli).

The power draw for these special-purpose devices is teeeny tiny compared to the other hardware.

http://www.ti.com/lit/gpn/tms320c6424 [ti.com] (PDF) - Page 127 lists electrical characteristics in the normal operating temperature range.

More models listed here:
http://focus.ti.com/paramsearch/docs/parametricsearch.tsp?family=dsp&sectionId=2&tabId=217&familyId=477 [ti.com]

Re:Battery life? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31881108)

Looking at the datasheets for a few TI C64 DSPs, we are looking at supply voltages under 2v and current draws measured in microamps (yes, micro, smaller than milli).

The power draw for these special-purpose devices is teeeny tiny compared to the other hardware.

http://www.ti.com/lit/gpn/tms320c6424 [ti.com] (PDF) - Page 127 lists electrical characteristics in the normal operating temperature range.

More models listed here:
http://focus.ti.com/paramsearch/docs/parametricsearch.tsp?family=dsp&sectionId=2&tabId=217&familyId=477 [ti.com]

Supply current is definitely not microamps, with PLL, I/O, and core consumption during encoding you're looking at closer to 1A.

Re:Battery life? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 4 years ago | (#31881322)

Aaah, I see. Though it's more like 0.5A. Still. My gaming desktop only uses like 3A...

Re:Battery life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31881766)

Aaah, I see. Though it's more like 0.5A. Still. My gaming desktop only uses like 3A...

:) 3Amps at 120V? versus .5-1A @ 1.2-2.0V?

Re:Battery life? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 4 years ago | (#31881800)

OK yea. I should stop half-thinking. heh.

Re:Battery life? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31881836)

OK yea. I should stop half-thinking. heh.

No worries, to put it in current-independent terms:

My beagleboard running a custom DVI output app will use 2-3 Watts compared to ~180 watts for my i7 machine at idle!

Not bad for a nice little board.

Open systems drive innovation (4, Interesting)

human spam filter (994463) | about 4 years ago | (#31880916)

This is a good example how open systems drive innovation. Allowing people to tinker with the device (root access, access to the DSP) attracts hackers, which in this case lead to DSP accelerated Theora video decoding. It's quite fitting that Apple is resisting Theora in HTML 5, mainly because their devices don't have accelerated Theora decoding (this is what I assume). While at the same time the restrictions imposed by Apple make it impossible to develop something like this for their iCrap devices (apart from not having root access, no API for accessing the DSP, it would also violate the developer agreement.. since you need some DSP assembly, which is not an approved language).

VP8? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31880984)

Will this work be adaptable to the VP8 codecs should Google open source them?

Won't help anyone. (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | about 4 years ago | (#31882212)

Because I have yet to see a Theora video site. I say that the price of the additional data traffic costs to get the same quality as H.264 is still more than the license.
I”m all for an open codec. But everybody knows that unless it”s also a *better* codec, we won”t see it being used. Companies have no interest in paying more and don—t care as much about open source as they should for their own good.
File sharers don’t care about licenses anyway.
So we”re left with the tiny subset of private people and very small companies who don”t use it for file sharing.

And then there’s the point of one actually caring about licensing. Honestly I don’t thing the MPEG will ever sue. Because that would kill off H.264 pretty quickly on the web. They have other interests that are more important than a bit of license money.
So I will use H.264 even without a license, just as I did with GIF, JPEG, etc, etc, etc.
Because I think we are stronger, and the can”t ever hurt us. Instead of backing down like a submissive beta-human loser.

Also, the whole discussion is retarded anyway, because it's utterly idiotic of the Firefox team, to not just link to ffmpeg/DirectShow/CoreVideo, and be done with it. No legal issues for them whatsoever. It’s been said a thousand times already. But they want to ram their thing down our throats no matter what.
To me, that is no better than if the MPEG group would force us to pay for a license. Except that they don’t (yet).

Protip: If fighting has made you into what you fought against in the first place, then maybe you should stop, and take a deep breath...

Re:Won't help anyone. (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | about 4 years ago | (#31882458)

I have yet to see a Theora video site.

Really? You haven't been to wikipedia?

Re:Won't help anyone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31882834)

Oh yeah, the .0001% of wikipedia articles that have video, and even then it uses a shitty java player so the end user could care less what codec is used.

Re:Won't help anyone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31882860)

That's a grand total of one site. I've never viewed a video there, but I watch videos on Youtube and Hulu all the time. Guess what codec they use? I'll give you a hint -- it's not Theora.

Whether you like it or not, this battle is over, and Theora lost (or, more correctly, never had a chance in the first place). Firefox needs to abandon Theora and fully jump on the H.264 bandwagon, or they'll find themselves as irrelevant as Netscape Navigator.

Re:Won't help anyone. (1)

Draek (916851) | about 4 years ago | (#31883514)

Because I have yet to see a Theora video site.

Here's [wikipedia.org] one.

And then theres the point of one actually caring about licensing. Honestly I dont thing the MPEG will ever sue.

Pity that argument doesn't work with your average corporate lawyer, isn't it?

So I will use H.264 even without a license, just as I did with GIF, JPEG, etc, etc, etc.
Because I think we are stronger, and the cant ever hurt us. Instead of backing down like a submissive beta-human loser.

Ohh, you're so *manly* when you infringe on a big company's patents! Take me, Hurricane, take me hard!

Don't be so childish and ridiculous. You're content with committing patent infringement and forcing everybody else to either do the same or pay MPEG-LA's extortion fees, and all that why? because you're a lazy fuck. You're not an alpha male, you're not part of La Resistance, you're just a nerd hiding behind anonymity to commit a crime, all to avoid making a stand for your principles.

If you really weren't a loser, you'd be like the guy in TFA working to make Theora (and other open codecs) better, but instead you bend down and hope you avoid being raped by being lost in the crowd of other losers like yourself. Grow the fuck up, will ya?

video acceleration isn't a browser function (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | about 4 years ago | (#31882398)

It's an OS function.

Firefox should have nothing to do with it. The browser should play whatever the OS can support.

This is like Firefox saying they now support Dvorak keyboards.

Re:video acceleration isn't a browser function (1)

hitmark (640295) | about 4 years ago | (#31882616)

should firefox also only show the image formats supported by the os its running on?

heck, png got started as gif replacement, as gif had one or more patents attached to it during the early days of the internet.

Re:video acceleration isn't a browser function (1)

allo (1728082) | about 4 years ago | (#31883064)

it does. my firefox is dynamically linked to system libpng i.e..

Re:video acceleration isn't a browser function (1)

hitmark (640295) | about 4 years ago | (#31883090)

and their source code configure script has the option --with-system-png, so it can be compiled either way.

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