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Intel Considers Hardware Acceleration For Google's WebM Format

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the those-guys-will-do-anything-for-money dept.

Google 139

CWmike writes "Intel is considering hardware-based acceleration for Google's new WebM video file format in its Atom-based TV chips if the format gains popularity, an Intel executive said on Thursday. Announced last Wednesday at Google I/O, WebM files will include video streams compressed with the open-source VP8 video codec, which was acquired by Google when it bought On2 Technologies in February. 'Just like we did with other codecs like MPEG2, H.264 and VC1, if VP8 establishes itself in the Smart TV space, we will add it to our [hardware] decoders,' said Wilfred Martis, a general manager at Intel's Digital Home Group."

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Mod me down you dumb faggots (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32371582)

Niggers! Niggers! Niggers! Niggers! Niggers! Niggers! Niggers! Niggers! Niggers! Niggers!

Mod me down dumb liberal faggots.

Re:Mod me down you dumb faggots (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32371920)

Niggers! Niggers! Niggers! Niggers! Niggers! Niggers! Niggers! Niggers! Niggers! Niggers!

Mod me down dumb liberal faggots.

not all of us are so humor impaired that we can't laugh our asses off at this. seriously political correctness is destroying our culture. it is the tyranny of being terrified of offending someone. it is only right to resist it. that does not mean the opposite of political correctness is racism and bigotry, you narrow-minded indoctrinated fucks who were raised by a single mother and a TV. no. it means that both black people and white people alike learn to laugh at words like "nigger" and wonder why they were ever so damned divisive, why anybody ever got so upset over them in the absence of actual active discrimination, and celebrate that we can finally regard each other as human beings who might sometimes say crude things but that's okay because it's nothing to get upset over.

i like that a damned sight better than the childishness "oh no, he said a dirty word, persecute him! mod him down, fire him from his job, or in some countries prosecute him legally for "hate speech" because we got our panties in a wad over a particular combination of syllables".

just to be clear, not that the mods will do anything other than make this post -1 anyway, but for the hell of it, for my own enjoyment, i'll make this crystal clear for you all since reading comprehension is not the strong suit of childish reactionary knee-jerk types: deny somebody a job only because they are black and for no other reason and yes you do deserve to be punished for that, that is active discrimination and downright fucking evil and it is also taking the whole racial thing at least as seriously as the politically correct myrmidons. say a word that people get all offended over so they can climb their high horse and talk about how shitty of a person you are and look for ways to make you suffer, the problem there is with the easily offended and not with you for exercising free speech. see the difference?

Re:Mod me down you dumb faggots (2, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#32371978)

Political correctness might be misdirected, but posting "niggers" several times in the row is still vulgar, rude and a sign of a fucking moron.

Re:Mod me down you dumb faggots (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32372180)

Political correctness might be misdirected, but posting "niggers" several times in the row is still vulgar, rude and a sign of a fucking moron.

who told the mods to mod him down and they did just like he told them to do because they know no other way except to knee-jerk react, even if that means rewarding a rude person by giving him the precise reaction he wanted. now do you see the mindlessness of political correctness, the lack of thought it inspires, its replacement of awareness and critical thinking with blind, automatic conformity for the sake of avoiding social ostracism and other severe personal consequences or threat of same?

why would a genuine philosophy need to be mindless, be instilled by indoctrination, be backed up only with a threat of some kind and not with reason, discourage individual critical thought, and encourage thinking of everyone in terms of group identity (such as "black" or "white")? what an insult to a black person to think of them first and foremost as "black", a member of a protected political group, and then start thinking of how that compares or contrasts with your own group identity to make sure you don't step out of line. at what point during that process is the person just a person, a human like you who has rights, hopes, dreams, beliefs, and worldviews that may or may not be like anyone else's? if you ask me the whole political correctness bullshit is one of the most racist/ethnocentrist dogmas still widespread on the planet.

if it's really just skin color, and it is, why attach all of those things to it? because of a history you did not create and cannot change? because it grants political power to certain parties and certain groups? because Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton would have to get a real job if we suddenly started thinking of it as skin color and only skin color, more like the way we think of eye color? those concerns benefit us how?

sorry but in the face of all of this, it's silly to get hung up on the rudeness of the first poster and i do agree he was rude. at least he was being deliberately rude in order to make a point, even if he did that only for his own gratification. the whole political correctness bullshit is not even deliberate. it's mindless like a virus. it does one hell of a lot more damage than anything the first poster decided to say. it does that while convincing you it's the right thing, the one true way, the only way to be a decent human being who cares about others. i'd say that's a hell of a lot more insidious and deceptive and damaging.

the politicians and media love it though, classic divide and conquer style. the more we squabble with each other the more they can control us. the more things there are that we will not seriously question for fear of what others will think, as though something true would not easily be affirmed with such questioning, the more stupid and docile we become. so yeah, the first poster was rude. what of it?

