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Google reaffirms intent to derail HTML5 H.264 video with WebM browser plugins - Page 3

post #81 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

The issue for Apple and other manufacturers is that supporting h.264 is done in hardware making it possible to play high quality video on a device with an underpowered cpu. In the case of webM, the video would drain the battery, drop frames and disappoint users. If WebM were on a chip then the license holders will have justification of lost revenue due to patent infringement and the law suit would be filed

One other thing is that while battery life is an issue, I believe WebM has been proven to play back smoothly on mobiles just using software decoding. It's much less computationally complex than H.264.

Like I said, I think it's a wash at the moment. People are debating more on personal passion than facts, or twisting facts to support personal passions.
post #82 of 481
If Google were all about open and free standards, they'd drop support for Flash as well in Chrome. Now they're ensuring Flash gets an advantage over HTML5.
post #83 of 481
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post #87 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by kepardue View Post

One other thing is that while battery life is an issue, I believe WebM has been proven to play back smoothly on mobiles just using software decoding. It's much less computationally complex than H.264.

Like I said, I think it's a wash at the moment. People are debating more on personal passion than facts, or twisting facts to support personal passions.

Pure speculation unless you have a citation. You need to compare them fairly. How big is the battery and how many cores is the cpu? How many pixels is the display? How much is the video compression. The laws of physics are much harder to circumvent than patent law.

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post #88 of 481
If everyone is going to support different standards, the user is the loser in the end. HTML5 H.264 seemed to be good why Google doesn't want to pay with all their money. So now a WebM plugin as well. Hopefully these 2 play nice together.
post #89 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by satcomer View Post

What ever seems to forget is Crome is based on Apple's Webkit. Sure Apple made Webkit opensource but don't surprised when Apple takes Webkit back. Beside what will Google do when Webkit includes HRML5 in Webkit? Drop Webkit?

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...
post #90 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenHoward View Post

..... Each time open source advocates have taken the long view and the internet is free today because of those decisions.

I'm not sure how "free" the internet is when I not only have to pay my cable provider for bandwidth use and on top of this I have to put up with ads all over the place ....... not complaining ... just saying ..... if I have to pay, why shouldn't Google .... who stands to make a ton of money off of it?
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post #91 of 481
Back when webm was announced and implemented into Crome I did a little test. I watched webm and flash versions of the same YouTube video on my MacBook. I looked at CPU usage and can speeds. The difference was negligible. Then I watched h.264 in safari - 2400 rpm and 60 instead of 100 CPU usage.

I don't know if webm improved over that time, but I have left the html5 besta and switched back to flash on chrome and ff because webm and flash had equally horrendous performance, but at least all videos were in flash.

Edit: I meant to type in 4200, not 2400 sorry. But the difference between 4200 and 6400 is barely hearing the fan in a room to it being pretty loud.
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post #92 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbee View Post

I'm not sure how "free" the internet is when I not only have to pay my cable provider for bandwidth use and on top of this I have to put up with ads all over the place ....... not complaining ... just saying ..... if I have to pay, why shouldn't Google .... who stands to make a ton of money off of it?

You know what's ironic??? Seems like Google actually does NOT pay for bandwidth http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/...ube-bandwidth/
post #93 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

Back when webm was announced and implemented into Crome I did a little test. I watched webm and flash versions of the same YouTube video on my MacBook. I looked at CPU usage and can speeds. The difference was negligible. Then I watched h.264 in safari - 2400 rpm and 60 instead of 100 CPU usage.

I don't know if webm improved over that time, but I have left the html5 besta and switched back to flash on chrome and ff because webm and flash had equally horrendous performance, but at least all videos were in flash.

This is exactly because of hardware acceleration.
H264 is hardware-decoded, at least on modern macbooks.

In my 2010 MacBook Pro, the Intel HD integrated video card can decode YouTube's video by itself (even 720p), without having to activate the NVidia discrete card!
Miracles of hardware acceleration
post #94 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenHoward View Post

How pathetic, you're happy to create a commercial monopolist because it makes life easier for you today, don't worry about tomorrow.

I am happy to use what works well and is built into much of the video on the web and elsewhere.
post #95 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

That depends on whether you pass or not! .....
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post #96 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

They expire in 2027.

Doing some quick searches, patents after 1995 last 20 years.

Mpeg- la infers that the clock started ticking for patents ~2001. But they are not clear on if that applies to all patents

http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/AVC/Pages/FAQ.aspx

The problem with this whole issue is multiple definitions for terms like standard, specifications and open.

IMO, and I'm no expert so forgive the ignorance, if something is to be a specification standard it should be open source and free. Just agreeing on what works(h.264), well that may be a 'standard' agreement to do something, but that is not a specification standard. In otherwords, both sides are correct IMO. Solution... If mlegla wants this to be industry specification standard, they should make it free. Else it's just a general agreement that may be open to monopoly review(ala Microsoft)
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post #97 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbee View Post

That depends on whether you pass or not! .....

