The new digital TV standard frees some frequencies for 5G. Most channels will broadcast with HEVC Main 10 (bits). There is also a Main 8 which will probably not be used for long and people should be careful about what they buy.
At least we won't have HEVC on the Internet.
I've always thought that cable television and modern broadcast television was all still mpeg-2. HEVC would be a huge leap forward in tech (and backward in openness, I suppose?)
So to me that bodes well for future AV1 support in all kinds of devices.
Adobe effectively lost the war with Flash on mobile the day that Apple decided not to support it. Even though it was available for Android.
And YouTube doesn't do 4K encoding in H.264 anymore. If you want 4K video from YouTube you need VP9 support (or AV1 when YouTube starts AV1 encodes):
Large content providers like YouTube or Netflix really don't care about the patent and have the resources for storage and encoding multiple formats. Where patents hurt are smaller entrants that would benefit from patent free formats.
They still have to support patented formats and now they have to spend money on encoding and storage on yet another codec if the want to use VP9. What's the benefit of supporting two formats? One that is supported everywhere and one that isn't it?
And that's what's happening. VP9 is royalty-free and AV1 will be royalty-free.
> Where patents hurt are smaller entrants that would benefit from patent free formats.
So it's good that both YouTube and Netflix support VP9 and AV1. It helps make royalty-free video formats commonplace on the web.
> What's the benefit of supporting two formats?
It's worth it for the bandwidth saving. VP9 significantly outperforms H.264.
Who are these content providers that are "abandoning" H.264?
so it's good that both Netflix and YouTube support VP9 and Av1
Good for who? End users don't care if content is encoded in a patent free format. They just care about the content being available on their platform.
This is a tired argument. The same argument was attempted when VP8 was new, and when VP9 was new, and now again with AV1. I'm sure the same, worn-out ground will be revisited when AV2 comes along.
End users don't care that TCP\IP is royalty-free or that HTTP and HTML are royalty-free or that any of the other commonly used formats and protocols are royalty-free. They don't care because they don't understand the issues.
Developers care. Builders care. I care. I want to implement video on the internet for any use case without having to consult a lawyer just to understand the licensing implications of doing so. VP9 and AV1 make that possible. VP9 and AV1 normalize video on the internet by making it royalty-free like all the other internet formats and protocols.
Content companies and hardware companies and software companies don't join AOMedia for the fun of it. They join because it's the practical choice:
Profit is in the users, not in the developers
The choice isn't AV1 or users. It's AV1 and users.
And I can't find how much licensing actual costs for H.264.
What does that have to do with patents and why people should care?
This is bad for users, whether they realize it or not. They end up with fewer (and potentially worse) options.
It doesn't really have an affect on small content producers. I do live streams for a non profit. We pay one time for Wirecast and the Black Magic hardware. Pay a neglible cost to send the livestream to our provider and they broadcast it. iOS users at least can view from the browser using HLS. We also send another stream to Facebook. How does H.264 patents affect us?
You don't have to "consult a lawyer", unless you are creating your own codec. You pay the licensing fee which in the grand scheme of things is lower than all of your other costs - hosting, development tools, internet costs, etc. and you're done.
 Which I wouldn't be so sure. Many H.264-using devices come with disclaimer, that they are not licensed for professional use and that you may need your own license. As usual, consult your lawyer. The point of VP9/AV1 is, that this is not necessary.
End users do care about the cost of their devices. Patent-free formats lower that cost. And patent encumbrances just make it more difficult and costly for manufacturers to include support; sometimes some formats get left out due to cost.
I certainly agree that end users don't care about patents, but they care about some of the practical problems that patent-encumbered formats cause down the line. These are usually not showstoppers, but they help cause customer confusion and sticker shock.
Having to support both formats in the short- or medium-term is definitely annoying and costly for manufacturers, but if we do actually win the open format war (I think the OP is a little overly optimistic there), that problem goes away.
You get a much wider and more loyal user base if you're smart enough not to enforce such silliness anymore.
