Re: [rtcweb] Making both VP8 and H264 MTI

cowwoc <> Wed, 06 November 2013 09:01 UTC

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Date: Wed, 06 Nov 2013 04:01:38 -0500
From: cowwoc <>
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Subject: Re: [rtcweb] Making both VP8 and H264 MTI
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> "We don't want to" is not a blocker for consensus.

     Nice in theory, but that's not how things work in practice. Vendors 
have some very good (albeit subjective) reasons to align themselves with 
VP8 or H.264 and I don't fault them for doing so. Ignoring this reality 
will lead to a never-ending lack of consensus.

     Knowing that everyone will continue pushing their favorite horse 
regardless of the facts, I reiterate my proposal for a multi-phased 
vote, making it clear in advance that if we reach the last phase without 
a compromise we are implicitly voting for transcoding. The vote should 
end with a decision being made, one way or the other.

     TokBox enumerated some concrete compromises needed from either 
side: ... We need 
to start moving down that road in order to meet in the middle.


On 06/11/2013 3:44 AM, Ron wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 05, 2013 at 01:06:19PM -0500, cowwoc wrote:
>>      In light of the fact that vendors are highly polarized on this
>> topic, I'd like to suggest the following voting order:
> I don't think it's really all that relevant for rough consensus if
> 'vendors are highly polarised' on the question at all.
> If you make that a consideration, I'm sure you can find some vendors
> (who may or may not be present here) who strongly wish that WebRTC
> will never exist at all in the form that this group's charter has
> envisaged, since its success would pose a very real threat to their
> current business monopolies.  That doesn't give them a right of veto
> to this work, though their input, like everyone else's, still merits
> consideration for its technical contribution to best achieving the
> charter's aims.
> Having a favourite horse in a race is fine.  Having that horse be the
> fittest to win is a far more objective measurement.
> The question of choosing a MTI codec hinges on interoperability, and
> we have established consensus that having a viable MTI codec is quite
> crucial for this.
> Right now we have 2 proposed candidates.  So the important questions
> are:
>   - Are either of those candidates suitable?
>   - Is one clearly more suitable than the other?
> And the present question has been framed by the WG chairs as:
>   - Are there reasons that people could not possibly use either choice?
> The reasons that people cannot possibly use H.264 are well established.
> Its licencing simply does not permit people to use it in all the varied
> ways that implementors and users of WebRTC would require.
> The Cisco announcement was clearly an attempt to mitigate this fatal
> constraint for their preferred choice, and while it goes some way toward
> doing that - and is certainly a bold and perceptive step for them to
> take to maintain the value of their existing investment - they are still
> constrained by these same licencing terms to only be able to offer a
> very limited solution, of limited use, to a limited number of people.
> And they still can't offer the sort of indemnity that the H.264 camp
> has demanded from VP8 in draft-dbenham-webrtc-videomti-02, and they
> aren't even offering a licence to _all_ of the known IPR covering H.264,
> only to that covered by the MPEG LA pool - which the Nokia portfolio,
> some of which was already disclosed, is notably outside of.
> The reasons that people cannot possibly use VP8 are far less clear.
> None of the objections beyond "we don't want to" so far have any
> grounding in reality.  The "but but submarine IPR!!" argument applies
> equally to *anything* that any WG might chose to do or use.
> Nokia tried to pull some out of their hat, but they lost in court.
> If they couldn't torpedo this, then the chances of anyone else being
> able to seem significantly diminished.  But the validity of their
> claims over H.264 are not challenged at all, and remain a clear and
> present danger for anyone using H.264.  Perhaps even more so now
> than ever, given their current financial situation and being the
> subject of a takeover bid.
> This is why I believe that although we have 2 proposals, only one
> of them can seriously stand up to scrutiny for being an acceptable
> choice that passes the muster of rough consensus.
> "We don't want to" is not a blocker for consensus.
> "The licence of this does not permit us to" is a very real blocker.
> Given we have consensus for picking an MTI codec, the only reason
> not to pick that remaining choice would be if someone springs yet
> another last minute surprise which would delay that decision again.
> If that actually happens, then maybe we can once again have the
> H.261 vs Theora debate - but if it doesn't, then VP8 is still the
> no-brainer choice that can stand up to the full test of having
> rough consensus and working code that meets the goals of this WG.
> Re this suggestion:
>> 1. Should *both* H.264 and VP8 be MTI?
>> If there is a consensus for yes, stop here.
>> 2a. Should *only* H.264 be MTI? or,
>> 2b. Should *only* VP8 be MTI?
>> If there is a consensus for either one, stop here.
>> 3a. Should *only* H.261 be MTI? or,
>> 3b. Should no codec be MTI? (this implies transcoding)
>>      Given the final choice (H.261 or no MTI) I suspect many vendors
>> would choose H.261 and upgrade to H.264/VP8 at runtime. No one
>> really wants to go back to the days of transcoding.
> You might want to review the list archives.  This question has already
> been debated, and I thought the result of that was conclusive, and why
> we have only the current proposals that we do today.
>    Cheers,
>    Ron
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