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Google reaffirms intent to derail HTML5 H.264 video with WebM browser plugins - Page 4

post #121 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

There is already a plugin. It is called Flash. The whole point of introducing the <video> tag in HTML5 was so that the browsers could natively support video codecs, greatly reducing the overhead of having a non-compiled in plugin which must resort to an api interface for displaying the rendered video.

There are also HTML5 plug ins.
post #122 of 481
See this is why I am glad I am just a computer user and not a programmer or software designer or corporate lawyer. My eyes glazed over about halfway through the article. I am also glad I don't work for a large corporation. The verbal and intellectual gibberish these guys have to contend with on a daily basis is just completely ridiculous.

The idea of the H264 consortium appeals to me more than the chaos of open sourcing anything. Order is always better than entropy.
post #123 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

There are also HTML5 plug ins.

HTML5 plugins? You mean updating to a modern browser that supports HTML5?
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post #124 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by poke View Post

It's important to remember that Google's customers are the companies that advertise with it and not its users. So Google puts its own good ahead of the good of its users as a matter of course. If it didn't it wouldn't be serving its shareholders. A good analogy for Google's business practices are those of other advertising-supported businesses. The television networks, for example, are notorious for treating viewers badly because viewers aren't their customers. That's why your favourite shows get cancelled even if they win awards and gain critical approval. The networks know that something else would simply earn more advertising revenue in that spot; quality isn't a concern.

Google is simply exploiting the language of open source so it can disrupt markets where it feels its business model is threatened. Android itself is all about commodifying the smartphone market so that the only value to be made is from advertising, where they dominate. If another company has success with a 'closed' (where 'closed' simply means Google might not be able to advertise on it) product, that hurts Google's bottom line. Google benefits from the race to the bottom among Android handset manufacturers because it means the manufacturers can't acquire too much control. They benefit from nobody being able to make money from software now they've saturated the market with free software because a company that sells software, like Microsoft, might lock them out and they benefit from the Android Market being in disarray because it results in more ad-supported software.

You bring up some interesting points. This makes more sense, I suppose.
So the technology stack for content (and ad) delivery really doesn't matter to advertisers insofar as they aren't directly consuming the content. They benefit when the content reaches the masses and it results in sales. So I guess Google is an advertising company with it's own technology stack? It doesn't produce technology "for end users". It creates that technology for its advertising customers. Well then. All the more reason for consumers to favor companies that produce technology for them.

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John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #125 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

So its massive technical inferiority to H.264 (e.g. poor encode/decode performance, worse image quality at equal bitrates), lack of hardware support (= abysmal battery life for mobile devices) and poor production tools should all be ignored just because it's free?



But consumers do. Worse quality video with crappy battery life. No thanks.



I'll give you that one. Not sure what DED was smoking when he decided mobile Safari has a 95% market share.




Flash is a "winner" here is as much as this move by Google makes it exceptionally unlikely that HTML5 will kill flash. But your logic that it will therefore harm Apple is incorrect.

IE9 is going to support H.264 HTML5. All iOS devices support H.264 HTML5. Flash video supports H.264. As a content provider this means you can encode your video once (as H.264) and serve it up with two different wrappers: IE and iOS get the video in an HTML5 wrapper, and everything else gets the video in a Flash wrapper. Where is the incentive for the content provider to go WebM? Choose H.264 and it's easy to serve your content to everyone, choose WebM and you can't serve your content to iOS devices. It's a no-brainer.

Yep and Android devices will still get the video via a flash plug-in or some other plug-in. I agree with standardizing open technologies on the web but really providers should be supporting WebM and h.264 and the developers and end users can decide what's best. So I guess the next logical step is for google to tell us what image formats we have to use.
post #126 of 481
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post #127 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

You're using Internet Explorer?

Because if you're using Safari, Firefox, or Chrome, you're enjoying the benefit of open source.

I didn't say I don't use open source. The development process seems messy via open source. An organized standards based consortium seems less messy.

Safari may have open source components, but it is supported by a single company.
post #128 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by EgoAleSum View Post

Agree.

