Re: [rtcweb] A different perspective on the video codec MTI discussion

Cameron Byrne <> Wed, 13 March 2013 23:54 UTC

Return-Path: <>
Received: from localhost (localhost []) by (Postfix) with ESMTP id BBD6421F8431 for <>; Wed, 13 Mar 2013 16:54:33 -0700 (PDT)
X-Virus-Scanned: amavisd-new at
X-Spam-Flag: NO
X-Spam-Score: -2.933
X-Spam-Status: No, score=-2.933 tagged_above=-999 required=5 tests=[AWL=0.665, BAYES_00=-2.599, HTML_MESSAGE=0.001, RCVD_IN_DNSWL_LOW=-1]
Received: from ([]) by localhost ( []) (amavisd-new, port 10024) with ESMTP id lbfowpPV+OJu for <>; Wed, 13 Mar 2013 16:54:30 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from ( []) by (Postfix) with ESMTP id 44DED21F8CD4 for <>; Wed, 13 Mar 2013 16:54:17 -0700 (PDT)
Received: by with SMTP id fn15so1549272wgb.20 for <>; Wed, 13 Mar 2013 16:54:16 -0700 (PDT)
DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; c=relaxed/relaxed;; s=20120113; h=mime-version:x-received:in-reply-to:references:date:message-id :subject:from:to:cc:content-type; bh=fDl3sGItlki1Fu587yLrc+FJIeQD81YiHSf3SwW03qQ=; b=T2ZKX2NLUc3OBFiMezne9T5ucNZiywRUPzMH3O8bRupYOyPxCkyMBCiRH1zwF7ONdb NqsSxT4GaN43XVfaIslvpg7tu2yYqfIXKM1lKrvSiZw+d+M4o+3GnNSEaffym+Q9b6lo QpFyv9yyfeywhM/A5M4XDq8T1CNX5GwieIE0gsxaHCYeF9CqD81peOWIRk3fWAirSg4Q F/kX+6oKhs37vFC62wCmAsKRn9ywL8rDDqXnmTa3JdoSuFxT+I2czqbWwu2PmTLBPZSB /bIqOWtJyAd/32YJV4SG5fMuCUTIMJs8pl1o53c2WbfnK4AZ+tya5Lj3bonskK66vMKd JOTQ==
MIME-Version: 1.0
X-Received: by with SMTP id c15mr402304wiw.18.1363218856347; Wed, 13 Mar 2013 16:54:16 -0700 (PDT)
Received: by with HTTP; Wed, 13 Mar 2013 16:54:16 -0700 (PDT)
Received: by with HTTP; Wed, 13 Mar 2013 16:54:16 -0700 (PDT)
In-Reply-To: <>
References: <> <> <> <>
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2013 16:54:16 -0700
Message-ID: <>
From: Cameron Byrne <>
To: Jonathan Rosenberg <>
Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="f46d04389555af0eae04d7d71fd0"
Cc: "" <>
Subject: Re: [rtcweb] A different perspective on the video codec MTI discussion
X-Mailman-Version: 2.1.12
Precedence: list
List-Id: Real-Time Communication in WEB-browsers working group list <>
List-Unsubscribe: <>, <>
List-Archive: <>
List-Post: <>
List-Help: <>
List-Subscribe: <>, <>
X-List-Received-Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2013 23:54:34 -0000

On Mar 13, 2013 4:44 PM, "Jonathan Rosenberg" <> wrote:
> Justin - my point is that there are non-web endpoints that people care
about - including most importantly mobile endpoints. Its not just about
pure numbers, its about reaching users on the devices/platforms they need
to be reached on.
> Surely you don't mean that its not important for developers (like Webex)
to reach users on mobile clients or other video systems outside of the web?

They too can have vp8 and opus. And if your legacy gear does not, then it
can negotiate appropriately to something that will work.

As a mobile operator offering fmc today, I look forward to opus and vp8
being ubiquitous in all devices.