Re:Mod me down you dumb faggots (0, Offtopic)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 4 years ago | (#32372424)

so yeah, the first poster was rude. what of it?

Nothing. And that's why he is sitting at -1. If he wants to make a political statement, there are better ways to do than post as AC on Slashdot.

Re:Mod me down you dumb faggots (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32372634)

fyi, the crowning achievement of any internet troll is to type "niggers" and have some dork post a 5000 word essay (that nobody reads) in response.

congrats, you are more meaningful to some basement-dweller than the $100 hooker he lost his virginity with.

Re:Mod me down you dumb faggots (-1, Offtopic)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#32372398)

Except for the fact, ironic though it seems, the people who use the word "nigger" the most these day are in fact coloured people. It has gone from being an insult to a term of endearment within the very group it was supposed to denigrate.

So, it's okay for one black guy to say "what's up nigger", when chatting with his black friend, but when a (presumed) white person uses the same term, it's a political correctness "no-no".

What a fucked up world we live in.

Re:Mod me down you dumb faggots (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32372056)

FWIW, I agree with your post, but it's hardly relevant to the discussion at hand. People get into tech because they *don't like* the politics...

Re:Mod me down you dumb faggots (-1, Offtopic)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 4 years ago | (#32372412)

And I can ignore the dumb shit who thinks that yelling Nigger is somehow interesting. Which is what the -1 Mod is for. And if you think denying someone a job because they're black is somehow in any way similar to being modded on Slashdot... well, you'd have a ton of company here. Idiotic company, but company nonetheless.

Nice (1)

hhawk (26580) | more than 4 years ago | (#32371612)

It would be nice to have hardware support.. and the support of Intel.. and guess they don't want to be accused of favoring some parties and not others.. and certainly there is a cost to adding to the hardware but still is it not also a chicken and egg problem?

Re:Nice (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32371666)

No offense, but I'd be happier to see theora support added first, since that is more or less guaranteed to be devoid of current patent litigation.

If they added 'webm' support as well I wouldn't mind though :

Re:Nice (4, Funny)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#32372406)

What about hardware support for animated GIFs, if today is "ridiculous uses for an FPGA day" ?

Re:Nice (2, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#32373434)

I want hardware support for Windows XP search dog. Do it intel!

Re:Nice (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374118)

Hardware acceleration for my coffee pot in the morning would be nice, too.

Re:Nice (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32372618)

When the chicken is youtube the egg better hurry the hell up or the farmers will be pissed.

Re:Nice (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32371710)

There is certainly some chicken-and-egg concern(though this might be obviated by the fact that Google has a massive arsenal of web videos, and a browser, and mozilla could probably also be counted on).

As for costs, it wouldn't surprise me if the format was designed(in part) to keep those low. Remember the analysis [multimedia.cx] linked to here a few days ago? The punchline was, in essence "very much like h.264, except in a few specific ways that are largely worse". Now, assuming that the On2 people aren't complete morons(which would also imply that their new Google overlords are complete suckers), why would they create a codec like that?

Well, h.264 is the best supported(in terms of software, and embedded hardware decoders) of modern video formats. It is also considered to be quite good, the product of research by a large number of people and entities. However, it is patent encumbered. Therefore, you would expect a rational competitor to do the following: Copy h.264 as closely as possible in all unpatented respects, or respects where patents can be worked around. Nobody is giving you any extra credit for re-inventing the wheel, and (unless you have particular reasons to believe the contrary) trying to do so would likely result in a worse wheel. Where the spec is simply too patent encumbered, implement the least-worst replacement for that bit that isn't encumbered.

Based on that technical analysis, it strikes me as extremely likely that this is more or less what On2 did. Do a patent search, presumably focusing on the MPEG-LA pool, and any other likely suspects. For any parts of h.264 too heavily covered to engineer around the patents, make the smallest legally tenable compromise.

Since the vast majority is extremely similar to h.264, this will likely make adding hardware support cheaper, since most of the dedicated decoder logic and/or embedded DSP firmware can be shared between h.264 and WebM, with small additions to cover the differences.

Not the first time (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32371720)

Its not the first time that someone has had to build and incredibly similar version yet slightly worse, just to fill a civic need. On2 is doing what Tesla did when Edison prevented him from using his lightbulb design.

Re:Not the first time (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32372040)

Actually Tesla's version was superior to Edison's, do your research.

Re:Not the first time (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32372134)

Except that On2 didn't create VP8 out of charity. If it wasn't for Google buying them, VP8 would have never been open sourced.

Re:Not the first time (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 4 years ago | (#32374080)

Never is a long time. Did you know Theora is based on VP3 [vp3.com] ? Eventually they probably would have done the same thing, just not so soon.