By the way, monopolies are not *necessarily* wrong. I'm having my Microeconomics exam next week! So I think I know what I'm saying In particular, all patents create a sort of monopoly, which is good because it promotes innovation. But it's a temporary monopoly: sooner or later, all patents do expire, and the technology becomes free for everyone.

Which is why I don't get this move by Google or Mozilla or Opera. The patents expire in what 2015?
post #129 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

Which is why I don't get this move by Google. The patents expire in what 2015?

If I recall, they are free to use until 2015 at which point MPEG-LA can choose to charge and can raise the price by no more than 10% every 5 years.

If they arent charging now what is the starting rate because 10% more of nothing is nothing?
Will H.264 still be the best available codec in 4 years or will H.265 have finally being ratified?
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post #130 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

The amount that Google would have to invest to bring WebM up to the robustness of H.264 is certainly substantial. Of course, they hope to leech off the work of "open source" idealists.
.

Video codecs have progressed so far I doubt very seriously that the open source community could contribute anything that would not infringe on many patents already held by the major players. It's not the largest community out their to begin with and if you really know your stuff you are employed and probably not in a legal position to contribute to an open source project.
post #131 of 481
Google simply wants to push technologies it knows violates the patents of other companies so that they can attempt to get those patents nullified in court because Google things they are "too big" to lose.

Look at what they did with Android and Java.
post #132 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

If I recall, they are free to use until 2015 at which point MPEG-LA can choose to charge and can raise the price by no more than 10% every 5 years.

If they arent charging now what is the starting rate because 10% more of nothing is nothing?
Will H.264 still be the best available codec in 4 years or will H.265 have finally being ratified?

They are charging. If you own a copy of Windows, a Mac, an iPhone, an iPod, a PlayStation 3, a Blu-Ray Player or any other device that can play or record H.264, and you paid for it, you paid for H.264. What they are not charging for is internet streaming which is not behind a paywall, and they have extended that in perpetuity, meaning they plan never to charge for that.

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post #133 of 481
A quick update to my earlier post. Just did the HTML5 beta on YouTube again with Chrome and Safari. Chrome is pushing WebM and Safari h.264 and FLASH. All in 720p.

Chrome's WebM - 80% CPU usage, 6400 rpm on macbook 2,1.

Safari's h.264 - 20% CPU usage, 2800 rpm on macbook 2,1.

Safari Flash - 45% CPU usage, 5800 rpm on macbook 2,1

Flash is currently better then WebM in terms of CPU usage, fan speed and consequently battery life. If WebM is the only thing supported I will simply use flash instead when using Chrome.
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post #134 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

A quick update to my earlier post. Just did the HTML5 beta on YouTube again with Chrome and Safari. Chrome is pushing WebM and Safari h.264 and FLASH. All in 720p.

Chrome's WebM - 80% CPU usage, 6400 rpm on macbook 2,1.

Safari's h.264 - 20% CPU usage, 2800 rpm on macbook 2,1.

Safari Flash - 45% CPU usage, 5800 rpm on macbook 2,1

Flash is currently better then WebM in terms of CPU usage, fan speed and consequently battery life. If WebM is the only thing supported I will simply use flash instead when using Chrome.

Thats not likely to change anytime soon, either. Flash is pulling H.264 which is HW accelerated. Well see if WebM gets included to HW like VC-1 and H.264. Intel isnt listed on their supporters page, though AMD, Nvidia and ARM are.
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post #135 of 481
Google forced H.264 to go license free for products that are given away. Good job Google!

My hope is that H.264 and WebM merge at some point. I'm sure Google will have some lawsuits over patent infringement with their WebM coming soon to a courtroom near you and me.
post #136 of 481
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post #137 of 481
I didn't know there were two o's in "evil."
post #138 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

Contribute to any of the well-run open source projects and you may have a different opinion.......

Can you name a few?
post #139 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

You bring up some interesting points. This makes more sense, I suppose.
So the technology stack for content (and ad) delivery really doesn't matter to advertisers insofar as they aren't directly consuming the content. They benefit when the content reaches the masses and it results in sales. So I guess Google is an advertising company with it's own technology stack? It doesn't produce technology "for end users". It creates that technology for its advertising customers. Well then. All the more reason for consumers to favor companies that produce technology for them.

