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Firefox support (3, Interesting)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | about a year ago | (#44036415)

A very positive development, to be able to get away from flash and that nasty proprietary plugin. With Adobe basically thumbing their nose at Linux users, getting away from flash is something that ought to be encouraged. So When will Firefox add this for those who prefer that browser?

Re: Firefox support (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44036479)

I would love nothing more than to see Firefox support. One of the web apps I've been wanting to make for years is rather impossible without a truly free video alternative. Well supported by all the browsers. Firefox and chrome(ium) would be great steps toward this.

Mostly because I ain't trying to make much money; which, means I ain't trying to spend it either. Free is good for that.

* I might be a bit behind on the news but last I heard Firefox didn't support webm/vp8 only ogg. If this has changed please let me know! Staying up to date on every pipe dream's (literally in some ways) practical implementation details can be difficult.

Re: Firefox support (5, Informative)

gQuigs (913879) | about a year ago | (#44036575)

> but last I heard Firefox didn't support webm/vp8 only ogg

It's been available for years now. They added support for webm/vp8 around 2010*

For a better comparison see the chart a few lines down: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML5_video#Browser_support [wikipedia.org]

*https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2010/05/19/open-web-open-video-and-webm/

the internet is fsked (-1, Troll)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#44036815)

just when the internet seemed to get its act together...goog adds another set of codecs and even forks webkit into their own thing! yet another layer of incompatibilties, i have to code around. thanks goog I hope this helps your shareholders.

Re: the internet is fsked (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44037039)

thanks goog i hope this helps your shareholders

If you have a 401k that includes a mutual fund then you are most likely a shareholder too.

Re:the internet is fsked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44037195)

just when the internet seemed to get its act together...goog adds another set of codecs and even forks webkit into their own thing! yet another layer of incompatibilties, i have to code around. thanks goog I hope this helps your shareholders.

Says the guy who has no problem with the Xbone's ball-and-chain design.

Are you being paid to shill for MS or does it just come naturally?

Re:Firefox support (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44036497)

I went to the Mozilla IRC [irc] (have Chatzilla [mozilla.org] installed before clicking) and typed this:

firebot: vp9 bugs

and got this:

Bug https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=833023 [mozilla.org] , , nobody, NEW, Implement VP9 video decoder in Firefox

So it's not ASSIGNED to anybody yet, meaning "when" it'll be patched in isn't known.
And now you won't have to ask about a Firefox bug on slashdot ever again, because you know a more reliable place to ask.

Re:Firefox support (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44037851)

Assigned To: Nobody; OK to take it and work on it

Re:Firefox support (3, Insightful)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year ago | (#44036803)

This allows you as much to move away from Flash as the current built-in support for H264 and other codecs. So until the Flash-based player UI is replaced by an HTML-based player UI, nothing will change.

And you can for many years already watch YouTube videos without using Flash plugin in your browser.

Re:Firefox support (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44038345)

Many, many, many videos do not work without flash.

Re:Firefox support (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#44038661)

Switch user agent to iPad, it works in 95% of the time.

It's... OK. (4, Insightful)

Guspaz (556486) | about a year ago | (#44036505)

It's not the disaster that VP8 was (which looked like a codec from 10+ years ago), but it seems to be at best in the same ballpark as x264. VP9 isn't really a viable replacement for h.265, but it might do better than their last attempt merely by not being a laughable joke like VP8.

Mind you, I'm not saying VP8 is bad in and of itself. I certainly couldn't do better. But Google promoted it as being superior to h.264, which was an absurd assertion, hence the derision.

Re:It's... OK. (2)

cheater512 (783349) | about a year ago | (#44036619)

Got a citation for VP9 not being better or equal to h.265?

I'm genuinely curious why you think that way.

Re:It's... OK. (5, Interesting)

Telvin_3d (855514) | about a year ago | (#44036715)

Most of the early results show that, while VP9 isn't better than h265, it's within a percentage point or two. That's not its problem.
Rather, there are two big issues towards VP9 adoption.

First, there is no hardware support for it at all so far, where as the next generation of mobile and desktop chips already have h265 support announced. And since both VP9 and h265 have order-of-magnitude higher processing power requirements then their predecessors. If you're software processing it will be noticeable even on a decent desktop. So a year from now all the latest phones will already support h265. And since any site serving to them will already encode for that, why would they double up for a codec that does not perform any better?

Second, Google may be selling this as a fully free and open codec, but that's what they said about VP8. And as soon as that was announced everyone yawned and bet that it walked all over h264 licensing. And a few months ago Google finally admitted it and paid out a big settlement to license h264 for their VP8 codec.

So when Google says 'you don't have to pay a license fee' what it has meant in the past is 'we haven't done our due diligence to see what licenses you need'. And anyone who cares about paying or avoiding licensing costs would rather pay up a small known fee than worry about massive liabilities from trusting Google's word. Again.

And it's an interesting fight for the 'free as in freedom' crowd, because while h264/5 are not 'free as in beer' they are entirely open specs and many of the best h264 tools have been open source right from the start. The professional tools don't care about the minor licensing costs and the hobbyist tools don't bother paying.