Re:Not the first time (1)

rumith (983060) | more than 4 years ago | (#32373438)

Google is doing what Tesla did when Edison prevented him from using his lightbulb design.

There, fixed that for you

Re:Nice (1, Interesting)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#32372154)

However, it is patent encumbered. Therefore, you would expect a rational competitor to do the following: Copy h.264 as closely as possible in all unpatented respects, or respects where patents can be worked around. Nobody is giving you any extra credit for re-inventing the wheel

The problem here is that H.264 licensors are industrial giants like Mitsubishi Electric.

Philips. Samsung. LG. Fujitsu. Hitachi, NTT...

It's easy to forget that H.264 is a broadcast standard:

NTT Electronics has produced the world's first High 4:2:2 Profile HDTV/SDTV encoder/decoder. With outstanding flexibility through its support of both the MPEG-2 and AVC/H.264 video compression formats, the HV9100 series fits any situation in this period of transition between any formats. HV9100 series [ntt-electronics.com]

The geek sees the web and the cell phone. But this battle is playing out on a much larger stage.

Re:Nice (1)

kangsterizer (1698322) | more than 4 years ago | (#32373430)

or is it?
Seems to me more and more people are actually watching videos from the net, or via their provider's private net, not via DVB-T and friends.

Re:Nice (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#32373396)

Since the vast majority is extremely similar to h.264, this will likely make adding hardware support cheaper, since most of the dedicated decoder logic and/or embedded DSP firmware can be shared between h.264 and WebM, with small additions to cover the differences.

That's overly optimistic. They'll both use completely separate code paths.

But since they decode in similar ways, any hardware optimized for decoding H.264 will decode VP8 very well.

The chicken and egg question..for non-creationists (1)

DriftingDutchman (703460) | more than 4 years ago | (#32373574)

The egg came first; the first egg from which the first chicken emerged was laid by a bird that we would not fully classify as a chicken. The actual resulting chicken was the result of a genetic mutation relative to the mother.

Well, that's all folks. (0, Flamebait)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 4 years ago | (#32371622)

Thank you for playing, H.264. Microsoft, Apple, it was nice having you.

But open, patent free standards have prevailed. I am not stupidly praising google or buying the do no evil crap. I am just saying, in this case they did the right thing.

Google is the ONLY major player around HTML5 that is playing fair, and that is something we have to recognize. Maybe there's some hope for the future ...

Re:Well, that's all folks. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32371652)

So beceause Intel may add VP8 hardware acceleration that it means that H.264 (which dominates in pretty much every area of home video and VOD, etc) is done? lolwut?

Re:Well, that's all folks. (4, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#32371728)

It doesn't mean that. What it does mean is that Theora is done, though.

Re:Well, that's all folks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32371748)

Implying that theora wasn't DOA from the start.

Re:Well, that's all folks. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#32373914)

Theora still has its use. It's less processor intensive than VP8 or H.264, and does about as well at low bitrates. This makes it a good choice for low-quality videos that need to play on older hardware.

Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32373952)

Just like ogg vorbis is "done" -- oh wait, except for my massive personal collection that works just fucking great at home, and will continue to work just fucking great until the day I die.

Give us a break already. Just because a technology doesn't enjoy mainstream support doesn't mean it's "dead". Theora will continue to be improved, and someday will meet or exceed the mainstream formats, just like ogg vorbis did. Eventually video formats will become a commodity, just like music formats did. It would be nice if the mainstream adopts it, but if not, that certainly doesn't mean it's going away. We're talking about tools for jobs, not religion.

In conclusion, STFU already.

Re:Well, that's all folks. (1)

dlanod (979538) | more than 4 years ago | (#32372148)

All they are saying is that "if it gets popular, we may support it". So... they're basically saying nothing but the obvious, given it's in their interests to support popular formats anyway.

Re:Well, that's all folks. (4, Informative)

_merlin (160982) | more than 4 years ago | (#32371712)

WTF? Intel might add hardware support for this codec and you declare victory? Intel is a bit-player in hardware video decoders. H.264 is already everywhere. Also, I don't know where you get the idea that it's patent-free. You simply can't make a modern video codec without treading on someone's patent any more, and this is no exception. Remember MS proudly announced that VC1 was patent-free, too. It's all a form of corporate trolling.

Re:Well, that's all folks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32371830)

"bit player"? Intel is in more laptops than any other graphics chip, and IGPs are in 90% of all laptops. What in the hell are you talking about them being a bit player?

Re:Well, that's all folks. (2, Interesting)

cynyr (703126) | more than 4 years ago | (#32371916)

how about your phone? your TV? your bluray player? thats right, TV's + phones + blueray players > laptops(and some of those have that broadcom crystalHD card thing in them)

Re:Well, that's all folks. (1)

prockcore (543967) | more than 4 years ago | (#32372706)

My TV doesn't support h264. Even fancy HD digital cable still uses mpeg2.

