Apple looks to improve visual quality of streaming video

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 49
    boogabooga Posts: 1,077member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    Open you mind NEWBEE and embrace different forms of streaming- ones that already exists- ones that work excellently on 90% of computers out there and excellently on the other 10%, provided you don't use any other application simultaneously.



    Big difference between a ubiquity argument and a quality one. Yes, agreed, Flash video is everywhere. But no, the quality isn't very good in an absolute sense and it's absolutely awful if you factor in quality for consumed processing power.
  • Reply 22 of 49
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Booga View Post


    Big difference between a ubiquity argument and a quality one. Yes, agreed, Flash video is everywhere. But no, the quality isn't very good in an absolute sense and it's absolutely awful if you factor in quality for consumed processing power.



    The quality of FLash VOD is pretty decent- not HD- but decent. Much better than YouTube and HULU.
  • Reply 23 of 49
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,599member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by huntercr View Post


    So Apple wants to mask artifacts by introducing random noise that makes it less obvious that an artifact occurred? So I won't notice it because thoe whole screen will be snowy?

    Uhhh.... ok.





    Okay spend all this time to clean up the video and get rid of noise only to re-introduce it back into the video stream. The basis principle is that human eye can easily filter out the noise verses missing blocks of information.



    The problem is when the video blocks you can also get distorted audio and mixing noise into the audio stream would not be a good thing
  • Reply 24 of 49
    zandroszandros Posts: 537member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post


    Okay spend all this time to clean up the video and get rid of noise only to re-introduce it back into the video stream. The basis principle is that human eye can easily filter out the noise verses missing blocks of information.



    Getting rid of noise like film grain isn't desirable, DNR destroys detail.
  • Reply 25 of 49
    Compression artifacts and noise are not the same thing. Compression artifacts usually are present in the form of "blocks". This is a result of the compression routine "grouping" together like colors, and even going so far as to make like colors more similar than they originally are. I don't know if my explanation makes any sense to you, the reader, but it makes sense to me!



    Noise on the other hand, is just that....it's noise. A bit like turning on the TV when the cable is out. Only in this case, the noise would be MUCH more subtle.



    Applying noise to reduce compression artifacts or banding in still imagery or videos is a very old trick of digital artists. I do this in Photoshop and Final Cut Pro all the time. My guess is that Apple would like to apply a similar trick to heavily compressed streaming video. I doubt it will be part of the video file, but rather, a post effect handled by Quicktime or iTunes or whatever.



    If this is the case, they're not really doing anything new. About the only thing that is new about this is that you won't need to manually apply the noise effect yourself. Apple's software will take care of it for you.
  • Reply 26 of 49
    In the interim, Apple recommends users "stand further away from the screen than usual" to observe the desired effect.
  • Reply 27 of 49
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,224moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LuisDias View Post


    What the hell do you mean by a VHS tape image degradation looking "natural"?!? Whenever I look at reality, things do not look "degradated", mkay? Any kind of "degradation" due to it being "recorded" or "streamed" or whatever have you is not natural, it's by definition, artificial. mkay?



    It's a more acceptable form of noise and easier to ignore. Some film makers prefer to shoot on old-style film because it gives the footage character and a different mood. When the footage is shot on crisp HD, it often looks more fake - this is especially true for CG movies. I'm not suggesting that VHS quality is where we should aim for streaming video, just that the artifacts were more acceptable the way they appeared than how they appear in digital compression.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud


    Simple- make Macs handle FLASH properly. Streaming Flash looks great.



    Modern Flash streaming uses H264 and they can often use high bitrates for downstream-only. I reckon this patent is more for ichat real-time streaming where the bitrates are limited to your upstream connection (easily under 500k) and fast compression where artifacts can appear.
  • Reply 28 of 49
    Just make sure no patent trolls have any possible things to work off of!
  • Reply 29 of 49
    Long time lurker, first time poster.



    In case anyone is interested in looking this up, it's essentially dithering, but performed on the client side, as well as being dynamic. I haven't read the entire patent, but I'd imagine that's what it is.



    As for "Flash video is better", that's total nonsense. FLV compression simply isn't up there with the more advanced codecs.
  • Reply 30 of 49
    zandroszandros Posts: 537member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    It's a more acceptable form of noise and easier to ignore.



    As far as I understand the HVS model, artificial detail is preferable to softness. There's a reason why major studios use edge enhancement and sharpening on major blockbusters.



    Quote:

    Some film makers prefer to shoot on old-style film because it gives the footage character and a different mood. When the footage is shot on crisp HD, it often looks more fake - this is especially true for CG movies.



