[rtcweb] H.261

"Mo Zanaty (mzanaty)" <mzanaty@cisco.com> Fri, 22 November 2013 05:17 UTC

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From: "Mo Zanaty (mzanaty)" <mzanaty@cisco.com>
To: Basil Mohamed Gohar <basilgohar@librevideo.org>
Thread-Topic: H.261
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Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2013 05:17:45 +0000
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Subject: [rtcweb] H.261
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On 11/21/13 12:48, Basil Mohamed Gohar <basilgohar@librevideo.org<mailto:basilgohar@librevideo.org>> wrote:
Has anyone actually objected to H.261 being the one MTI codec [...] ?

Assume this wins and all obey. Chrome does H.261+VP8, Firefox does H.261+H.264+VP8, IE does H.261+H.264, Safari does H.261+H.264. According to various (incredibly extrapolated, possibly inaccurate and sometimes conflicting) sources [1] on who uses what browser, the chance of H.261 fallback is a whopping 30% [2]. Not the minor insignificant case some had assumed.

How will these users react to H.261 QCIF/CIF compared to what they use today, say Skype for example? "This web shit really sucks. I’m going back to Skype and never trying it again." Is that the first (and perhaps last) impression we want from users that try webrtc? Those arguing crappy video is better than no video are ignoring the critical importance of first impressions. While some may accept crappy video as usable, many more may be permanently turned off and tune out even faster than if they got only (good) audio. It’s not as if webrtc is the only game in town. Users have options, so it needs to be competitive with competitive technology which has already set the bar.

We previously narrowed the options down to H.264 and VP8 for good reasons over the course of this excruciatingly long decision. Reopening discarded tangents like H.261 does not move us forward as a workgroup, and certainly does not move webrtc forward as a technology.


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_web_browsers
[2] H.261 fallback % = 2 x VP8-only% x H.264-only% = 2 x Chrome% x (IE% + Safari%)