Re:Well, that's all folks. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#32373922)

DVB-T, at least in the UK, uses both MPEG-2 and H.264. If you get over-the-air HDTV from the BBC, it's H.264. If you get the same channels via satellite, they're MPEG-2.

Re:Well, that's all folks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32373972)

Who has a bluray player?

Re:Well, that's all folks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32371922)

You may want to look up what the Intel Digital Home Group actually does. Hint: It's not laptops.

Re:Well, that's all folks. (5, Interesting)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 4 years ago | (#32372024)

You simply can't make a modern video codec without treading on someone's patent any more, and this is no exception.

Yes, that's the MPEG's assertion. However, your comment implicitly asserts that Google is tremendously stupid. Even Google's biggest detractors can't reasonably make that claim.

Google is pushing the format pretty hard. And after all, they bought On2 in the first place. And, considering they must have a truckload of lawyers who specialize in software patents, they'd know if they had a timebomb on their hands. They sure aren't acting like it, which leads me to believe that they think they can make a very good case that it's patent free.

As for the format itself, it's certainly inferior to h264 - but I'll take slightly larger size/worse quality for patent free any day of the week.

Re:Well, that's all folks. (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#32372088)

google is an h.264/MPEG-LA licensee so they won't be affected if it infringes on that patent set.

Re:Well, that's all folks. (2, Informative)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#32372250)

google is an h.264/MPEG-LA licensee so they won't be affected if it infringes on that patent set.

They will be affected if such additional usage of patented items requires the payment of further license fees that they did not anticipate.

Re:Well, that's all folks. (0, Flamebait)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32372142)

So if Google thought that there were no patent issues why don't they indemnify any of the VP8 users from patent claims? Oh right, that's because they've already licensed the MPEG-LA patent pool so they're already protected.

Re:Well, that's all folks. (4, Interesting)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 4 years ago | (#32372226)

Google gains nothing by releasing an inferior codec under the same restrictions. After all, if you need the MPEG patents, why not just use MPEG4?

I imagine they're working up to it. More specifically, they're probably fishing for a lawsuit so they can prove that it's kosher.

For the same reason MPEG/LA don't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32372896)

For the same reason MPEG/LA don't.

Re:Well, that's all folks. (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#32373436)

Content Apple Adobe MPEG-LA patent pool Profit You vs
Content Apple MPEG-LA patent pool Profit You
Content Google MPEG-LA patent pool Profit You vs
Content Google VP8 Profit You
Everybody is trying to cut one lawyer/developer step out of the profit/content/consumer chain before they demand a drink from the credit card # typing consumer.

Re:Well, that's all folks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32372726)

OR that the patents it does use are owned by ON2 hence Google

Re:Well, that's all folks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32372280)

without treading on someone's patent

How many of those patents have been tested? I'll bet it's not many. I'll bet the holders do not want them tested. I'll bet there are prices that can settle these matters. We're talking about Google and Intel here; they have patent lawyers. Good ones. They have deep pockets. Pockets deep enough to settle patent disputes.

Re:Well, that's all folks. (1)

macshit (157376) | more than 4 years ago | (#32373320)

How many of those patents have been tested? I'll bet it's not many. I'll bet the holders do not want them tested. I'll bet there are prices that can settle these matters. We're talking about Google and Intel here; they have patent lawyers. Good ones. They have deep pockets. Pockets deep enough to settle patent disputes.

Very, very, good point. So far fear, and FUD, have kept the game going. It will be interesting to see what happens when someone actually has the balls to say "bullshit" and back it up with a legal team.

Re:Well, that's all folks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32371734)

Sweet! Another nail in the coffin of the Evil Empire(tm). You must be jizzing in your pants.

Loser.

Re:Well, that's all folks. (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#32373154)

Your faith in your friends is your greatest weakness, young Jedi

Soon you will witness the power of this fully armed and operational patent pool.

Re:Well, that's all folks. (1, Offtopic)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 4 years ago | (#32371906)

What the fuck mods?

How the fuck is this flamebait? A MAJOR hardware manufacturer. Probably the most relevant and biggest hardware making in history is willing to support an open standard. And one of the biggest players in the industry is the one pushing that open standard (Google). It's already supported by all relevant Free Software packages (i.e: ffmpeg), Out of the 5 major browsers, 3 already implemented it, and another (no one but MS's IE) said it'll support it if you have it installed.

That's what I call a FUCKING MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH.
This is the closest we've ever been to having an actually open, compatible web. And my comment is flamebait? I'm just fucking happy that this is happening, and I'm just recognizing an incipient victory when I see it.

Now, go ahead an mod this down too if you want.

