Re: [rtcweb] Platforms that support H264 (was: Congratuiations on the Cisco announcement - but we still prefer VP8)

tim panton <tim@phonefromhere.com> Sun, 03 November 2013 10:49 UTC

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From: tim panton <tim@phonefromhere.com>
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Date: Sun, 3 Nov 2013 10:49:39 +0000
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To: Eric Rescorla <ekr@rtfm.com>
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Subject: Re: [rtcweb] Platforms that support H264 (was: Congratuiations on the Cisco announcement - but we still prefer VP8)
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On 2 Nov 2013, at 22:43, Eric Rescorla <ekr@rtfm.com> wrote:

> 
> 
> 
> On Sat, Nov 2, 2013 at 3:28 PM, Emil Ivov <emcho@jitsi.org> wrote:
> I'd encourage you to read back.
> 
> This part of the thread started with the claim that most of the time it won't come to downloading Cisco's binary because there is already widespread OS support for H.264 encoding on all OSes
> 
> 
> I assume you're referring to Bernard's comment? If so, I don't think that's actually
> what he said.
> 
> In any case, speaking as someone who actually has to deal with this, it's more
> work to maintain more code paths. Thus, I anticipate using Cisco's binary on
> all desktop platforms and only using platform codecs where it offers a significant
> performance advantage, e.g., on mobile.

Unfortunately it is on mobile that these codecs are not available.

> 
> On a related note: it's a mistake to assume that just because there aren't
> currently good interfaces to the existing H.264 encoding hardware that those
> interfaces will never exist. For instance, the iPhone clearly has real-time
> capable encoding hardware, and Apple certainly could make it available
> if they wanted. That's a much simpler proposition than adding hardware
> where none exists.

I’m not sure that the situation is quite that simple, I think that many of the currently
deployed GPUs would be capable of accelerating VP8 with a firmware update.

One can speculate endlessly about the future, but one of the benefits of h264 is
that the hardware is deployed. However when you examine this claim, we find that it is only 
available to the platform owner, so we risk having a vendor lock-in where the
platform browser has access to performance that 3rd party browsers don’t .

Tim.

> 
> -Ekr
>