Re: [rtcweb] ~"I'd love it if patents evaporated...If not now, when"

Justin Uberti <juberti@google.com> Thu, 14 November 2013 06:07 UTC

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From: Justin Uberti <juberti@google.com>
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2013 22:07:32 -0800
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Subject: Re: [rtcweb] ~"I'd love it if patents evaporated...If not now, when"
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On Wed, Nov 13, 2013 at 9:22 PM, cowwoc <cowwoc@bbs.darktech.org>; wrote:

> On 13/11/2013 8:43 PM, Justin Uberti wrote:
>
>> Regarding H.261: Consider the following clip, encoded at 256 kbps using
>> H.261.
>> http://www-mobile.ecs.soton.ac.uk/peter/h261/missa.norm.h261.mpg
>>
>> Do you think this quality (QCIF, grayscale, PSNR of 38) is acceptable for
>> your users?
>>
>
> That is hardly a scientific comparison.
>
> And again, it is misleading to imply that I am advocating the mass-use of
> H.261. I am only advocating the use of this codec in the 5-10% of cases
> where the clients fail to agree on a common upgrade path (to VP8 or H.264).
> In those cases, I'd happily accept H.261 instead of dropping the call. You
> can still transcode, if you so wish.
>
> It is a single example, but I think it illustrates the limits on what you
can achieve with a 25-year-old (really!) coding technology. The page at
http://www-mobile.ecs.soton.ac.uk/peter/h261/ claims that the compression
ratio for the above file is 25:1, with PSNR of 38. Modern codecs achieve
compression ratios of at least 150:1 for similar PSNR with a similar
talking head scene, i.e. H.261 requires at least 6x the bits for the same
quality.

Implementing H.261 in WebRTC has a nontrivial cost. If you think H.261 is a
realistic option, I think you need to show data that indicates it can
deliver decent quality at typical internet bitrates.