Re:Well, that's all folks. (2, Insightful)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#32372332)

It's flamebait because it's a completely unwarranted conclusion. You've got it pumped up to +4 right now, somehow, but the flamebait was a better moderation idea. Seriously, how is h.264 "finished" just because someone's willing to add it to their decoder spec? Nothing in that post was insightful, informative, or interesting (objectively speaking. It was pure opinion, which may be subjectively interesting). The only thing it did was try to start a fight over what's better, h.264 or this. That's the very definition of flamebait.

Re:Well, that's all folks. (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#32373178)

Bawww! I wrote a rabid post cheerleading Team Freedom and got modded down. The hive has rejected me! Now I'll have to face the terror of individuality.

Hey kiddo Microsoft, Fox News and Big Oil want cheerleaders too. And unlike Team Freedom they actually pay them. Plus they don't have any of that awkward peer moderation.

Victory, with VP8 at 0% market share? (2, Informative)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 4 years ago | (#32372502)

What a ridiculous statement.

H.264 is massively entrenched. Which content do you think you're going to get in VP8? DirecTV already adopted H.264. Cable is stuck on MPEG-2 at the moment, but will definitely take whichever format allows them to use their limited bandwidth most efficiently (H.264). What about cable in Europe, DVB? Nope, that already went to H.264. Will pirates give up a little bandwidth to use a free CODEC? They're already pirating content, you think they care about licensing fees for CODECs? Blu-ray? H.264 (and VC-1). CD-DVD? AVS.

The bizarre part to me is that you got modded up for your comment. Who thought this comment added to the conversation?

I think VP8 will get some use, but victory over H.264 is extremely unlikely. It's just too little, too late to take the lead.

Massively entrenched??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32372814)

Massively entrenched??? It's in hardware of about 1% of systems that are used to view digically compressed systems. It's in less than 10% of computer systems by default.

It's only massively entrenched in your heart either because Apple did it or because you hate the idea that some corporation somewhere is not getting a shitload of cash for nothing.

Apple did almost nothing (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 4 years ago | (#32372938)

They have like 1 patent out of 200 or something.

Developing CODECs isn't "nothing".

I have no idea where you get your idea that it's only on 10% of computer systems. It's on every Mac and Windows 7 machine for starters. And that's over 10% of the market. And anyone who has VLC or Windows Media Player on other platforms.

And support for it is near ubiquitous in HD video players. Portable ones, etc. That's a big market. As I mentioned, it's in cable (and free to air) systems in Europe, it's on all DirecTV boxes that do HDTV (and many that don't). It's in virtually all HD camcorders.

You're detached from reality.

Re:Apple did almost nothing (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#32373188)

H.264 is also supported by Flash.

Re:Victory, with VP8 at 0% market share? (1)

MtViewGuy (197597) | more than 4 years ago | (#32373974)

H.264 is entrenched, but it has one BIG downside: it requires a license from MPEG LA to use it on a commercial scale. That's why there is interest in VP8, especially if this new format gets hardware acceleration support from the likes of Intel, AMD/ATI and nVidia. It could mean a potential drop in the cost of Blu-ray disc mastering and production, since we no longer need to pay MPEG LA a license, meaning less expensive discs and players.

Re:Well, that's all folks. (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#32373038)

Google is the ONLY major player around HTML5 that is playing fair, and that is something we have to recognize. Maybe there's some hope for the future ...

This is true, but it does not guarantee a victory for Google or for open standards.

We have entered the FUDwar, the FUD launching has begun in full and it does not matter that open standards and Google are slinging truth. With the patent case it does not matter what is true necessarily but what MPEG-LA and its backers, most notably Apple and Microsoft can get judges and lawyers to believe. Google also understands this.

Right now, Google and open standards are the Allies, Apple is Nazi Germany and Microsoft is Imperial Japan. I suppose IBM would be the Soviet Union but that's not withstanding, all sides are looking for the atomic bomb, and that bomb is a patent law which decimates the opposing side.

The war is far from over, in fact it has only just begun.

Re:Well, that's all folks. (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 4 years ago | (#32373132)

Are you kidding? Google still has a shit-load of work to do getting VP8's spec (which, apparently, is just based on chunks of C++ code, complete with comments and TODOs) up to the level of H.264's (which is an actual formal specification). H.264's support is ubiquitous. VP8's is not, and even Intel adding hardware decoding to their Atoms isn't going to change that. Not even close. H.264 is the video codec of the moment, and it very likely to stay that way for considerable time. Theora is the codec that should be worried about this, as VP8 is far better than it, and is also open-source. HTML5 has nothing to do with codecs. That is, and always has been, up to the implementation of the browser to choose. Just as the img tag doesn't specify what image formats a browser should support. What the fuck are you smoking?

Re:Well, that's all folks. (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#32373518)

ok lets test this. i'll go out and buy a device with h.264 and you go buy a device supporting VP8, and first person back posts wins.

