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[personal profile] xiphmont

I want to mention this on its own, because it's a big deal, and so that other news items don't steal its thunder: Cisco has begun blogging about their own FOSS video codec project, also being submitted as an initial input to the IETF NetVC video codec working group effort:

"World, Meet Thor – a Project to Hammer Out a Royalty Free Video Codec"

Heh. Even an appropriate almost-us-like nutty headline for the post. I approve :-)

In a bit, I'll write more about what's been going on in the video codec realm in general. Folks have especially been asking lots of questions about HEVCAdvance licensing recently. But it's not their moment right now. Bask in the glow of more open development goodness, we'll get to talking about the 'other side' in a bit.

Date: 2015-08-11 09:33 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Sounds like Daala and Thor are merging.

Date: 2015-08-11 09:35 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Do you know why they started a whole new codec rather than contribute to Daala?

Date: 2015-08-11 09:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xiphmont.livejournal.com
They didn't start a new codec-- Thor, in one form or another, has been around for a while internal to Cisco. Previously, they were unsure it was clear enough of IPR to open, now they are.

Also, to quote our Daala project lead Tim Terriberry from the HN thread (since he already said it and said it well):

"One of the things that made Opus a success was the contributions of others. We certainly don't have a monopoly on good ideas. We'll take pieces of Daala and stick them in Thor and pieces of Thor and stick them in Daala, and figure out what works best. Some of that experimentation has already begun:


Because none of us have a financial incentive to get our patents into the standard, we're happy to pick whatever technology works best, as long as we end up with a great codec at the end. Hopefully NETVC can replicate the success of Opus this way."

Date: 2015-08-11 11:12 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
"Google’s proprietary VP9 codec, and the industry standard H.265 (HEVC) codec, which is the successor to H.264 (AVC)."

ummm, isnt VP9 Royalty-free and non-proprietary?

Date: 2015-08-12 03:16 am (UTC)
jered: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jered
There's some unconvincing handwaving on that in the comment thread of the linked article. Someone got carried away in the PR department I think.

VP9 is proprietary

Date: 2015-08-12 03:14 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
VP9 might be royalty free but that doesn't mean it is not proprietary. In fact it is proprietary a lot.

1) There is no specification for VP9 that independent implementers could use. To independently implement this format, you have to copy behaviour of Google's/On2's library. It basically means reverse-engineering from source code and you have to copy bugs that it has, else you won't be fully compatible with the format (there is more than one such bug AFAIK).
Compared to MPEG codecs that have defined spec which is the first authority, VP9 is proprietary.

2) There was no open standardization for VP9. Google made it internally on its own, then releases. No review, no changes possible. In MPEG, the specification was openly discussed and developped with input from many parties. So gain, VP9 is definitely more proprietary than HEVC...

Imagine that Real would open source their encoder and decoder for RealVideo 10 or a format like that. It was 100% proprietary technology, do you think having an open source encoder/decoder would suddenly make it not be?

Yes - VP9 also has na open source reference encoder/decododer implementation, but so what? HEVC and H.264 have *several* those are more importantly independently developped. This is not just an ideologic/theoretical perk, having multiple independent vendors leads to the encoder software being much better performing. Just look how poor libvpx sadly is :(

RE: VP9 is proprietary

Date: 2015-08-13 12:45 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Lies and FUD!!!!

VP9 has a spec, it's linked from Wikipedia.

VP9 has a developer mailing list, which is better run than a closed door standards body STUFFED with Cisco employees.

Re: VP9 is proprietary

Date: 2015-08-13 12:40 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Calling facts "FUD" might make a slashdot reader ignore them, but it doesn't invalidate them...

There is no specification linked on wikipedia, just some "summary" page link to Google's web (paste direct link if you find any!). You should have checked facts better, especially if you are going to accuse people that happen to know more than you from lies. People that wrote the independent FFVP9 decoder as well as other developers keep asking for it ever since VP9 has been released, but there is no specification of the format, the only reference for it is the libvpx software as I said.

Re: VP9 is proprietary

Date: 2015-08-14 02:31 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

Re: VP9 is proprietary

Date: 2015-08-14 02:32 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Maybe this?


Re: VP9 is proprietary

Date: 2015-08-15 02:15 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
"This document describes the VP8 compressed video data format, together with a discussion of the decoding procedure for the format."

VP8 has had a specification released (IIRC though, it was still refering to the actual code in places, so it is a bit less authoritative and complete than would be desireable). The problem is with VP9 for which it was not published or made. No idea if there is some internal or NDAed one.

Re: VP9 is proprietary

Date: 2015-08-14 02:19 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Another case of "the code *is* the documentation"... o_0

Re: VP9 is proprietary

Date: 2015-08-14 08:37 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
No review, no changes possible.

I know this is false because I personally reviewed it before it was finalized and made changes that were included [0] [1]. I do not work for Google, and never have.

[0] https://chromium.googlesource.com/webm/libvpx/+/95339d68258b8f752e114e6c81e6e19f99cde5a4%5E!/
[1] https://chromium.googlesource.com/webm/libvpx/+/042e70e45e74ad5105d1c9f35375350000b56b39%5E!/

Re: VP9 is proprietary

Date: 2015-08-15 02:10 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Few isolated people that were allowed to collaborate (thanks to connections?) almost informally doesn't change it into open process IMHO. There should be some formal framing and public call for these contributions. In the end though, the fate of your contributions was up to Google, wasn't it? Governance by a single entity...

Re: VP9 is proprietary

Date: 2015-08-16 10:46 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Whether the single entity is Google (by having a mailing list) or Cisco (by having a mailing list hosted on the ietf servers) doesn't really matter, IMO.

A Google backed codec is faaaaar more likely to be successful. If they can stop themselves tweaking it long enough to let vendors implement it in hardware...

Re: VP9 is proprietary

Date: 2015-08-17 01:23 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
If by "connections" you mean "I have worked in this space a long time and submitted enough patches to libvpx over the past few years to get commit access" then sure. Exactly like every other open source project?

I didn't see the code before it was available to the entire rest of the world. My patches did go through review just like I'd expect any patches to Daala or Opus or anything else to go through review. But that's a good thing. In this case it led to some minor improvements (the second changeset).

Anyone else could have done what I did. I don't believe you can point to Google refusing anyone's contributions just because they didn't work for Google or have "connections". To claim that it was not possible to review or contribute is clearly falsified by someone doing it.


Date: 2015-08-15 05:04 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
There are calls for the industry to adopt a collective bargaining position against the HEVC Advance patent pool:


Hopefully NetVC gathers stream and all the industry will have to adopt is a royalty free codec.

Third Pool for HEVC?

Date: 2015-08-18 09:32 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
There are rumours that a third patent pool is forming for HEVC: http://blog.streamingmedia.com/2015/08/cisco-video-codec-project-thor.html

Does Cisco intend to develop it?

Date: 2015-08-22 05:57 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Does Cisco intend to develop it further? They dumped it in public and seem silent now.

About alliance for open media

Date: 2015-09-02 03:19 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hi Monty!

How the recently announced "Alliance for open media" affects Daala and NetVC?

Re: About alliance for open media

Date: 2015-09-02 03:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xiphmont.livejournal.com
Writing a blog post on that now!

DMCA claim

Date: 2015-10-01 11:47 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Seems like someone tried to make a copyright claim on this exact blog post to Google. Take a look at https://www.chillingeffects.org/notices/11228169 on the Copyright claim #11


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