Re:It's... OK. (2)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year ago | (#44036829)

This is exactly what I was wondering. Why bother? Just for some minor patent issue? And yes it's minor as I've never had to touch the issue as an end user: it just works. Videos play, without me having to pay anyone anything.

On the one hand I am glad to see competition, different approaches to the same problem, let the best one win. More codecs, more attempts to find the perfect video compression, that's a good thing. However when it comes to standards, it's gettig trickier. How many standards to support? Which one is to be "the standard"? And with H264 as it is - for me as an end user completely free and doing the job well - I don't see much room for VP9, really.

Re:It's... OK. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44036919)

You speak of something you know nothing about. It's more complicated than that. Users who record home videos, publish them to Youtube, end up getting screwed because with huge financial burdens because once the number of views gets high enough there sent a HUGE destructive bill. You have to get a professional camera or be screwed if you publish ANYTHING. You can't just convert to another format either. Your still liable.

Re:It's... OK. (1)

MrMickS (568778) | about a year ago | (#44037219)

You speak of something you know nothing about. It's more complicated than that. Users who record home videos, publish them to Youtube, end up getting screwed because with huge financial burdens because once the number of views gets high enough there sent a HUGE destructive bill. You have to get a professional camera or be screwed if you publish ANYTHING. You can't just convert to another format either. Your still liable.

Isn't that the cost of doing business? If you publish to YouTube and get lots of hits aren't you getting associated revenue with those hits? Shouldn't you factor the fees into your costs? In fact shouldn't the owner of YouTube advise you of this and possibly just take the royalty payments out of your revenue to satisfy those needs and simplify the service for their users?

Google is doing this for one reason and one reason alone. To save Google money.

Re:It's... OK. (2)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about a year ago | (#44038669)

You speak of something you know nothing about. It's more complicated than that. Users who record home videos, publish them to Youtube, end up getting screwed because with huge financial burdens because once the number of views gets high enough there sent a HUGE destructive bill. You have to get a professional camera or be screwed if you publish ANYTHING. You can't just convert to another format either. Your still liable.

Citation for any of this?

Re:It's... OK. (2, Interesting)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year ago | (#44036929)

The good, ol' "It doesn't affect me, therefore it is irrelevant!" - argument. You do realize how silly and short-sighted an argument that is?

Re:It's... OK. (2)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year ago | (#44037011)

It may be silly and shortsighted - it is the argument any regular consumer will pose you.

How is VP9 better for me as end user than H264/H265? Because Google pays for the patent license instead of some consortium gives out free licenses? Both are totally opaque to me (and either license can be withdrawn at a whim), and both have to do with companies from the opposite side of the world (remember, the US has 5% of the world's population).

Re:It's... OK. (1)

Telvin_3d (855514) | about a year ago | (#44037055)

either license can be withdrawn at a whim

They really can't. Once something is released like this it can't be withdrawn and license terms can not be changed. Any attempt would be instant bad-faith and crash-and-burn in the courts.

Re:It's... OK. (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year ago | (#44037083)

Which takes me back to original: why bother? It seems that in this respect both codecs are equivalent. VP9 is marketed as "not patent encumbered" but there almost certainly are patents that cover bits and pieces of the codec, just considering the sheer amount of patents out there.

So now the status appears to be that both are equivalent in patent coverage, both have similar performance in video quality and compression, but H264/265 is widely used and well supported by most modern hardware, while V9 needs a heavy lifting software solution making it virtually useless on lower powered systems like mobile devices. From consumer/end user pov that means H264/265 has the clear edge over V9.

Re:It's... OK. (1, Insightful)

mrt_2394871 (1174545) | about a year ago | (#44037237)

... why bother? ...

If VP9 wasn't there, H265 would face no competition. So then the H265 consortium would be able to pull all sorts of egregious crap. End-user licence fees, mandatory unskippable ads, you name it, they could require it.

But VP9 does exist. So they very probably won't.

Re:It's... OK. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44037609)

H.264 existed perfectly fine without any real competition and they didn't pull any crap. The truth is so many companies are involved in the consortium that it would be nigh on impossible to pull crap whereas with VP9 you are almost certain to run into more google lack of due diligence patent and licensing issues.

Re:It's... OK. (1)

roca (43122) | about a year ago | (#44037603)

VP9 will be better than H265 for you as an end user because Youtube will support VP9 and not H265. Google has said so.

Re:It's... OK. (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year ago | (#44038401)

Now just hope that my devices can handle the VP9 decoding... it does handle H264 just fine (likely has some special hardware to decode that). And just have to see whether VP9 decoding hardware will be included.

Re:It's... OK. (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about a year ago | (#44038429)

and we all know how well that's worked... with Adobe dropping Flash support on Linux, Chrome is the only browser that reliably plays all of the videos on Youtube. How long ago, again, did they announce they were switching to html5/vp8?

Re:It's... OK. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44036951)

Your perspective as the end user is very limited, though.

Imagine if you tried to make a piece of software (like a browser) with H.264 support. Once that browser gained even some modest popularity, you'd have to pay millions for licensing.
So having H.264 as the standard pretty much limits development to big companies only. Not very good for competition and innovation.

Re:It's... OK. (1)

slim (1652) | about a year ago | (#44037523)

You do pay. All those devices that play/create h.265, have a licence payment to the MPEG Group burned into their retail price.