Re:Well, that's all folks. (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#32373532)

K i'm back with a h.264 device. guess i win.

porn (1)

Mr804 (12397) | more than 4 years ago | (#32371630)

can I has accelerated porn on google tv?

Maybe if it gets popular? (2, Informative)

frinkster (149158) | more than 4 years ago | (#32371726)

How long will it take to get popular? 1 year?
How long will it take to design the hardware implementation? 6 months?
How long will it take to get into production? 1 year?
How long will it take to get into a product that is on store shelves? 6 months?

This is too long. Intel may as well have said they aren't interested. 3 years from now there are going to be how many tens of millions of devices with hardware H.264 support and no way of upgrading to VP8 support? People aren't going to toss these things in the trash just so the can buy brand new devices that give them the exact same experience.

Re:Maybe if it gets popular? (4, Informative)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#32371750)

3 years from now? H.264 is on my computers, my blu ray player, my phone, my camera, my video camera, it's everywhere now. In order for any codec to replace H.264 it has to be technically superior, just not "free". And from what I've seen, VP8 is better than Theora, but still not H.264.

Re:Maybe if it gets popular? (5, Interesting)

frinkster (149158) | more than 4 years ago | (#32371806)

My point is that by the time Google and their partners could get this into widespread use, H.264 is going to be in even more widespread use than it is now.

If Google wanted to really compete, the time to do it was a few years ago. It's too late now. The only way to stop H.264 is to come out with a codec that makes H.264 look like bloated garbage. This isn't such a codec.

Anyway, that's my opinion. I would love to be proven wrong - I don't really want to have to start paying royalties in 2015.

Re:Maybe if it gets popular? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32372126)

There is a good chance that it is gone too far already but considering the company pushing this codec and their ties to the internet and marketing muscle in general, I wouldn't be so quick to count them out yet.

Remember, google is starting to release their own channel along with the fact they own YouTube and a host of other services, all of which I am betting will be migrated over to this format all of which is supposed to be supported in the new HTML setup they are going for. Face man, they are like the new Microsoft of the internet minus all the evil stuff they did to their customers.

Re:Maybe if it gets popular? (1)

kangsterizer (1698322) | more than 4 years ago | (#32373456)

Let's say the Google overlords are good to the little people these days.. and successful or not that's certainly worth the try.
In any case when going to youtube and having VP8 served through flash, VP8 will have some market share, not matter what.

Re:Maybe if it gets popular? (5, Interesting)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 4 years ago | (#32372982)

This only needs to get to be the current GIF vs PNG situation and it's enough. There are still GIFs on the internet everywhere. They will never go away. However, nobody needs to put new content in GIF format because PNG is available everywhere. GIF licensing fees are now taxes on stupidity and help to mean that IP supporting companies become ever less competitive.

That means that the entire television industry, which is locked into H.264 will become less competitive against the internet / Google / web / open access type companies. This is the reason why the MPEG-LA is desperately spreading FUD. Hint; if you know that there's a patent which is essential to a particular existing standard there is absolutely no reason not specify exactly which patent it is out loud. If you don't do it you risk losing money for accusations of bad faith. If these people really knew which patent it was, then they wouldn't say they had it (admit they've done that analysis) without specifying exactly where the breach was. The very fact the MPEG-LA says there are patents but won't specify which shows that there actually aren't any.

Re:Maybe if it gets popular? (3, Informative)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#32373216)

The patents on GIF have expired. It's not just as free as PNG. Plus it supports animation. Also a lot of software - notably Photoshop - tends to produce smaller GIFs than PNGs for most images because the GIF generation code is more optimized.

Re:Maybe if it gets popular? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32373304)

Also a lot of software - notably Photoshop - tends to produce smaller GIFs than PNGs for most images because the GIF generation code is more optimized.

No, it's because GIF only supports 256 colors.

Re:Maybe if it gets popular? (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#32373638)

Well there are very optimized GIF encoders.

E.g. I've got a test image PNG image generated by Vista's Snipping Tool which is a screenshot with few colours. It is 25.4KB.

Serif Photoplus 6.0 has an image optimizer which is like Photoshop's but not quite as good. On the other hand Serif Photoplus is Free Software and Photoshop isn't.

Now I run my test image through the optimizer. It can save it as a PNG file at 23.2KB or a 256 colour GIF at 15.6KB. However with GIF I can reduce the bit depth further, e.g. to 16 (8 is clearly too few for this image). Then it's 12.0KB. With PNG I don't have that option. IIRC this was true with Photoshop too, at least the last time I used it.

So in this case I get the following

PNG from Snipping tool 25.4KB
PNG from Serif Photoplus's optimizer 23.2KB
GIF from Serif Photoplus's optimizer 15.6KB (default settings, 256 colours)
GIF from Serif Photoplus's optimizer 12.0KB (manually tuned 16 colours)

Now if I load the original PNG into IrfanView, drop the bit depth to 16 and write a PNG file with PNGOUT I get 7.0KB. Deflate is after all better than LZW.