I was working on networked audio/video devices back in ~2005 when that space was pretty new. We had a line-item BOM cost for encoder/decoder licenses that was not chump-change, which got passed on to customers.
I can only imagine costs have gotten much worse since then. When you take into account all the electronics your average connected person owns: phone, tablet, TV, AppleTV/GoogleTV/Roku, computer OS, etc., it really starts to add up.
Even if the parent poster is overstating and it's on the order of $50 per person, that's a ton of wasted money when you consider the total cost.
Consider all the electronics you've owned over the past 20-25 years. You undoubtedly paid a dollar or two for less complex ones and much more for more complex devices.
Eventually they will, the only missing piece for AV1 to become the de facto successor to h264 was Apple, with them onboard AV1 will cover all of web and mobile. I mean look at the companies behind AV1:
Google, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, Mozilla, Cisco, Intel, AMD, ARM, IBM, NVidia, Broadcom, and that's about HALF the list.
You might try reading the article next time. Apple recently joined the Alliance for Open Media. That indicates to me that they are likely to support AV1. Apple was really the last holdout and it would be poor business for them not to play.
My contention wasn't that Apple wouldn't support VP9, it was that if Apple didn't support VP9, it's not likely that content developers would leave iOS users out in the cold.
Pushing open formats now means we develop a habit of only allowing open formats into industrial standards, which means in the medium and long term we all win with lower costs.
This because they had a bunch of devices out there that could do H264 in hardware, but had to do webm in software, and thus playing the latter format would take a greater toll on the battery.
And even if every damn device use a programmable DSP these days, the problem is not solved. Because only the OEM can be expected to provide the firmware needed for new formats.
Effectively the only way to win this would be for GPLv3 or similar to be made law, so that consumer devices are not beholden to OEMs for maintenance.
Edit: software/GPU decoders, not hardware/GPU decoders.
Now if only Apple would join Vulkan, too, so we can all agree on a cross-platform graphics API, too. Because of Apple Khronos now has to make a subset of Vulkan that will be cross-platform. This means that if developers end-up adopting that one over Metal on iOS, the situation will be worse off for everyone, including Apple.
Apple has gotten better with supporting standards from the Steve Jobs days, but I think it still has some way to go.
What does it cost to join as a governing member? Money? Apple has an unbelievably big pile of it. Spending it relieves their tax burden, so why not buy the most expensive level of membership?
Cynically, maybe they want to influence it so that it sucks, so while Apple does support it, Apple's going to have their own proprietary code, so Apple videos on Apple gear looks great. Everyone else gets the AOM code which, for some reason, everyone else's looks (and sounds) ever so slightly worse.
They could influence the codec so it works better on Apple hardware, so they get an advantage while designing the GPU that will go inside the iPhone XI or XII.
They could use this to see what the codec will support, and then decide not to support it out of spite, just like the iPhone X does't have USB-C, even though their laptop team has discovered that technology.
Point is, why knows? Yes, it is reasonable to think that Apple joining AOM means they'll put AOM codecs on their devices, but unless you work at Apple at the executive level, it's pure conjecture (and even then, executives are allowed to change their minds).
Apple joining simply means they won't sue AOM's company for video codec patent.
They joined AOM at the highest level, which means they get a seat on the board of directors, I can't see any reason why they would do this unless they have decided to use it on their products.
Apple uses Opus too, I think IETF announced it as a RFC standard. ( If my memory serve me correct )
But Apple only support the usage of Opus in limited ways.
So why would Apple not use it? If we forget about the patents and royalty fees for the moment. AV1 isn't necessarily better then HEVC from Apple's prospective.
HEVC is actually a standard, and has been for many years. There are many difference implementation of HEVC encoder and decoder, all adhering to this standard and conformance. Even Apple has their own implementation, there are Open Sources like x265, and many other commercial solution as well. AV1 isn't a standard, ( yet ) and there is one and only one implementation. Now before any geeks starting arguing about software benefits of implementation as standard over written standard, you need to think of this not as a pieces of software ( While it certainly is ), but a tools for professionals. Those who do TVs, and movies, etc all wanted something different and they want choices.
