Re: [rtcweb] Congratuiations on the Cisco announcement - but we still prefer VP8

Erik Lagerway <erik@hookflash.com> Mon, 04 November 2013 17:38 UTC

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From: Erik Lagerway <erik@hookflash.com>
To: Tim Panton <thp@westhawk.co.uk>
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Subject: Re: [rtcweb] Congratuiations on the Cisco announcement - but we still prefer VP8
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+1 Tim

Not sure if forcing developers to implement a royalty bearing codec is
helpful at all, whether they be indie or corporate.

Furthermore, it seems that the industry should be allowed to make their own
decisions with this in mind.  Many will end up supporting both codecs
anyways, at least that is what we are hearing from our customers and
prospect customers building with WebRTC and Object RTC in mind.


*Erik Lagerway <http://ca.linkedin.com/in/lagerway> |
*Hookflash<http://hookflash.com/>* |
1 (855) Hookflash ext. 2 | Twitter
<http://twitter.com/elagerway> | WebRTC.is Blog <http://webrtc.is/> *


On Mon, Nov 4, 2013 at 8:01 AM, Tim Panton <thp@westhawk.co.uk> wrote:

>
> On 4 Nov 2013, at 14:58, Jonathan Rosenberg <jdrosen@jdrosen.net> wrote:
>
> I do not believe that "genuinely free" is the only, nor even the primary,
> consideration here.
>
> I believe we should in general be thinking about what it takes to make
> webRTC successful. And more than anything else, that means making it a
> platform that application developers can utilize. If we do our jobs well,
> we'll have many thousands (hundreds of thousands even) of applications on
> the web that are enabled with real-time comms and frankly a great many of
> them will know nothing about codecs or the nuances of MPEG-LA licensing.
> What are the considerations for making webRTC attractive to them?
>
> I assert that the primary thing they'll want is to interconnect their
> application with some kind of video network or user base that can add value
> to their application. Let me give an example. Lets say there is a bank, and
> this bank wants to add the ability for a user to look at their investment
> portfolio online, click a button, and have a voice/video call with their
> investment advisor. To build such an app into their existing banking web
> app, the bank will need webRTC to connect to the voice and video contact
> center and clients their investment advisors have. Today, all of that is
> based on H.264.
>
>
> But the scale of such _video_ deployments is so negligible compared to
> current VP8 deployment in chrome and firefox as to make that
> argument unconvincing to me.
>
>
> So - I would assert that frankly our primary consideration for webRTC is
> interoperability. And interoperability as a requirement clearly points to
> H.264.
>
> There are other considerations too. Some of the ones I'd list are:
>
> * Interoperates with install base
>
>
> An irrelevant install base, mostly consisting of non-realtime decoders.
>
> * Widespread deployment
>
>
> Deployments that can't interoperate with web RTC because they don't
> support the required security features, or don't
> support APIs that expose realtime H264.
>
> * Appeals to the existing set of video application developers - in other
> words, the biggest consumers of webRTC should be the folks who are already
> providing video communications applications on the Internet (which by
> definition none of them do so natively from the browser). Don't we want
> them to come to the web with webRTC?
>
>
> Really? That's quite some assertion. I suppose many web designers did come
> from a print-design background initially,
> but they have rapidly been overcome by webnative developers.
>
> * Available widely in hardware - especially mobile phones
>
>
> But entirely in-accessible to developers- except to the platform players,
> giving the platform browser an unfair advantage.
>
> * Broad availability of expertise
> * Broad availability of toolsets
>
>
> I'll grant these two, but with the caveat that if VP8 were to be an MTI in
> webRTC we could expect toolsets and expertise
> to grow pretty fast, and probably overtake h264 before long. I say this
> because creating such tools in h264-land requires
> lawyers and licences. The VP8 coders can do their initial work in a garage
> in spare time.
>
> * Multiple codebases and implementations to choose from
>
>
> That's the best argument for h264 I've seen so far.
>
>
> And none of that has anything to do with IPR or royalties.
>
>
> That's where we disagree. The legal framework shapes every decision in
> this space. Open source hackers will
> be very edgy of messing with h264 for fear of falling off the legal
> straight and narrow.
>
> T.
>
>
> -Jonathan R.
>
>
>
> On Sat, Nov 2, 2013 at 8:48 AM, Ron <ron@debian.org> wrote:
>
>> On Thu, Oct 31, 2013 at 07:47:31PM +0100, Harald Alvestrand wrote:
>> > We congratulate Cisco on their intention to make an open source H.264
>> codec
>> > available and usable by the community. We look forward to seeing the
>> result
>> > of this effort.
>> >
>> > Google still believes that VP8 - a freely available, fully open,
>> > high-quality video codec that you can download, compile for your
>> platform,
>> > include in your binary, distribute and put into production today - is
>> the
>> > best choice of a Mandatory to Implement video codec for the WebRTC
>> effort.
>>
>> This is my belief also.
>>
>> While the Cisco announcement is certainly an interesting approach to
>> trying
>> to extricate their existing technology investment from the deep quagmire
>> of
>> encumbrances that currently bind it, the result still falls well short of
>> not only the ideal, but also the already existing alternative choices that
>> we have available to us.
>>
>> Given the choice between a genuinely Free option, that anyone is free to
>> improve and distribute however they wish - and a no-cost binary-only
>> option
>> that is available from only a single supplier, while Happy Hour lasts -
>> the
>> decision still seems to be something of a no-brainer.  Even before you
>> also
>> consider that the Free Option is not constrained to only its lowest
>> possible
>> performance mode in the implementation that is available to people today.
>>
>> VP8 still seems like the only obvious and enduring choice for an MTI codec
>> for WebRTC at present.
>>
>>   Ron
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
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>> rtcweb@ietf.org
>> https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/rtcweb
>>
>
>
>
> --
> Jonathan Rosenberg, Ph.D.
> jdrosen@jdrosen.net
> http://www.jdrosen.net
>  _______________________________________________
> rtcweb mailing list
> rtcweb@ietf.org
> https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/rtcweb
>
>
> Tim Panton - Web/VoIP consultant and implementor
> www.westhawk.co.uk
>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
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> https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/rtcweb
>
>