Still with Photoplus GIF still produces the smallest files. Of course if it allowed you to specify palette size with PNG that would change. But the fact is that right now it doesn't.

Even better the tool should have a "Auto size Palette" option that automatically creates a palette just big enough to contain all the colours in the original image for both PNG or GIF. You'd allow the user to override the calculated size.

Re:Maybe if it gets popular? (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#32373426)

APNG (.png) supports animation in any non-IE web browser.

A properly optimized PNG file will often be half the size of a gif, and supports 24bit colour too...

Re:Maybe if it gets popular? (2, Insightful)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#32373700)

APNG (.png) supports animation in any non-IE web browser.

APNG was also voted down as a standard - MNG is the official way to do animation but no one supports it.

http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/message.php?msg_name=3.0.6.32.20070420132821.012dd8e8%40mail.comcast.net [sourceforge.net]

A properly optimized PNG file will often be half the size of a gif, and supports 24bit colour too...

Part of the problem with PNG is that a lot of applications will generate 24bit PNGs for images that would be smaller if they used a palette.

In both cases PNG's official feature set often works against it.

Re:Maybe if it gets popular? (3, Insightful)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#32373068)

3 years from now? H.264 is on my computers, my blu ray player, my phone, my camera, my video camera, it's everywhere now. In order for any codec to replace H.264 it has to be technically superior, just not "free". And from what I've seen, VP8 is better than Theora, but still not H.264.

No, it has to be used more by providers. Why does everything have a H.264 codec, because Youtube and everyone else uses H.246. What Google needs to do is to get providers to switch to VP8 and make their intentions clear to swtich off H.264. HW manufacturers will follow the providers.

Re:Maybe if it gets popular? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32373838)

And yet, none of those devices will play web videos.

Re:Maybe if it gets popular? (3, Informative)

Microlith (54737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32371898)

People aren't going to toss these things in the trash just so the can buy brand new devices that give them the exact same experience.

And chances are they won't have to. Few devices have silicon h.264 decoders, instead having a DSP and a software h.264 codec. Plenty faster than a regular software decoder, cheaper and more flexible than a fixed decoder.

Re:Maybe if it gets popular? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#32373962)

A few of those DSPs have instruction sets that are tweaked to make it easy to implement H.264, but given the similarities between H.264 and VP8, it's likely that they'll also make it easier to implement VP8.

Re:Maybe if it gets popular? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32372068)

How long will it take to get popular? 1 year? How long will it take to design the hardware implementation? 6 months? How long will it take to get into production? 1 year? How long will it take to get into a product that is on store shelves? 6 months?

This is too long. Intel may as well have said they aren't interested. 3 years from now there are going to be how many tens of millions of devices with hardware H.264 support and no way of upgrading to VP8 support? People aren't going to toss these things in the trash just so the can buy brand new devices that give them the exact same experience.

Oooh, oooh! Look at me!! I can pull numbers out of my ass to lend false credibility to my opinion without ever substantiating them! See, look, I never explain how similar standards took this long to implement nor do I explain why WebM won't be an exception to that norm. Did that go over your head so you didn't notice that's precisely what I did? I are so talented!

Oh please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32372826)

"People aren't going to toss these things in the trash just so the can buy brand new devices that give them the exact same experience."

This is consumer electronics you're talking about. Regularly trashing the "old junk" to replace it with the "new shiny" is not only normal, the industry depends on it. Doesn't matter whether it's actually an improvement for the end user.

Buy our new iAwesum PLUS 2011 Turbo Rainbow Limited Edition!!!!1 now featuring VP8 technology!

Re:Maybe if it gets popular? (2, Insightful)

eulernet (1132389) | more than 4 years ago | (#32373262)

My bet: the next version of Google Chrome will include the VP8 codec, and Youtube will provide VP8 encoded videos.

Since Chrome is gaining more market share every day, VP8 could become the standard de-facto for Web streaming, especially if Youtube doesn't support H264.

Google doesn't care about offline products.

Sounding good over all (5, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32371736)

According to their page AMD, ARM, nVidia, MIPS, Marvell, TI, and Freescale are all onboard. That leaves pretty much just Intel and Analog Devices as the only two major chip makers for various devices that haven't cast in. If they can get widespread hardware support, it means that devices will likely have WebM acceleration by default, simply due to the chips they use. That being the case, enabling software support for it makes good sense.

I think it has a real shot at becoming the streaming media standard. H.264 is likely to remain the high quality standard for video because it is used on Blu-ray and a good deal of recording devices, but WebM could well take over streaming. While it isn't as high quality per bit, it is good enough (after all, VP6, its predecessor is used in a good deal of Flash video) and free is hard to say no to. If devices support it in hardware, then there you go.