I think so. I'd personally prefer it if, say, HP/Palm and (to a lesser extent) Microsoft were the other big competitors in the smartphone/tablet space rather than Google and its coalition of the willing. I'm interested to see what HP will show next month.
post #140 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jensonb View Post

They are charging. If you own a copy of Windows, a Mac, an iPhone, an iPod, a PlayStation 3, a Blu-Ray Player or any other device that can play or record H.264, and you paid for it, you paid for H.264. What they are not charging for is internet streaming which is not behind a paywall, and they have extended that in perpetuity, meaning they plan never to charge for that.

No offence but this is just a ridiculous assertion.

There is no charge to the end user and a very minimal small charge to those that do the encoding. If you are talking about people "paying for it" because the cost to the producers is rolled into the hardware, then you are wrong in the specific sense as that tiny cost is actually *not* purposely figured in to the pricing.

You may be correct in the limited general sense that all costs incurred by a company are eventually rolled into the price whether it's done explicitly or not, but we are talking about possibly $0.02 on a device costing $700.00 in the case of the iPhone. So in this sense you are being technically accurate in terms of the detail, but disingenuous at the same time in the implication that this is a real charge that the consumer experiences.
post #141 of 481
That's a ridiculous argument. Apple, MS, Sony and all the rest are paying licensing fees for several different things. In comparison to the billions of dollars these companies make, the cost of H.264 is negligible.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jensonb View Post

They are charging. If you own a copy of Windows, a Mac, an iPhone, an iPod, a PlayStation 3, a Blu-Ray Player or any other device that can play or record H.264, and you paid for it, you paid for H.264. What they are not charging for is internet streaming which is not behind a paywall, and they have extended that in perpetuity, meaning they plan never to charge for that.
post #142 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

If I stole diamonds and gave them away to someone who then gave me data from which I made money I'd still be earning from my theft! I'd still be a thief and subject to the law of the land.



Is that what Google is doing?
post #143 of 481
Interesting article and thread…

For me it's pretty simple… Google can afford to support the "common standards" in their browser. Why not both WebM and h.264? And since h.264 is already licensed on both OSX and Windows, they don't have costs there, right? THere's no excuse, really.

If they choose to drop support for h.264, there are other browsers. Chrome is nice, but a lot less nice without h.264 support. I can just not use it………………………

Which, in the end, is probably what will happen. I'm fine with Safari and Firefox, why bother wrestling with a browser that doesn't cover my browsing bases?

I wonder how much market share Chrome will lose as a result of dropping h.264 support, and, will that change Google's mind?

Wil also be interesting to see how it plays out. In the meantime, Safari+Firefox rule….

And this, just as I was starting to like Chrome on OSX…...
post #144 of 481
...it's fast, blazing fast a page loads up almost straight away BUT links don't work, you have to wait for them, it's as if Chrome loads a non functional image of a page before filling in the gaps.

I won't miss it when I delete it over this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jensonb View Post

They are charging. If you own a copy of Windows, a Mac, an iPhone, an iPod, a PlayStation 3, a Blu-Ray Player or any other device that can play or record H.264, and you paid for it, you paid for H.264. What they are not charging for is internet streaming which is not behind a paywall, and they have extended that in perpetuity, meaning they plan never to charge for that.

The "charge" is probably magnitudes less than Google makes from one click through on a YouTube WebM video.
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post #145 of 481
So Google doesn't have enough money to support a good experience for users?

Nice.

Another reason why I dumped them a long, long time ago.
post #146 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

They expire in 2027.

By which time they will have created something better

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(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #147 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

No offence but this is just a ridiculous assertion.

There is no charge to the end user and a very minimal small charge to those that do the encoding. If you are talking about people "paying for it" because the cost to the producers is rolled into the hardware, then you are wrong in the specific sense as that tiny cost is actually *not* purposely figured in to the pricing.

You may be correct in the limited general sense that all costs incurred by a company are eventually rolled into the price whether it's done explicitly or not, but we are talking about possibly $0.02 on a device costing $700.00 in the case of the iPhone. So in this sense you are being technically accurate in terms of the detail, but disingenuous at the same time in the implication that this is a real charge that the consumer experiences.