To keep the price down, Raspberry Pi disables the MPEG-2 hardware decoder that happened to be present on their SOAC. You can buy a licence and enable it for £2.40. If they'd kept it enabled throughout, the base price for the Pi would have been that much more expensive.

£2.40 isn't much to you. But Firefox's purpose is to make Web content available to as many people worldwide as possible, including people for whom £2.40 is a big deal.

Re:It's... OK. (1)

Barefoot Monkey (1657313) | about a year ago | (#44037949)

To keep the price down, Raspberry Pi disables the MPEG-2 hardware decoder that happened to be present on their SOAC. You can buy a licence and enable it for £2.40. If they'd kept it enabled throughout, the base price for the Pi would have been that much more expensive.

That's interesting, and certainly a fair decision on their part. Out of curiosity, is there a way for those of us in countries without software patents to reenable the MPEG-2 hardware decoder?

Re:It's... OK. (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year ago | (#44038457)

I think that's a serious chunk of cash to be paid just to use MPEG-2 decoding.

Considering there are billions of DVD players on this planet, plus billions of general computing devices (such as PCs, laptops, tablets, phones) and TV's that can decode MPEG-2 out of the box.

To those MPEG people really rake in several billions a year just in license fees? Or is that 2.40 including a serious overhead fee from the Raspberry Pi resellers?

Re:It's... OK. (2)

cheater512 (783349) | about a year ago | (#44036899)

Erm Google paid the fee SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO.

They didn't pay just for themselves.

Re:It's... OK. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44036953)

Really? So if I implement VP8 in my application and I get sued by Nokia for infringing on their patents, who is going to cover my legal expenses?

If it's not Google, they only paid the fee for themselves.

Re:It's... OK. (5, Insightful)

VirtualVirtuality (2895477) | about a year ago | (#44037009)

Ehh, what 'big settlement' did Google pay? Google and MPEG LA announced an agreement, there's been no disclosure of any big settlement, and I seriously doubt there was one.

MPEG LA was actively looking (as in advertising for) any patents which could be used as a patent pool against VP8, and had they actually managed to create a strong portfolio then I don't think we'd ever seen this agreement take place. Also, given how long On2 (the company Google bought for their codec technology) have been active in video compression aswell as the patents they hold, it's not as if Google is just entering the video compression arena from scratch, and they may very well hold patents on which h264 and h265 could be found infringing.

And as far as licencing costs, there's no indemnification from patent trolls with MPEG LA licencing either, and MPEG LA's saber rattling turned out to be just that, no 'massive liabilities' ended up facing anyone.

This notion you try to sell that you would somehow be 'safe' with MPEG LA licencing, while opening yourself up to 'massive liabilities' if you use VP8/VP9 is just typical scare tactics as I see it.

Now I don't think VP9 will be quite as good as h265, but that's not really important. The important thing is that MPEG LA won't be able to corner the entire online video compression market, and that there is an actual competitive alternative (and that this competition is also open source and royalty free is a huge bonus).

Because the day there isn't, the companies who make up MPEG LA will start to collect heavily on their investments, massive-greed style. Which in turn will affect us end users as the increased cost will inevitably be shifted unto us, one way or another.

Furthermore it will lead to stagnation, as in: 'we will bleed this technology dry before we introduce the next generation', all in an effort to maximize profit with less effort.

So yay for VP9, may it (and it's later incarnations) live long and prosper.

Re:It's... OK. (1)

gsnedders (928327) | about a year ago | (#44037601)

This. A thousand times this.

If you look back to the original H.264 debate on public-html (the HTML WG's mailing list), you'll see those against implementing VP8 aren't doing against it because they consider the patent risk greater than H.264, it's that they aren't doing it because the risk of H.264 *is a sunk cost*. They thought both were likely to result in a risk of "massive liabilities", and hence wanted to minimize their risk by not taking more on than needed.

Re:It's... OK. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44037643)

Chances are Google did pay when they made a license deal with MPEG LA. Had Google not done this cross license with MPEG LA, chances are you would not be seeing V9.

http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/07/google-and-mpeg-la-sign-licensing-agreement-covering-googles-vp8-video-codec-clearing-the-way-for-wider-adoption/ [techcrunch.com]

Google’s VP8 video compression format, which the company acquired from On2 Technologies, is an open standard and covered by a free patent license. That, however, didn’t stop MPEG LA, the guardians of the H.264 patent and license, from looking into creating a patent pool in 2011 and potentially suing Google for patent infringement upon its competing codec. Today, however, MPEG LA and Google announced that they have come to an agreement. MPEG LA will grant Google a license “to techniques that may be essential to VP8 and earlier-generation VPx video compression technologies under patents owned by 11 patent holders.”

The agreement allows Google to sub-license the techniques covered by the agreement to any VP8 user and also covers the next generation of the VPx codec. As part of this deal, MPEG LA is discontinuing its efforts to form a VP8 patent pool. Chances are Google had to pay for this license, but the financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Re:It's... OK. (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year ago | (#44037145)

You know ARM chipsets are going to have it because it is going to come bundled with Android. As for PCs you can program your decoder in CUDA or OpenCL so "hardware support" is not very important.