Have to see how things shake out, but I'm optimistic. There's a large base of support for it in all the right areas. Only real thing that could sink it is a successful patent lawsuit. However I believe Google when they claim they've evaluated it before and after purchasing On2 and they are confident. I think it is likely that if VP8 infringes on any patents, it infringes only on ones that they can find prior art for, and that they may also have some patents of their own they can hit back with.

Here's hoping. Not only would a completely free format be good various uses, but its existence should force MPEG-LA to keep H.264's licensing terms reasonable.

Re:Sounding good over all (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32371752)

and free is hard to say no to

So that's why Theora has been such a smashing success?

Re:Sounding good over all (2, Insightful)

pseudofrog (570061) | more than 4 years ago | (#32371832)

Because it sucks and has no corporate support.

VP8 doesn't suck and appears to be gaining corporate support.

Re:Sounding good over all (0, Troll)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32371990)

VP8 doesn't suck

Then you've apparently never used it or you actually fell for that shitty comparison from their website which was nothing but misleading marketing material.

Re:Sounding good over all (2, Informative)

EricJ2190 (1016652) | more than 4 years ago | (#32372278)

I have used VP8, and I'd also say "VP8 doesn't suck." I will agree that On2's website for it is misleading. I will also agree that H.264 does a better job of compressing video than VP8. However, just because VP8 falls short of the best performing format available doesn't mean it sucks. VP8 still is a good format, and I would argue that it is the best patent-free format for web video, assuming Google is correct about its patent status.

Re:Sounding good over all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32372064)

don't forget about ogg!

Re:Sounding good over all (1)

Seth Kriticos (1227934) | more than 4 years ago | (#32372386)

Ogg is a container format, not a video codec, you dimwit!

We BM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32371902)

hmm, sounds like a personal problem to me. a smelly one at that....

(okay, okay, I had to)

With how close VP8 is to h264 (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32372006)

With how close they are to each other as a format, it shouldn't be too hard to make it decode in hardware as most of the stuff is already there. Hell, with how close they are you could probably rig up a decoder that already ran partially in hardware as is.
It is a win for VP8 but not exactly like it would be a hard thing to do or even expensive on Intels part.

To be honest, this actually looks like the logical thing to do on their part.
1) Format becomes popular that is already mostly able to run on your current designs and is also free to use and implement.
2) Modify your process to finish the hardware decoding on your system as it was cheap and mostly already done.
3) Profit, you now have another selling point for your hardware with little (relatively speaking) financial investment on your end.

They already support h.264... (3, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 4 years ago | (#32372162)

Given that VP8 is really just a minor modification of h.264, and Intel already supports h.264 decoding in hardware, what exactly has to be done to support VP8? Modify the driver to reload the proper DCT constants and other minor things. The only hardware stuff I can see is if the hardware is hardwired for h.264 in which case they need to rewire it to be a little more flexible. But given they support many codecs already with the same pieces, it should be already in place (a lot of other pieces get reused decoding VC-1, for example).

Surely all the h.264 blocks could be re-used as VP8? In which case Theora's practically dead because everything supports h.264 decoding already and can probably be trivially converted to support VP8 as well.

Heck, you probably can do the same with an h.264 encoder to have it spit out a VP8 bitstream...

Don't believe the trolls (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32372346)

I don't think there is actually a _single_ h.264 hardware component that could be directly reused for a vp8 decoder. Maybe if you designed your motion compensation engine with a lot of filter flexibility it could be reworked for vp8 without too much work... but really, in engineering "similar" is not the same as "the same". For the reuse of pre-existing parts "the same" is what counts.

Re:Don't believe the trolls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32373282)

Instead, I argue: do not believe parent. There is nothing H264 specific about many HW acceleration tricks. It is just an API offered to the software that accels certain operations. The trick is no write your vp8 decoder to use the exposed functions used for h264 and you will speed up decoding of vp8 as well.

Re:They already support h.264... (-1, Flamebait)

chinlsenjaglra (1821154) | more than 4 years ago | (#32372472)

I am agree with your article. Force Factor Supplements [articlesbase.com]

MOD PARENT DOWN! (SPAM) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32372702)

Oh, look, a spammer. Looks like someone needs to have their account modded into oblivion.

Re:They already support h.264... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32372708)

Parent's link is SPAM. Please mod to the depths of hell.

PARENT IS SPAM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32372732)

Please flag...

The poor fruit flies (-1, Offtopic)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 4 years ago | (#32372238)

They are the basis of way too many experiments over way too many years.

I'd welcome the new mutated fruit fly lords as overlords except that I'm pretty damn sure they're just out to kill us now.

So I'm off to Soviet russia, where i Hope the Mutated Fruit Flies Kill the mutate ...

Yeah, we're boned. //sobs

Fi8st (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32372720)

min0tes now while Become obsessed like they are Come
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