Google, or On2 to be precise; continuing its tradition of over hyping its codec. AV1 at its start was no where near 30% better then HEVC. And since they claim AV1 is now another 30% better then their initial version, you would have expect it to be 1.3 x 1.3 better then HEVC. But truth to be told AV1 when tested by panel of expert provide tangible better results then HEVC, at the cost of much slower encoding time. While that was done a while ago and AV1 has since improved a lot more, we shall wait and see when it finalized.
Everyone has been saying they will be forced to support AV1 because of Netflix and Youtube. Well that is only half correct because Netflix are already encoding in HEVC. And Netflix, has yet to provide their newer results of HEVC vs AV1. My guess is that they are waiting for AV1 to finalize. VMAF is a lot better then all other PSNR or SSIM, but it is still not perfect.
There are zero Full hardware AV1 decoder ( There may be partial Hardware decode that could be enabled with update, but you be the judge how many hardware manufacture is going to enable that then to sell you something new ) , but there are billions of devices capable of decoding HEVC already.
So apart from being royalty free, AV1 doesn't have a lot of advantage to it. The question is, for most business, will using AV1 saves me more money in the long term then using HEVC.
Apple joining on board, with No Press Release from AOM, and only Cnet manage to pick up, suggest this may be an Intentional leak. Or one way of Apple saying, HEVC Groups, you either do as I say and lower your fees, allow free software decode implementation ( One of the group already allows that ), or you know what? You can hold on to your patents for as long as you want and you wont earn a single dent in the billion of iOS devices in the future.
Once the AV1 bitstream is frozen, it will also be a 'standard', only this will be royalty free.
>there are Open Sources like x265, and many other commercial solution as well.
Nothing prevents x265 devs from making xAV1 (or whatever AV1 will end up being called), their spokesperson over at Doom9 has already said that they will go where the market goes in terms of encoder development, they are also very pissed in regards to the HEVC licensing debacle.
>we shall wait and see when it finalized.
Indeed, the bitstream is (supposed) to be finalized this month, after that happens we will finally see optimization take place (basically rewriting all hot spots into handwritten assembly) and thus be able to assess the quality claims and just how much slower it will be.
>Well that is only half correct because Netflix are already encoding in HEVC.
Netflix was one of the first companies to join AOM to develop a royalty free codec, it seems clear their intentions is to replace HEVC with AV1 once wide hardware support arrives.
>There are zero Full hardware AV1 decoder
There can't be until the bitstream has been frozen, from what I've read the first hardware supporting AV1 will be 12-18 months after said bitstream freeze.
Throughout the development of AV1, there's been constant consulting with hardware developers and they have had a large say in how AV1 works, the hardware companies that are part of AOM are:
Intel, AMD, ARM, Broadcom, NVidia, Realtek and now recently Apple
>So apart from being royalty free, AV1 doesn't have a lot of advantage to it.
If the estimates are correct, ~30% better compression is a HUGE advantage, another advantage from the point of the companies in AOM is that developing a codec themselves means it will fulfill their needs much better.
Google was going this route ever since they purchased On2, but now it really has reached critical mass with their third generation codec (VP10) being the base for AV1 which has made practically all the big tech companies come together and solve their codec needs using it.
>Apple joining on board, with No Press Release from AOM
I think Apple didn't want to ruffle any feathers with MPEGLA and the other HEVC licensees, Apple picking up HEVC support across their products was seen as a good sign for HEVC, the same Apple joining all the other tech giants in AOM backing AV1 is quite the opposite. Thus they join with no fanfare. Pure speculation of course.
This means AV1 will be the de facto next generation codec standard on the web as it will be supported by all browsers and all mobile devices, something HEVC never will.
Apple could and probably will add AV1 support to their HEIF implementation in the future.
