[rtcweb] Proposal for H.263 baseline codec

Dean Willis <dean.willis@softarmor.com> Thu, 29 March 2012 12:15 UTC

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Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2012 14:15:35 +0200
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From: Dean Willis <dean.willis@softarmor.com>
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Subject: [rtcweb] Proposal for H.263 baseline codec
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In today's meeting I made a plea for a mandatory baseline codec that is
approachable to the small developer without the cost and IPR risks of
either H.264 or VP8.

I believe that some sort of baseline codec is required to jump start the
protocol. It's OK if this isn't the best possible codec. Market forces will
assure that commercial implementations converge on a higher quality when
the market requires it.

While I proposed today that H.261 could serve as a baseline, we know this
would be "extremely basic". In other words, it might not pass the "good
enough to use" test required for a successful launch.

Stephane and several others suggested H.263 as an alternative during the
after-meeting chat. While it is not as IPR-safe a choice as H.261, it is
relatively mature and the known challenges have generally failed.
Implementations are reasonably available and should make it possible for
smaller implementers, students, and hobbyists to play ball. It's not all
that network efficient and is outright piggy at higher resolutions, but it
probably works "well enough to use."

So I propose we set H.263 as the baseline ( I expect a bit of profiling may
be necessary to further qualify the baseline) and run with that for now. If
the situation changes, we can always replace it before final publication.