Where in Jensonb's post did he mention anything about the magnitude of the charge? A quote I saw recently and rather liked is "we all know technically correct is the best sort of correct". Jensonb is entirely right - Apple and the like pay licensing fees for H.264. Apple's source of money is selling products. So you buy an Apple product, you are effectively paying for H.264. Sure, the percentage of the purchase cost that is attributable to H.264 is negligibly small, but it is there.
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post #148 of 481
I think that's one of Google most successful marketing campaigns: "Open Source."
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post #149 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woei View Post

As a non-academic and programmer myself let me tell you that I *vastly* prefer open source software. Your claim is utterly absurd: the Internet as we know it wouldn't exist without open source software and open standards (Sendmail, Apache httpd, pretty much all scripting languages, the BSDs where the TCP/IP stack got invented, etc). You *do* know that Mac OS X is underpinned by open source software, right ? And Apple and all its users are "academic", right ?



Wait, wut ?! Because some unscrupulous people copy and paste open source code without obeying the license into closed commercial software open source is bogus ? And it's the fault even of those "thieving" open source programmers giving software away with reasonable licensing conditions ("either attribute" or "if you use this, you should share too") ?!



As a programmer by profession, I wholeheartedly agree.



Who said so ? It vastly simplifies my work to have access to the source code of libraries. As an example: our persistence layer was suddenly throwing exceptions on production machines. It baffled us. Because our ORM software was open source I could look under the hood, place breakpoints and find out what was going wrong exactly (as we couldn't figure it out based on the exception messages alone). Thanks to that openness we managed to fix the problem within a day (and send of a patch for the ORM software too so that other people wouldn't get bitten by the same bug). Next to said open source ORM software we also use a closed source application server. Getting support for that is dreadful: multiple phone calls to some call center in Bangalore and sometimes weeks before someone competent has the time to look over the issue report and provide some suggestions.

It's the same as working on a car: if the car maker supplies you with all the manuals and design documents you have a fighting chance of servicing or tweaking the car yourself instead of having to drive to a "licensed" garage for even the smallest of things.

You clearly aren't a programmer who understands the benefits of open source software. But you're an end-user; understand this: the message board we're arguing on, the database holding the records and the operating system are all open source (check uptime.netcraft.com). The standards for getting this text to you are all open (http, sql, ascii). Are we wrong to benefit from this ?



Err, right. Have you looked at Red Hat recently ? They only do fully open source software ? Or the multitude of relatively small businesses that provide support for open source software (Percona, EnterpriseDB) ? Or open source startups like SpringSource that got bought for hundreds of millions of dollars ? Evil commie hipsters, hmm ? Open source plays a *very* important role in the software business and has had so for at least two decades now.


By the way, you're also completely wrong about what the issue here is though. It's not about open source, it's about open standards and about patents. Especially that last item is a whole can of worms to open and about which I have several opinions, but I'm not going to bore you with it now, just a few quick notes: I mostly oppose patents (I think it's a bit of a mafia-style "protection money" you have to pay up for software (like x264) that the patent holders haven't even created themselves !). If musical constructs would have been patentable, we would for instance probably never have heard masterpieces from Mozart, Beethoven or Brahms. The US patent system does the opposite of what it purports to do: enable innovation.

Your premise that Academics weren't paid for their Research tells me all I need to know that you know nothing about Academics.
post #150 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

Contribute to any of the well-run open source projects and you may have a different opinion.

It's not necessarily better (well, better than Microsoft's Longhorn team <g>), but some good ideas on team management have come from the FOSS world.

It's not quite the wild west it used to be 15 years ago. Then again, a lot of proprietary code was written sloppily back then. A lot's changed.

And a lot of the prominent projects get the vast majority of their code from Developers who are working as paid Developers for Corporations.

Linux itself has seen greater than $10 Billion invested in it from IBM, Red Hat, Novell, etc.

Apache has seen hundreds of millions invested in it. Hell, Microsoft invested $100k in 2008 for a sponsorship contribution.