Re:It's... OK. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year ago | (#44037249)

As for PCs you can program your decoder in CUDA or OpenCL so "hardware support" is not very important.

Mobile GPUs are also programmable, but without knowing the details of the algorithms involved it's hard to say what kind of speedup you'll get from a GPU. In general, later generations of video CODECs require inferring more from larger areas and so are less amenable to the kind of access that a GPU's memory controller is optimised for. Just doing something on the GPU isn't an automatic speedup, and until we see real implementations it's hard to say exactly how much better it will be.

Re:It's... OK. (1)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | about a year ago | (#44037755)

> You know ARM chipsets are going to have it because it is going to come bundled with Android

Looking over the list of common ARM SoC's using in Android, I see that about 50% support VP8 decode, and about 5% support encode. The relative numbers for H.264 are 100% and (something smaller I can't really quantify).

It's too early to call for VP9, of course, but VP8's update was poor to middling. The "just because it's google" argument is not a strong one.

Re:It's... OK. (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year ago | (#44038125)

Most of those are old and obsolete superseded by other chips which do have VP8 support.

Re:It's... OK. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44037357)

Stupid BS from a Apple/MS fanboy.

Re:It's... OK. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#44036949)

Right now h264 is as good as you'll get, but that isn't because the standard is intrinsicly better. It's just that the encoder is much more refined than any other. It has x264, which has been under active development for many years perfecting every detail.

Re:It's... OK. (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#44037525)

Got a citation for VP9 not being better or equal to h.265?

I've got a citation that h.265 is about twice as good as h.264 (50% of the bandwidth for equal quality), but I dont see Google claiming that VP9 is a big improvement over VP8 .. VP9 mainly just seems to just use larger macro blocks than VP8.. looks like they rushed it out to try to get traction before devices support h.265

Re:It's... OK. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44038441)

According to video encoders at https://forum.handbrake.fr/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=27343 VP9 still has some problems with certain h.264 configurations, and doesn't reach h.265 anywhere near.

Anecdotically I haven't found yet a youtube video whose VP8 webm version is smaller than the h264 version, despite all the fanbois touting better compression at equal quality. Somewhere down this thread there are claims of 63% improvement over h264. Well, we would like to see that first with something else than a picture using five different colors and little detail.

Also, remember that djvu, jpeg200 and jpeg xr are all better than normal jpg, yet we aren't using them massively. There are other factors in the success of a codec which are not technical.

Got a citation for that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44038393)

What, precisely, is your evidence for VP8 looking like a codec from 10+ years ago?

What, precisely, is your evidence for h263-4-5 or whatever being the best?

What, precisely, is your evidence for a claim of VP9/h264 parity being "an absurd assertion"?

Or are these all completely absurd asserions you just made up on the spot?

is this an open product? (1)

Adult film producer (866485) | about a year ago | (#44036557)

that will allow the community to build their own encryption schemes into the product? I would feel better knowing this isn't just another secret solution like Skype.

Re:is this an open product? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#44036627)

VP9 will be completely open. Just remember that creating video codecs is very complex process on its own, so adding things like encryption schemes will likely require a bunch of professional engineers.

Re:is this an open product? (4, Interesting)

slew (2918) | about a year ago | (#44036733)

VP9 will be completely open. Just remember that creating video codecs is very complex process on its own, so adding things like encryption schemes will likely require a bunch of professional engineers.

I'm not sure what to take away from that statement about "professional engineers".

It seem like you implying that since VP9 didn't want/need "the community" (of presuably unprofessional folk) in its development that somehow the current developers of VP9 don't feel that "the community" can develop an encryption schemes (being the unprofessional folk we are)?

I gather that the Cathederal mechanism of development might be deemed necessary (by google) to avoid IP contamination of VP9, but as someone that does stuff in this area (video compression and encryption) professionally, what you seem to be implying is a bit condecending to "the community" of open source developers (many of whom are professional engineers in our day-jobs)...

In fact, I might argue that encryption schemes are best done in the community (e.g., like the AES and the SHA-3 process) because an open competitive environment is the best way to assure the actual difficulty of cirvumenting the scheme is known (rather than assuming that some experts have it figured out).

Re:is this an open product? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#44037803)

Then you are the professional engineer. You have no reason to feel insulted. I didn't mean there is no skill in the community, but the gearheads smart enough to tinker with codecs don't grow in every tree. It's just too easy to always say that "the open source community" will do this or that, but behind something happening is actually hard work. Anyone known to actually hack a codebase knows this. And it certainly doesn't help that many of them are working for free or coping with random donations.

All About Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44036559)

Since the Telcos and Internet Buddies are payed from user databases by the NSA using money from the Department of Treasury, one wonders how much NSA payed Google to do this for them !

SAY HELLO TO THE NEW BOSS !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44036565)

Same as the old boss !!

I for one (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44036593)

I for one welcome our new VP9 overlords

Versus H264 advantages are what? (2)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about a year ago | (#44036597)

VP8 is really slow. Unknown if reason is lack of hardware support or if codec is actually poorly designed. What are reasons VP9 is good versus H264? Yes I know VPx is not "patent-encumbered" --- well except it is except Google made some sort of "deal" with someone to license applicable patents or something.