I'm knocking on wood You're trying to bring bad luck???
post #98 of 481
I think there's a lot of confusion on this matter. Google simply doesn't have the power to force people to adopt WebM. Dropping H.264 in Chrome is, to my mind, an entirely cynical move aimed at propping up Flash with the intention of damaging Apple. Consider the following:

1. Google has said they will remove H.264 support in HTML5 from the Chrome browser. It has also said it will supply WebM plugins for other browsers.

2. Google's Chrome browser will still ship with Flash which supports H.264 so Chrome will still support H.264 video.

3. Google has not said it will remove H.264 from Android. Since Android phones have hardware support for H.264 this is unlikely.

4. Even if Google removed H.264 support from Android the handset manufacturers could just add it back themselves. This is a likely scenario since they all support H.264 in hardware and are all H.264 licensees regardless. Most of the Android handset manufacturers support other platforms, like Windows Phone 7, that support H.264 and will never have support for WebM. They have nothing to gain from dropping H.264 support. Google has no means of forcing the handset manufacturers to drop H.264 or use WebM. The best they could do would be to provide incentives. Also note that many carriers have video services that supply video in H.264 format. H.264 support could easily be continued simply by branching that module from the existing Android codebase and continuing development outside Google.

5. Google has not said it will stop encoding videos in H.264 on YouTube. To do so would require WebM support in other browsers. This won't be possible until Google has a WebM plugin available for Internet Explorer and Safari or Flash supports WebM. Android would also need to support WebM. Google does not have the ability to update the vast majority of existing Android phones without the approval of the handset manufacturers and carriers. If you've seen how fragmented Android is on different phones then you know that dropping support for H.264 on YouTube would mean dropping support for the huge number of existing Android phones that run older versions of the software and do not receive updates. Obviously it would also mean no longer supporting iOS devices and Windows Phone 7 devices. This would be far more damaging to Google than to anyone else. If anything Google's "monopoly" on web video makes it more difficult for them to take a stance on web video standards; if they start excluding existing devices they will quickly lose users. Google makes its money from advertising. If you were a company advertising on YouTube and Google started systematically excluding people from viewing video there in an attempt to make a point about open standards, you would not continue to advertise with Google. People talk as if Google answers to no one; in fact, they answer to the companies that advertise with them. Those are their customers, not you and not the open source community. They have to be always expanding their audience, not contracting it to make minor points in an ideological battle their customers do not understand or care about.

6. Internet Explorer still has the most market share and Microsoft has pledged support for H.264 and not WebM. They have also supplied a H.264 plugin for Firefox. It's likely that we'll see an H.264 plugin for Chrome. Apple could easily supply an H.264 plugin for Firefox and Chrome on the Mac. The result will be that almost any browser running on these two platforms (Windows and OS X) will support H.264. If such plugins become ubiquitous then Flash won't be necessary to watch video anywhere and nobody will need to re-encode their video in WebM.

7. A large and significant number of web users are running old versions of browsers and out of date Flash plugins. The only way to serve video content to them is via Flash. When choosing which format to encode video in it only makes sense to use H.264 since it can be served directly or in a Flash wrapper. Nobody is going to take the time to encode in WebM as well when they can reach everyone through H.264 either directly using the <video> tag (native support or a plugin) or via Flash.

8. It's worth noting that any browser could easily support H.264 without paying royalties by simply using the native support in modern operating systems to render video just like apps in the App Store can play H.264 video without having to implement their own decoder or pay royalties.

In short, Google just doesn't have the power to change video on the web.
post #99 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by EgoAleSum View Post

I'm knocking on wood You're trying to bring bad luck???

You'll pass, with flying colors (whatever the hell that means) .... I have great faith in you. Best wishes!
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post #100 of 481
Uh.... I'm not going to just switch because it saves Google money. H.264 is fast, instant and looks great.
post #101 of 481
MPEGLA needs to sue the first major OEM to install Chrome with WebM, to send a very clear message.

and Apple needs to just buy Adobe and put Flash (and Acrobat) out of its misery.
post #102 of 481
Bottom line: WebM goes no where, Google saves Flash on desktop browsers due to H.264 support.
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post #103 of 481
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.
post #104 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Short answer: It's complicated.

Longer answer: These huge multinational companies are sneaky and it usually takes the US Feds or the EU to rein them in. That doesn't happen until a company's actions constitute hardship/harm to citizens or show improper leveraging of a monopoly, which I think would be the case with YouTube.