Even X.264 now offers a Commercial License for outside investment to provide another commercial H.264 encoder for corporations to use.
post #151 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePixelDoc View Post

Ads... and serving up as many as possible, on as many platforms and content as possible.

Android
Was only developed and released free to serve up mobile ads. (period). Even developers acknowledge this fact, considering that the Marketplace doesn't seem to be working well for developers that would like to be paid outright for their efforts.

Search, Books, Services, Maps, Gmail, etc... is ALL about ads, nothing to think that the WebM ploy is about anything else BUT ads.

WebM
When released and integrated with their own devices, without a doubt, will have a Java-based layer to overlay ads. And surely the proposed WebM Plugin will be the same as Flash, but just different enough to get out of a patent dispute with Adobe.

You think for a moment that Google embraced Adobe and Flash, integrated it into Chrome and Android, without "looking under the hood"(?), or getting something other than a "selling point"?

WebM Plugin
This is seriously sinister, since it would allow Google to even serve ads overlayed on content that they are not serving on their own servers/services, since the layer code is built into the plugin.

Think: Vimeo, Facebook, or your own website's videos being overlayed with ads because the WebM plug-in is needed/installed. This without needing the consent of the owner of the video or the server publishing it, since Google received the consent to do so, by the end-user accepting the EULA when they installed the WebM plugin. Not to forget, but Google Analytics will also be built into the plugin, naturally, for it to be able to work properly.

At the moment, I doubt Google would try this trickery with H264, and besides they don't need to, because Adobe's Flash takes care of that for them with their wrapper.

NOTE: fact is that Google and many others are working on a way to overlay HTML5-H264 videos with ads anyway. One way or another, HTML5 video will have ads, and there's nothing anyone can do about that.

There is no such thing as "free". There are and always will be strings attached. And no, I'm not wearing a tin-hat or thinking conspiracy. Actually, you have to see this move by Google as doing good business and keeping focused: sell and deliver more ads!

Correct. There is no such thing as a free lunch.
post #152 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by sprockkets View Post

There are so many things wrong with this article, but after reading 800+ posts on one ars article, 400+ on the initial article, 300+ here, I'm done posting on this and am surprised more aren't already ad naseum.

You can take the google/apple/DED/gruber/whatever pill, wake up in your bed, and believe whatever you want to believe.

Gosh, thanks for granting your permission for us to have opinions.

I must be hard for a far seeing fellow such as yourself to be obliged to (as you apparently must) wade through the many and redundant posts on this topic. I'm surprised you lasted as long as you did, mucking about with the defenders of this or that, but my hat's off to you. Go in peace.
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post #153 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

HTML5 is not a codec, and the standard still supports the use of plugins. Flash and HTML5 are not necessarily mutually-exclusive; very different things, really.

Yes it is because nobody will re-encode their video in WebM. The only two options are Flash or HTML 5 with H.264. Flash now has an advantage.
post #154 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

By which time they will have created something better

Probably a few standards by that time.
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HEVC aims to substantially improve coding efficiency compared to AVC High Profile, i.e. reduce bitrate requirements by half with comparable image quality, probably at the expense of increased computational complexity. Depending on the application requirements, HEVC should be able to trade off computational complexity, compression rate, robustness to errors and processing delay time.

[]

The current timeline calls for completing the drafting of a final standard for HEVC by approximately July 2012.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Ef...y_Video_Coding
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post #155 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Where in Jensonb's post did he mention anything about the magnitude of the charge? A quote I saw recently and rather liked is "we all know technically correct is the best sort of correct". Jensonb is entirely right - Apple and the like pay licensing fees for H.264. Apple's source of money is selling products. So you buy an Apple product, you are effectively paying for H.264. Sure, the percentage of the purchase cost that is attributable to H.264 is negligibly small, but it is there.

I think I actually covered this in my post, i.e. - "technically correct but disingenuous." (in the way it was presented)

The Consumer *may* (no one actually knows), pay some *tiny* fractional amount that is rolled into the cost of the device. The consumer is also (technically) "paying" by supporting companies that use the codec.

In neither case is the consumer aware of the cost. In neither case is it even the tiniest of fractions of the cost of the device and services they are buying. And in neither case would removing or adding the fees make any difference in the cost of the handset.