Why is VP9 any good and why should people care? Is it poor man's H264 or is it H264's peer? Thanks to wise person who knows and answers this.

Re:Versus H264 advantages are what? (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about a year ago | (#44036625)

Alpha channel video sounds fun. As does depth channel video.
I don't have a clue what people will do with it, but both are very very cool features that make it not yet another video codec.

Re:Versus H264 advantages are what? (1)

Telvin_3d (855514) | about a year ago | (#44036759)

Meh. Those are useful for professional video codecs because they are effectively lossless. One or two generations of even high quality VP9 encoding would render the alpha channel useless. And you'd never want to edit with it because of the extremely high processing overhead, even with hardware support.

I'm sure someone will find something cute to do with it on a web page some time, but I'd be shocked if it is anything more than a gimmick.

Re:Versus H264 advantages are what? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#44036765)

Alpha channel video sounds fun

That would be a first, indeed.
I mean... just think for a moment: a video channel that sounds!
I wonder how long until a sound channel that videos?

(ducks)

Re:Versus H264 advantages are what? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#44036955)

Alpha channel video would be useful in production work. Fewer files to send around when compositing effects.

Re:Versus H264 advantages are what? (2)

Telvin_3d (855514) | about a year ago | (#44037087)

Production level codecs like ProRes have always supported alpha channels (along with a bunch of other stuff). Besides, content publishing codecs like this are completely unsuitable for production work. After only a generation or two the artifacts would render an alpha channel effectively useless for production quality. Also, their massive processing overhead would be a complete deal-breaker all by itself. Pro codecs require lots and lots of RAM due to the bitrate, but they need ridiculously low processing power. That's a big deal when you are working on a composite that might have dozens (or hundreds) of layers.

Re:Versus H264 advantages are what? (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year ago | (#44037179)

Besides, content publishing codecs like this are completely unsuitable for production work. After only a generation or two the artifacts would render an alpha channel effectively useless for production quality.

You do realize there's a lossless-mode in VP9? There are no worries with artifacting.

Re:Versus H264 advantages are what? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#44037213)

Likewise for h264. I was thinking more archival purposes, where speed isn't important but storage is expensive. Once the film is made, you'll still want to keep all layers and masks around in case it needs altering in future for any reason, or to re-use in future projects and hope no-one notices.

Re:Versus H264 advantages are what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44036691)

Why is VP9 any good and why should people care?

They shouldn't and they won't. We use H.264 and soon we will all be using H.265.

Re:Versus H264 advantages are what? (1)

Telvin_3d (855514) | about a year ago | (#44036747)

From a technical point of view it's basically h265's peer. That's partially because it's largely based on the same tech as h265, in the same way VP8 was largely similar to h264. And is speculated that it has the same licensing issues that VP8 had, for most of the same reasons.

And the speed issue is entirely due to an almost complete lack of hardware support. And while h265 already has announced and demonstrated support, I am not aware of any VP9 support so far.

And doing VP9 decode in software has order-of-magnitude higher requirements than VP8. If YouTube serves up a VP9 video to your phone, you'll wish for the good old days of Flash video.

Re:Versus H264 advantages are what? (5, Informative)

KonoWatakushi (910213) | about a year ago | (#44037103)

From a technical point of view it's basically h265's peer. That's partially because it's largely based on the same tech as h265, in the same way VP8 was largely similar to h264. And is speculated that it has the same licensing issues that VP8 had, for most of the same reasons.

And the speed issue is entirely due to an almost complete lack of hardware support. And while h265 already has announced and demonstrated support, I am not aware of any VP9 support so far.

And doing VP9 decode in software has order-of-magnitude higher requirements than VP8. If YouTube serves up a VP9 video to your phone, you'll wish for the good old days of Flash video.

From the q&a afterward, it is mentioned that average vp9 quality is within 1% of h.265, but it didn't sound like h.265 was anywhere near ready to roll out, with the only available option being a horrifically slow reference encoder. As for speed, they claim it is about 40% slower than vp8, which is twice as fast as h.264. As such, vp9 should handily outperform h.264 in software.

The open source and royalty free vp9/opus [opus-codec.org] combination sounds like an very compelling option for the html5 video tag, and may become a de facto standard before h.265 is widely deployed. Hardware support for vp9 is also in the works, so if the codec lives up to the claims, there no longer appears to be any good reason to put up with the MPEG LA.

Re:Versus H264 advantages are what? (1)

MrMickS (568778) | about a year ago | (#44037149)

From the q&a afterward, it is mentioned that average vp9 quality is within 1% of h.265, but it didn't sound like h.265 was anywhere near ready to roll out, with the only available option being a horrifically slow reference encoder. As for speed, they claim it is about 40% slower than vp8, which is twice as fast as h.264. As such, vp9 should handily outperform h.264 in software.

The open source and royalty free vp9/opus [opus-codec.org] combination sounds like an very compelling option for the html5 video tag, and may become a de facto standard before h.265 is widely deployed. Hardware support for vp9 is also in the works, so if the codec lives up to the claims, there no longer appears to be any good reason to put up with the MPEG LA.