So you think YouTube is unlikely to drop support for HTML5/ H.264 then? In which case I would not be too worried about what Chrome does or doesn't do. I don't see Chrome becoming a massively dominant and paradigm shifting player in the market, especially now.
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post #105 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by poke View Post

I think there's a lot of confusion on this matter. Google simply doesn't have the power to force people to adopt WebM. Dropping H.264 in Chrome is, to my mind, an entirely cynical move aimed at propping up Flash with the intention of damaging Apple. Consider the following:

1. Google has said they will remove H.264 support in HTML5 from the Chrome browser. It has also said it will supply WebM plugins for other browsers.

2. Google's Chrome browser will still ship with Flash which supports H.264 so Chrome will still support H.264 video.

3. Google has not said it will remove H.264 from Android. Since Android phones have hardware support for H.264 this is unlikely.

4. Even if Google removed H.264 support from Android the handset manufacturers could just add it back themselves. This is a likely scenario since they all support H.264 in hardware and are all H.264 licensees regardless. Most of the Android handset manufacturers support other platforms, like Windows Phone 7, that support H.264 and will never have support for WebM. They have nothing to gain from dropping H.264 support. Google has no means of forcing the handset manufacturers to drop H.264 or use WebM. The best they could do would be to provide incentives. Also note that many carriers have video services that supply video in H.264 format. H.264 support could easily be continued simply by branching that module from the existing Android codebase and continuing development outside Google.

5. Google has not said it will stop encoding videos in H.264 on YouTube. To do so would require WebM support in other browsers. This won't be possible until Google has a WebM plugin available for Internet Explorer and Safari or Flash supports WebM. Android would also need to support WebM. Google does not have the ability to update the vast majority of existing Android phones without the approval of the handset manufacturers and carriers. If you've seen how fragmented Android is on different phones then you know that dropping support for H.264 on YouTube would mean dropping support for the huge number of existing Android phones that run older versions of the software and do not receive updates. Obviously it would also mean no longer supporting iOS devices and Windows Phone 7 devices. This would be far more damaging to Google than to anyone else. If anything Google's "monopoly" on web video makes it more difficult for them to take a stance on web video standards; if they start excluding existing devices they will quickly lose users. Google makes its money from advertising. If you were a company advertising on YouTube and Google started systematically excluding people from viewing video there in an attempt to make a point about open standards, you would not continue to advertise with Google. People talk as if Google answers to no one; in fact, they answer to the companies that advertise with them. Those are their customers, not you and not the open source community. They have to be always expanding their audience, not contracting it to make minor points in an ideological battle their customers do not understand or care about.

6. Internet Explorer still has the most market share and Microsoft has pledged support for H.264 and not WebM. They have also supplied a H.264 plugin for Firefox. It's likely that we'll see an H.264 plugin for Chrome. Apple could easily supply an H.264 plugin for Firefox and Chrome on the Mac. The result will be that almost any browser running on these two platforms (Windows and OS X) will support H.264. If such plugins become ubiquitous then Flash won't be necessary to watch video anywhere and nobody will need to re-encode their video in WebM.

7. A large and significant number of web users are running old versions of browsers and out of date Flash plugins. The only way to serve video content to them is via Flash. When choosing which format to encode video in it only makes sense to use H.264 since it can be served directly or in a Flash wrapper. Nobody is going to take the time to encode in WebM as well when they can reach everyone through H.264 either directly using the <video> tag (native support or a plugin) or via Flash.

8. It's worth noting that any browser could easily support H.264 without paying royalties by simply using the native support in modern operating systems to render video just like apps in the App Store can play H.264 video without having to implement their own decoder or pay royalties.

In short, Google just doesn't have the power to change video on the web.

Thank you, good summation that makes sense to me on all levels.
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post #106 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by EgoAleSum View Post

You know what's ironic??? Seems like Google actually does NOT pay for bandwidth http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/...ube-bandwidth/

I think the basic way to calculate who pays what for bandwidth is to calculate the net download and the party pulling most traffic pays the other party. This goes for exchange of traffic in exchange points. This would mean that YouTube is a pure cost to allow thru any backbone, since the user sends a short request and then downloads the whole video.
post #107 of 481
This article is wrong, there is no Safari WebM plugin available today...
post #108 of 481
These kind of articles are the reason I visit Appleinsider. I'm not going to pretend I understand the technical issues entirely (I'm a lawyer, not a technical person) but Appleinsider is good place to learn, as long as you appreciate that their take is biased (the clue is in the name of the site!).

One thing stands out to me though. The assumption that Google will not be sued but rather the hardware manufacturers and carriers, because Google does not charge for its OS or browser. That assumption assumes that the patent holders' primary interest is recovering lost revenue in the most simplistic way - sue the money makers. It is quite possible that Google could be sued, or an injunction served, to protect patent holders' rights - a more strategic move on the part of the patent holders.