    This makes no sense unless you're talking about some film with very low resolution. Many movies in HD were shot on film, old ones at that.



    Quote:

    I'm not suggesting that VHS quality is where we should aim for streaming video, just that the artifacts were more acceptable the way they appeared than how they appear in digital compression.



    Well, I can apply blur filters on playback if I feel like it. Dot crawl and rainbowing might be harder.
  • Reply 31 of 49
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TomHicks View Post


    As for "Flash video is better", that's total nonsense. FLV compression simply isn't up there with the more advanced codecs.



    FLV supports H.264
  • Reply 32 of 49
    ahmlcoahmlco Posts: 432member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Stoobs View Post


    FLV supports H.264



    Does Flash support HARDWARE decoding of H.264?
  • Reply 33 of 49
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    Simple- make Macs handle FLASH properly. Streaming Flash looks great.



    Either you're trolling (unlike you :P), or you can't be bothered to do even the slightest bit of research,



    1. Flash performance is Adobe's fault (as is evident from playing H.264 video from YouTube via ClickToFlash [10% usage per core, versus Flash embedded 65% usage per core).

    2. Flash, at least on the desktop, has access to the higher quality "Main profiles" of H.264, mobile devices in particular use "baseline profile" which doesn't support some of the fancy quantizations and require less CPU cycles to decode (also making it cheaper to implement decoder in hardware), this baseline profile will also result in a lower quality image.
  • Reply 34 of 49
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tawilson View Post


    Either you're trolling (unlike you :P), or you can't be bothered to do even the slightest bit of research,



    1. Flash performance is Adobe's fault (as is evident from playing H.264 video from YouTube via ClickToFlash [10% usage per core, versus Flash embedded 65% usage per core).

    2. Flash, at least on the desktop, has access to the higher quality "Main profiles" of H.264, mobile devices in particular use "baseline profile" which doesn't support some of the fancy quantizations and require less CPU cycles to decode (also making it cheaper to implement decoder in hardware), this baseline profile will also result in a lower quality image.



    Are you talking about on a Mac, PC , OR both?
  • Reply 35 of 49
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cubert View Post


    I'm assuming this is somewhat analogous to one sound wave cancelling out another?



    I think it is more analogous to dithering in audio.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post


    ... mixing noise into the audio stream would not be a good thing



    It is routinely done in digital audio.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TomHicks View Post


    Long time lurker, first time poster.



    In case anyone is interested in looking this up, it's essentially dithering, but performed on the client side, as well as being dynamic. I haven't read the entire patent, but I'd imagine that's what it is.

    .



    You beat me to it.
  • Reply 36 of 49
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Modern Flash streaming uses H264 and they can often use high bitrates for downstream-only. I reckon this patent is more for ichat real-time streaming where the bitrates are limited to your upstream connection (easily under 500k) and fast compression where artifacts can appear.



    OMG- THE post of the day with a real intelligent answer. Thank you , thank you. You've explained everything- really!
  • Reply 37 of 49
    Adding some blur is a normal way for graphic designers to clean up an image. It works great in some areas, and badly in others.



    Likewise, if you make your TV less sharp (or even change the brightness and contrast on your TV), you can dramatically reduce the visibility of compression artefacts from digital cable TV.... and the picture looks clearer.



    I would assume that the decoder has a great idea at where the edges of a compressed block of picture are, and can then look at the range of colours in a block and surrounding block and whether the edges predict a visible change in colouring - implying a high likelihood that it's a compression artefact rather than something from the movie itself. So applying a blur at those points would work rather well.
  • Reply 38 of 49
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by slinberg View Post


    I just hope that one day, in the far future, maybe there will be a 1,024-core mac that can play a youtube video over a broadband link without stuttering.



  • Reply 39 of 49
    successsuccess Posts: 1,039member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Modern Flash streaming uses H264 and they can often use high bitrates for downstream-only. I reckon this patent is more for ichat real-time streaming where the bitrates are limited to your upstream connection (easily under 500k) and fast compression where artifacts can appear.



    Hmm iChat chatter is making the rounds again recently. I reckon we are going to see iChat on the iPhone sooner than later.
  • Reply 40 of 49
    I think Apple should spend their time making QuickTime even remotely as fast or standards-complete as x264, the QuickTime H.264 encode is an absolute joke among x264 devs. They have a lot they could work on there, rather than filing a patent on a dubiously useful technique like this...



    These sources are obviously x264 devs, so I usually take with a grain of salt coming from one party in a vs., but I think x264 is far and away, beyond conclusively, better. Apple, improve here.



    http://x264dev.multimedia.cx/?p=102
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