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

"Mo Zanaty (mzanaty)" <mzanaty@cisco.com> Thu, 07 November 2013 20:33 UTC

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From: "Mo Zanaty (mzanaty)" <mzanaty@cisco.com>
To: Gustavo Garcia <ggb@tokbox.com>, Harald Alvestrand <hta@google.com>
Thread-Topic: [rtcweb] Congratuiations on the Cisco announcement - but we still prefer VP8
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Date: Thu, 7 Nov 2013 20:33:40 +0000
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Subject: Re: [rtcweb] Congratuiations on the Cisco announcement - but we still prefer VP8
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The blog makes a good point I would like to highlight and address:
"If you want us to get 100% serious about H.264 for WebRTC, why not just make it free?  MPEG-LA, you’ll get our attention if you declare software implementations of H.264 codecs for WebRTC free and clear of royalties."

Many (of the ~30) member companies in the MPEG-LA AVC pool agree with this point and pushed for amendments to the license to make constrained baseline profile royalty-free. There were a few objections. So the supporting members took this point directly to MPEG itself (all >200 members), to have a new royalty-free standard called WebVC that is H.264 AVC CBP. This has progressed in MPEG to DIS (Draft Intl Std) status, when IPR declarations are typically made.

In short, most MPEG members are not evil, and want the same thing as the open source and broader communities, including royalty-free licensing.

The Cisco announcement is to remove the dependencies on these MPEG and MPEG-LA efforts (which would, however, remove the redistribution restrictions that people have rightfully criticized).

Mo


On 11/5/13, 7:23 PM, Gustavo Garcia <ggb@tokbox.com<mailto:ggb@tokbox.com>> wrote:

+1

H.264 licensing as introduced by Cisco is great because it opens the door to truly present H.264 as a viable alternative codec for broad implementation in WebRTC endpoints, but Cisco’s proposal as it stands is not enough to warrant H.264 being adopted as an MTI for WebRTC.

>From TokBox’s point of view, WebRTC needs to be able to solve two needs if true adoption is intended:  1) supporting interoperability with legacy end-points and 2) enabling novel and innovative real-world use-cases on a broad range of software-powered end-points (mobile included, not just browsers)

The option as proposed with H.264 is not really viable in mobile native applications (specifically iOS devices as the situation stands today), whether both endpoints are mobile native or one is browser-based. At TokBox, we are already seeing a wide range of very interesting applications being built on top of WebRTC using native mobile apps as one of the endpoints, and the standard must do the right thing by not preventing these scenarios from playing out.

As far as MTI codecs go, we still believe VP8 is the right option and believe H.264 should be embraced as an optional alternative video codec.The purpose of the WebRTC is not to create a browser compatible with existing solutions (many of which are closed systems) but rather to bring the best possible experience to application developers, extending the capabilities of the web for real-time communication. (More of our views here: http://www.tokbox.com/blog/is-webrtc-ready-for-h-264/)



On Thu, Oct 31, 2013 at 11:47 AM, Harald Alvestrand <hta@google.com<mailto:hta@google.com>> 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.

Harald (sending this from my Google address)


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