As a normal user, the most worrying outcome for me is that Flash won't disappear. I find the lack of Flash support on my iPad and iPhone very annoying. I do understand Apple's desire to kill Flash, but at the end of the day I just want content to work on all my devices. If Google's move is going to slow down the demise of Flash, I think Apple has to seriously reconsider supporting Flash on iOS for the benefit of the user.
post #109 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

So you think YouTube is unlikely to drop support for HTML5/ H.264 then? In which case I would not be too worried about what Chrome does or doesn't do. I don't see Chrome becoming a massively dominant and paradigm shifting player in the market, especially now.

yeah. and a big question is what does this do to Chrome OS later this year? launching a new product like that which can't support the "whole web" is really a problem. the iPad proved you don't need Flash. apps can deal with media delivery directly and on their own - and better. but a browser dependent OS mandates always using Flash as middleware to get H264 content.
post #110 of 481
I disagree somewhat with the conclusion that Google can't afford to pay licensing fees for H.264 because they want to give their OS and browser away. If they can afford to give all of their software (or the vast majority of it) away "for free," but they pay for the development and maintenance of said software (including WebM itself), then why can't they afford to pay licensing fees for software & technology produced elsewhere?

It's looking more and more like another case of "not invented here" (NIH) syndrome. They can justify it in whatever non-evil-sounding politically correct way they want, but the bottom line is that they've put the good of Google ahead of the good of their users. That's what happens when companies get really successful. Right, Microsoft? IBM? GM? You know what I'm talking about

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post #111 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

even if Google removes H.264 support from Chrome and or Android, users (or hardware makers or carriers) can add it back, greatly diluting Google's leverage against H.264 among mobile devices

I think this is the key point. Google's free software is interesting because it will be the basis of third party devices. Is it likely that any significant third party will leave out the H264 plugin? The answer seems to pretty clearly be no. So Google has not removed anything in practice -- they have just scored some points in the OSS world.
post #112 of 481
It seems to me that the most obvious way to resolve this would be for Apple to develop a H.264 plugin for Chrome and Firefox. Is that not possible?
post #113 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post

This article is wrong, there is no Safari WebM plugin available today...

No, but Google has publicly said they have one coming.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Fix View Post

This will be interesting to watch. I wonder how much longer Apple is going to sit on the sidelines before they launch a search engine and a video site.

I'd wager that's unnecessary. Google's position is already precarious with YouTube. I'm sure Mark Zuckerberg would happily turn Facebook Video into a YouTube Killer, the way he's already trying to turn Facebook Messages into a (don't-call-it-a-) GMail Killer. And with the power of the largest Social Network on the planet behind it, Facebook Video could crush YouTube as soon as look at it without too much work. As for Search, killing Google Search isn't necessary. Apple already has a player in Google's real business: iAd.

If Apple really wants to screw over Google, all they have to do is expand iAd to the Web. A lot of developers will be hugely attracted to the idea of ads which, when clicked, open up mini-webApps on the same page rather than cumbersome annoying Flash objects or taking users directly to a new site. On top of which, iAd banners themselves are invariably more attractive than your typical Google Ad, which often have the effect of cheapening a page's design.

On the professional side, HTML5 H.264 os already turning its guns on webM, Flash and YouTube - do not underestimate the power of blip.tv. They're porting their Flash-based Stratos Player to HTML5, complete with fully functional Pre-rolls, lower third ads and post-rolls. And the beating heart of Stratos for HTML5 is H.264.

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post #114 of 481
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post #117 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazybrit@mac.com View Post

It seems to me that the most obvious way to resolve this would be for Apple to develop a H.264 plugin for Chrome and Firefox. Is that not possible?

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.

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post #118 of 481
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post #119 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I disagree somewhat with the conclusion that Google can't afford to pay licensing fees for H.264 because they want to give their OS and browser away. If they can afford to give all of their software (or the vast majority of it) away "for free," but they pay for the development and maintenance of said software (including WebM itself), then why can't they afford to pay licensing fees for software & technology produced elsewhere?

It's looking more and more like another case of "not invented here" (NIH) syndrome. They can justify it in whatever non-evil-sounding politically correct way they want, but the bottom line is that they've put the good of Google ahead of the good of their users. That's what happens when companies get really successful. Right, Microsoft? IBM? GM? You know what I'm talking about

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.
post #120 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.

I will tell you why it will fail. Web developers will just put the download plug-in links in their code if their code doesn't allow h.264. So google and FF will simply use the html5 plug-ins since they are so happy to use plug-ins. Don't expect people to move to inferior WebM. Wait until it's superior first. Open Source was supposed to help make better technologies that are also free and open source.

I am actually think it was the right move by google...but I think they did this way too soon. They needed to test the patents first by trying to make a superior product and stop thinking they can steal what ever code they want. People worked hard on the code and deserve to be paid for their work.
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