I'm assuming that the speed is speed of encoding rather than playback? This isn't something that many people are particularly worried about.

As your information is all taken from Google please take it with a huge pinch of salt. Google are bound to present a rosy view of VP9 in comparison with h265 given their investment in it.

Personally I'm not keen on this. I don't care if its royalty free and unencumbered by patents. I don't want a single entity in control of a standard and regardless of the open nature of this Google are still in control. If this were Apple* or releasing a patent free codec to the world would you be so welcoming?

* Don't be dismissive of this Apple/NeXT do have a decent record of open source software releases.

Re:Versus H264 advantages are what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44037107)

doing VP9 decode in software has order-of-magnitude higher requirements than VP8. If YouTube serves up a VP9 video to your phone, you'll wish for the good old days of Flash video.

So it's almost up to Dirac standards then?

VP9 vs. H.264 (5, Informative)

Camael (1048726) | about a year ago | (#44036857)

VP9 is still a work in progress, so no hard numbers as yet. One of its goals is to achieve 50% better quality with the same bitrate compared to VP8. Another goal is to provide a better encoding efficiency than H.265 which has the same approach on achieving a better quality around 50% compared to H.264.

Google actually did a direct comparison between VP9 and H.264 on a sample file at its recent I/O event and showed off a 63% reduction in file size. As for the quality, see the pic for yourself [favbrowser.com] .

As for the licensing issue, Google cut a deal with the MPEG-LA consortium that controls H.264 to licence their patents [webmproject.org] for VP8 and VP9. So there is low possibility of any user of VP9 of being bogged down by patent lawsuits.

Why should you care? Unlike H.265, VP9 is free for commercial use [osnews.com] . If your use is non-profit, there is no difference between the two.

Re:VP9 vs. H.264 (1)

gsnedders (928327) | about a year ago | (#44037605)

The VP8/VP9 patent pool from MPEG-LA is far smaller than the H.264 one, AIUI.

Re:Versus H264 advantages are what? (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year ago | (#44036947)

VP8 is really slow. Unknown if reason is lack of hardware support or if codec is actually poorly designed.

Do you mean compression or decompression? VP8's compression-end of things is slow by design -- more work is done at the compression-phase so that the decompression can be sped up and tests have shown several times now that decompressing VP8 is actually a bit faster and less resource-heavy than decompressing H.264, if done on the CPU. Now, neither AMD or NVIDIA provide VP8 decompression - support, so obviously H/W - accelerated H.264 will be faster, but that's not the fault of the codec, it's the fault of the manufacturers.

Re:Versus H264 advantages are what? (2, Insightful)

Telvin_3d (855514) | about a year ago | (#44037101)

Great, so it's the fault of the manufacturers. But seeing as VP9 takes several times more processing power to decode in software than VP8, which would you serve up to a mobile phone: h265 that has hardware decode or VP9 that provides the exact same video quality/size but will choke on playback even as the battery life drops by the second?

The difference isn't in quality of the codec, it's the quality of support. One has a massive group that has spent a decade making sure that it is supported by everyone everywhere. The other has been tossed out into the public by a single company without any cooperation or support by other parties.

Re:Versus H264 advantages are what? (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year ago | (#44037123)

Great, so it's the fault of the manufacturers. But seeing as VP9 takes several times more processing power to decode in software than VP8, which would you serve up to a mobile phone: h265 that has hardware decode or VP9 that provides the exact same video quality/size but will choke on playback even as the battery life drops by the second?

Oh, we have an oracle here, someone who can predict before-hand that there won't be hardware with VP9-support. That's nice. As for the question: I would obviously choose the one with H/W-support, whichever one it was.

Re:Versus H264 advantages are what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44037965)

You are clueless. The single thing that matters for codec is whether decoding is in hardware. Software is a catch-all poor man's solution. If VP9 decoding isn't available in ICs, it's effectively still born, like FLAC.

Re:Versus H264 advantages are what? (2, Insightful)

MrMickS (568778) | about a year ago | (#44037159)

Now, neither AMD or NVIDIA provide VP8 decompression - support, so obviously H/W - accelerated H.264 will be faster, but that's not the fault of the codec, it's the fault of the manufacturers.

That's an interesting spin on the situation. It's not the fault of the manufacturers. Its that h264 was designed by an industry body that included the manufacturers with the intention of creating a single common codec to use across different applications and devices. VP8 was designed by a single entity to reduce its costs without giving a damn for end user experience as they could offload that to the bad manufacturers for not supporting it in hardware.

Re:Versus H264 advantages are what? (1)

Peetke (1681018) | about a year ago | (#44038045)

Google itself provides any hardware manufacturer with the chip-designs/blueprints for VP8 so adding this should be a breeze. Nvidia provides full VP8 hardware decoding and encoding at up to 1080p 60fps @ 60Mbit in the Tegra4 chipsets.

As patent encumbered as H264... (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44036679)

Google's dreadful Codecs are as patent encumbered as H264, but with none of the advantages. x264, the open-source H264 encoder, is the best video encoder on the planet. x264 gives the best quality for filesize. x264 gives the best quality for encoding speed. x264 gives the best quality for low latency streaming. x264 does it all, and does it fantastically well.

x264 is free. x264 does NOT come from the NSA R+D division we know as Google. All modern computer hardware decodes H264 (the video streams produced by x264). H264 decoders in software are available for free from the VLC project.