> Thx,
> Jonathan R.
> On Wed, Mar 13, 2013 at 6:54 PM, Silvia Pfeiffer <> wrote:
>> Also, it is worth pointing out that h.264 cannot meet the RF
requirements of W3C, so the only alternatives we can look at are VP8 or
delaying the decision for an MTI until the market decides.
>> I'd rather we specify for an environment 5 years down the track (and
give companies like CISCO a reason to replace all their old devices with
new ones that support VP8) than continuing decision avoidance.
>> Regards,
>> Silvia.
>> (Speaking for myself)
>> On 14 Mar 2013 09:42, "Justin Uberti" <> wrote:
>>> Regarding your comment on the "web today", I think it is worthwhile to
point out that within weeks, there will be 2B+ deployed WebRTC endpoints,
across desktop and mobile, that support VP8.
>>> Surely that dwarfs the total number of deployed H.264 endpoints by
several orders of magnitude.
>>> On Wed, Mar 13, 2013 at 3:06 PM, Jonathan Rosenberg <>
>>>> I’d like to put a different perspective on the video MTI discussion.
>>>> Much of the discussion has been around video quality, IPR, and
standardization status. While those are all important factors, to me they
are secondary to the core question: how does the choice impact uptake of
the webRTC APIs and protocols by developers who build applications ontop of
it? In this regard, I would like to suggest that, at this time, adoption of
VP8 as MTI will slow down adoption of webRTC by turning off developers that
would otherwise embrace it if H.264 were selected.
>>>> The reason is simple. For many application developers, what is
interesting about webRTC is NOT just browser to browser communications, but
connecting users in a browser to users elsewhere - on other devices, in
other networks. After all, the vast majority of web application developers
do not have the luxury of a massive social graph, or the luxury of their
users being parked persistently on their website and thus able to receive
an incoming call. Many websites that have customer support or service needs
would love to be able to allow their users to have a video call with an
agent. However, those agents are probably sitting on existing agent systems
which are not web based, and it’s almost certainly true that they do not
today support VP8, but rather H.264. Many developers would probably love to
connect users on the web with users on mobile apps. Most mobile platforms
today support H264 based hardware acceleration for decode and sometimes
encode, but not yet VP8. Developers who want to build business
communications clients will need to connect those users with other users in
the business, who may be using videophones, PC clients, telepresence units
or video room systems, the vast majority of which do not support VP8 today,
but many of which do support H.264.
>>>> The reality is – today’s Internet and IP communications systems are
built on H.264. And unless the developer cares only about living within the
island of the web browser – a VP8 based solution will simply not meet their
>>>> This may not be true down the road. I applaud Google for working hard
(and spending much money no doubt) to secure an RF license for VP8 from
these patent holders. I think they should continue pushing and promoting
the technology because a  free, high quality video codec would be great for
the Internet. But today, it is not the video codec of the Internet. And,
given the relatively early days of video, I am sure there will be video
codecs after VP8. Maybe H.265, maybe the new video codec being developed
here at the IETF. And once those codecs become more broadly implemented and
available on the endpoints that matter, we can revise our specs and mandate
support for them. But this is not about the web of five years from now, its
about the web today. And if we mandate usage of a codec which is not widely
implemented in all the endpoints that matter (not just the browser), I fear
that it will hold developers back from using webRTC and thus prevent us
from ever having the opportunity to add these video codecs in the future.
>>>> And so – to the supporters of VP8 – I applaud your efforts and thank
you for them. Please continue. And when the industry is ready, we can make
VP8 MTI in the browser. But we are not there yet.  I ask you to please put
the needs of the developers ahead of your own, and do not hold back webRTC
for the benefit of your ideals around an RF and open source video codec.
WebRTC is too important for that.
>>>> I have one more thing to say - speaking now as a developer.
>>>> As some of you may know, I recently returned to Cisco as CTO of the
cloud collaboration group, which is responsible for Webex. Webex was one of
the first services to do voice and video on the web, using plugins of
course. For our business, a key requirement is interoperability with other
video systems in the Cisco portfolio, including our video clients and
telepresence units. Those are all based on H.264. Consequently, much as I
would like to avoid the need for a plugin, the benefits of eliminating the
plugin do not outweigh the drawbacks of having to transcode from VP8 to
H.264. If IETF selects VP8 as the MTI codec, this will make it dramatically
more difficult and expensive for us to use webRTC. If H.264 is the MIT
codec, it will make it much easier for us to use webRTC.
>>>> Thx,
>>>> Jonathan R.
>>>> --
>>>> Jonathan Rosenberg, Ph.D.
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> rtcweb mailing list
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> rtcweb mailing list
> --
> Jonathan Rosenberg, Ph.D.
> _______________________________________________
> rtcweb mailing list