In both cases it's much closer to asserting "your paying for the electricity Foxcon uses in their factories," than it is to "your paying a fee for that service." I just thought it was disingenuous the way it was presented as a "cost" similar to the other costs of using a smartphone. We are also all paying Steve Jobs' taxes in a sense, but it's really a nonsense thing to say and implies something that isn't actually true in any real sense.
post #156 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by EgoAleSum View Post

Apple can't do that.
WebKit comes from KTHML, which is licensed under LGPL. So, everyone can use it and even fork it (WebKit itself is a fork), but the code must always be released publicly under LGPL.

By the way, WebKit does already "include HTML5". It's probably the engine that supports it better, at the moment...

Nothing in WebKit uses KHTML/KJS. That code has long since been purged.

All code in the Qt port is then added into KDE where it uses it and then adapts it outside of KPart.

Apple wants HTML 5 to succeed so it will never limit WebKit.
post #157 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morky View Post

First, H.264 is fully open, it's just not free (open != free). Secondly, AI is not alone here. Read last week's Arstechnica treatment on this. It has a lot more detail, and is in basic agreement with this article. Lastly, the cost of H.264 is negligible for the parties that have to pay for it (capped at $6M per year for the biggest licensees with at least 60M users), so I still don't understand why Google is doing this.

That may be true but whenever flash is mentioned on here it's referee to as a closed proprietary format because adobe own it. Yet it is a standards that can be implemented without paying royalties. So it seems that the defenition of open is changed to always favour what apple is doing.
post #158 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

The Consumer *may* (no one actually knows), pay some *tiny* fractional amount that is rolled into the cost of the device.

There is no "may" about it. If no one bought Apple products, Apple would have no money and would not be able to pay the licensing fees for H.264. Some very tiny part of the purchase cost of an Apple product is effectively paying for H.264.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

In neither case is the consumer aware of the cost. In neither case is it even the tiniest of fractions of the cost of the device and services they are buying. And in neither case would removing or adding the fees make any difference in the cost of the handset.

In both cases it's much closer to asserting "your paying for the electricity Foxcon uses in their factories," than it is to "your paying a fee for that service." I just thought it was disingenuous the way it was presented as a "cost" similar to the other costs of using a smartphone. We are also all paying Steve Jobs' taxes in a sense, but it's really a nonsense thing to say and implies something that isn't actually true in any real sense.

This I all agree with and rather helpfully articulates why there is no benefit in WebM to the end user - compared to H.264, it gives poorer quality video, drains your battery faster and it doesn't even save you any money. Anyone who thinks that a move to WebM would be good for them as a consumer is mistaken.
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post #159 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post

That may be true but whenever flash is mentioned on here it's referee to as a closed proprietary format because adobe own it. Yet it is a standards that can be implemented without paying royalties. So it seems that the defenition of open is changed to always favour what apple is doing.

No one here is trying to change the definition of open. Open has never meant free (as in zero cost).

The problem with Flash being proprietary is that it's Adobe who define the standard and who do all the coding. And they suck at coding for the OS X platform. If Flash actually worked well on OS X and iOS I wouldn't give a monkey's about it being proprietary. All I'm interested in is quality.
it's = it is / it has, its = belonging to it.
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it's = it is / it has, its = belonging to it.
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post #160 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jensonb View Post

They are charging. If you own a copy of Windows, a Mac, an iPhone, an iPod, a PlayStation 3, a Blu-Ray Player or any other device that can play or record H.264, and you paid for it, you paid for H.264.

This is exactly the argument I was waiting for
Actually, this is not necessarily true!

I'm reading the license: http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/...rmsSummary.pdf

As royalties are a sort of "private taxes", in my opinion, their economical effect may be compared to the one generated by excises.
Excises are not necessarily paid by the consumer: it depends on the elasticity of the demand. In some cases the full amount of the royalty may be paid by consumers, in others fully by producers and sometimes both are paying in a variable percentage.

Anyway, if you read the license, you see that royalty are between 0,10 USD and 0,20 USD per item sold... And there's a maximum cap.
So, yes, we may be paying for h264... But no more than 20 cents!
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