VP8 is extremely crap. VP9 is a tiny bit less crap at best. Both codecs came from a company that (badly) stole compression methods from openly published descriptions of the MPEG initiatives, and used the fact that the codec was originally closed-source to hide this fact. When Google bought VP8, it bought a complete dog of a codec.

Using VP8/VP9 from Google is as bad as buying the Xbox One from Microsoft. Support the true open-source movement. Support true excellence in programming. Support a team that has worked tirelessly to optimise their work on EVERY PC processor, from both AMD and Intel. Support the best video encoder in the world. Support x264, and tell Google where it can stick its proprietary garbage. .

Re:As patent encumbered as H264... (0)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#44036839)

woo! mod AC up so everybody can see it!

Maybe you could explain why VP9 is bad? (3, Insightful)

Camael (1048726) | about a year ago | (#44036943)

I don't disagree with you on the merits of the x264 encoder (open source, etc) but are you sure that x.264 is free? Because it seems from this webpage that you need to pay for a licence to use it [x264licensing.com] .

Also, from the H.264 standard itself is not free [engadget.com] . The party who makes the encoder and the party who distributes the encoded file to the end users for commercial use has to pay for licensing.

Although H.264 is an open standard, in that it was developed by a consortium of companies and anyone can make and sell an encoder or decoder, it's not free -- you've got to pay for a royalty fee to use it, and the rates are set by the MPEG-LA, which collects payments and distributes them to its members.

V8 and V9 are not the same. V8 itself may have a bad history and be a crap codec, performance wise. Is V9 a bad codec as well, performance wise? Has Google done anything that justifies the wholesale boycott of V9?

Re:As patent encumbered as H264... (3, Insightful)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year ago | (#44036961)

x264, the open-source H264 encoder, is the best video encoder on the planet. x264 gives the best quality for filesize. x264 gives the best quality for encoding speed. x264 gives the best quality for low latency streaming. x264 does it all, and does it fantastically well.

x264 is free. x264 does NOT come from the NSA R+D division we know as Google.

Aaaand all that is irrelevant. It doesn't matter if x264 is open-source, it's still patent-encumbered. In any country where the H.264 - patents are valid x264 is infringing on them.

Re:As patent encumbered as H264... (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#44036965)

h264 would be ideal, if not for the patent issue. That's a real deal-breaker for many. It's why Firefox doesn't have support for h264 video - even if they applied for a license, they wouldn't then be able to sub-license to developers who want to fork the project, which is incompatible with the open-source development model.

Re:As patent encumbered as H264... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44037655)

h264 would be ideal, if not for the patent issue.

h264 has poor compression performance - it gets you twice the file size of the newer formats. It is not free for commercial use due to patent issues. The only things h264 has going for it is wide deployment and low-power encode/decode. It's not even clear that the low-power decode translates into lower power use on mobile once you consider the extra power cost of transmitting twice the number of bits for a video (assuming VP9 hardware decode for your device). h264 has advantages, but it is not ideal, not even if you ignore the patent issues - which of course you shouldn't.

h265 and VP9 are comparable, except that VP9 is free for commercial use since it doesn't have these patent issues, it is further along towards being useful now and it so far has much faster encode. Which is plenty of reason to prefer VP9 over h265 as things stand now. It'll be interesting to see how that comparison will stand in a year or two.

Re:As patent encumbered as H264... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44036995)

No thank you, I think I'll support a free project that's actually working on an unencumbered video format. H.264's licensing situation is toxic for free software and although x264 is very impressive, it is in no way free with the patent noose around it.

Just wait for the MPEG-2 patents to expire (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44036741)

Yeah, have an open source project that will invent a different way of video compression. That would be a failure. The 2013 free unix Desktop Environment is still inferior to the Desktop Environment of Windows 2000.

http://www.osnews.com/story/24954/US_Patent_Expiration_for_MP3_MPEG-2_H_264

Alternately, wait for the important, professionally designed MPEG-2 patents to expire in 2018. Bandwidth and data storage have improved in the last 10 years, but human senses have not, so crapper data compression will be acceptable.

Re:Just wait for the MPEG-2 patents to expire (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#44036977)

You underestimate just how much crappier MPEG2 is. That technology is very primative compared to modern codecs. To match the quality of h264 takes around ten times the bitrate, based on some rather unscientific estimates from my watching DVDs (mpeg2, 6GB) vs dvd rips (About the same quality, 600MB). That high a bitrate just isn't cost-effective, even today.

Thought it was half the bitrate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44037561)

I remember in 1999, a friend of mine converting DVDs, into somewhat lower quality form for VCD use. I also remember during the early HD-DVD blu ray wars, that HD-DVD's were using h.264, while blu-ray was using MPEG-2, and if was good enough for official releases... I think looked into this several years ago, and got h.264 bit rate half of MPEG-2 for equivalent quality, and hearing that h.264 did a real good job. I believe h.265 will get more compression by visual tricks.

Re:Thought it was half the bitrate (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44037873)

I remember in 1999, a friend of mine converting DVDs, into somewhat lower quality form for VCD use. I also remember during the early HD-DVD blu ray wars, that HD-DVD's were using h.264, while blu-ray was using MPEG-2

Blu-Ray has vastly more storage than a HD-DVD, so they can afford to use higher bitrates. Thus they were able to use MPEG2 until their codecs were stabilized because they had bitrate to burn. It would be best if you understood even the most basic particulars of the technologies involved before commenting on the situation.

Standard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44036833)

The VP9 codec isn't a standard by any measure. It's supported by a miniscule part of the market, isn't endorsed by any standards organization, is closed, and not the default choice in any product.

Hardware support (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44036847)

While people are complaining about hardware support and how slow this thing will be... who really cares?
My aging dual core laptop that has nvidia optimus (meaning i have to manually set games to run on the nvidia gpu, everything else is on the little intel one) can play 1080p youtube videos in software decoding without going over 50% cpu load. I doubt vp9 and hd video is really going to be a hassle for anyone with a 2006+ computer.

The only things that might have trouble are phones and mobile devices, But why would you give so much concern into an open video codec, if the rest of the phone is super closed? Just kinda sounds like you are focusing your energy on the wrong thing.

Anyway, if vp9 is good and used a lot (youtube should do this), then it will get hardware support. If it is similar to already supported codecs, then possibly a firmware or driver update will do the trick.

Re:Hardware support (1)

MrMickS (568778) | about a year ago | (#44037203)

Anyway, if vp9 is good and used a lot (youtube should do this), then it will get hardware support. If it is similar to already supported codecs, then possibly a firmware or driver update will do the trick.

Unless Google are happy to play hardball and only encode in VP9, losing advertising revenue until the hardware support materialises, this isn't going to happen.

Take off the FOSS and Google rose tinted glasses for a moment and come into the real world. What would happen if Google played hardball? The other video sites would provide h265 support and be in a position to displace YouTube as the de-facto standard for video sharing. All that advertising revenue would follow.

You can bet that the device manufacturers wouldn't care and would assist in app production, especially if they could get a cut of the revenue.

Please consider why Google is continuing to develop VP9. Its not to be able to provide the FOSS community with a free, unencumbered, codec, its to reduce the costs of Android, Chrome, and YouTube to them.

Re:Hardware support (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44037703)

Please consider why Google is continuing to develop VP9. Its not to be able to provide the FOSS community with a free, unencumbered, codec, its to reduce the costs of Android, Chrome, and YouTube to them.

Which happens to reduce the costs of everyone everywhere, once VP9 gets widely deployed.

Re:Hardware support (1)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about a year ago | (#44038781)

While people are complaining about hardware support and how slow this thing will be... who really cares? My aging dual core laptop[...]

That's nice, but the recent trends for casual users are to do browsing on smartphones and tablets, which have a fraction of the processing power of your "aging dual core laptop" (I'm assuming it is a C2D or something similar).

But how practical is it for devices? (2, Insightful)

Camembert (2891457) | about a year ago | (#44036849)

It may be a technically good codec (I have no strong opinion on that either way). But I see issues with the many devices (tablets, bluray players with usb input, set top boxes, phones...) available whose graphical processors are totally geared towards implementations of mp4 and h264. For example, I understand that an iphone would do battery-efficient hardware decoding of such files. I assume that dfor this new codec the processor will need to do all the work, with likely a much bigger impact on the battery.

Re:But how practical is it for devices? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44037771)

You do save a lot of power in only having to transmit half the bytes with VP9. Without hardware decode for VP9, there will still probably be a significant power gap, that's true. Hardware decode for VP9 is coming.

Re:But how practical is it for devices? (1)

Inda (580031) | about a year ago | (#44038793)

Slashdotters posting as AC when defending technology. Really? Honestly?

I read the threads upsidedown and the first few are luddite posts. What's happened? Which part of the dark ages have you come from?

Chromium? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44036921)

More like SpyingOnYouAllTheTimeium, amirite?

New improved Chromium ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44037307)

New improved Chrome ! Now also sends each individual keystroke direct to the NSA in record breaking time !!!

Google is even more evil than Microsoft.

fix bugs in VP8 please! (1)

SkunkPussy (85271) | about a year ago | (#44037329)

VP8 implementation in chrome is a bit buggy and periodically crashes a tab - I suspect it doesn't get widely used or these issues would get solved more quickly.

mod do3n (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44037639)

Balance is struck, any p4rting shot, Win out;\ either the for trolls'

why release now? (1)

Selur (2745445) | about a year ago | (#44037691)

Isn't it more like beta state than in a release state? - documentation -> sparse (got tags, with no explaination) - decoder, unlike for vp8, no libav/ffmpeg support for vp9 atm. - slow (no multithreading at all atm. but a nice '--threads ' option - mkv support not finalized -> I'm wondering why is Google releasing VP9 now (and not in example in 1/2 year)?

Sounds pretty cool tho. (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#44038223)

I was looking at the API. I couldn't figure out what this function did:

int streamCameraFeedToCIACommaNSACommaAndFBI();

hmmm (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#44038461)

If they suddenly give a crap about video, maybe they should fix that joke of a flash plugin so people can actually surf the web
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