It seems to me that even bluray is basically dead at this point. The younger generation isn't buying huge stacks of movies to fill out the 200 disk shelves they got for christmas, and the older generation frequently doesn't even have a bluray players.
Random (couple year old) link about bluray vs dvd sales numbers.
That isn't possible with UHD blurays at the moment, and I've sworn off buying DRM encumbered products. Just one of my reasons is that exactly 100% of the HDDVD's I purchased that were warner brothers products have bitrotted (its apparently true of nearly all of them if you believe other peoples posting) despite the fact that the disks from other studios continue to play. Some people have gotten the disks replaced with blurays, but WB didn't even respond to requests I made.
So, I won't buy DRM encumbered video products. I might rent them, but they can kiss off if the price is more than redbox or similar.
Give me something like the steam experience but without even the "DRM" of that.
Also set a reasonable price point. 5 USD for a SEASON of a great show sounds like a good high price starting point. Make it inexpensive for me to GIFT seasons to others as well. Maybe 2.50 for the first season to someone else, and then lower in cost after that.
How to increase profits? Stop the lobbying, consumer-fighting-disservice, and DRM insanity and just focus on making a good product and delivering it in an EASY way for consumers to get.
On the analog side all new voice specifications on VHF/UHF are mandated to use 12.5kHz instead of the old 25kHz wide channels for the same reasons. Amateur radio is currently the only one I know of that still can use 25kHz wide FM frequencies.
P25, DMR, DStar and Fusion all use 12.5kHz since they can get digital audio into much narrower spectrum(DMR in fact supports two channels over one 12.5kHz channel using TMDA which is pretty awesome).
It's anecdotal but I also know of a fair number of cord cutters who supplement their Netflix/Amazon/Hulu with local broadcasting.
Anyways, for the countries that did make it mandatory, this is why it's stupid to mandate a protocol or specific technology into law. Haven't they learned from South Korea's IE/banking mess?
Sure. So called "cord cutting" trend has been around for a while already, and legacy TV has been losing users in millions.
TL;DR: legacy TV is dead already, it just doesn't know it yet (or rather they already know it, but want to squeeze as much money as they can, before they hit the dust).
When it does come to pay TV, note that pay TV is still growing in Western Europe, mostly in places where they've historically had very little marketshare (v. terrestrial broadcasting).
They will wait till the format gains traction and then sue the players with the biggest bank accounts.
Most companies understand this, and will accordingly take it slow, preferring to deal with the known risk of existing codecs.
Same applies to any codec, including HEVC. I.e. patent trolling can always happen and HEVC users aren't immune to it either. So AVC1 wins being actually officially free.
Isn't this the opposite of what you said in the parent?
"They will wait till the format gains traction and then sue the players with the biggest bank accounts."
A new codec like this however, has an unknown risk attached, because no one knows how many trolls might be lurking out ther e.
You could say exactly the same thing about any new codec before it's widely adopted.
As I said in my post, AV1 is more strongly protected than previous codecs because anyone who sues over AV1 can't use it themselves, so only pure patent trolls can sue over AV1.
Anyway this is only a short-term concern. Probably as soon as this year Google, Netflix and others will start deploying AV1 and we'll see what happens.
Depth of the potential targets' pockets was never a deterrent for patent trolls. On the contrary, they prefer to go after the big fish and they have nothing to lose (except their patents). So back to square one. HEVC is as risky as anything else plus it bears already declared huge tax.
Free codecs actually are in somewhat better position, because they do due diligence to work around known related patents. And attack from unknown / invalid can always happen.
So overall HEVC is nowhere less risky, and on the contrary, many explicitly declare upfront, they want money for it which is its major downside.
AOMedia seemed to do that quite quickly when Facebook joined. Maybe Apple asked them not to, but I don't see why Apple would.
> Founding members are Amazon, Apple, ARM, Cisco, Facebook, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Mozilla, Netflix and NVIDIA.
A similar sentence exists on AOM's about page.
The Thor codec tech they contributed is all about focusing on that use case, real-time encoding etc.
They also previously contributed the h.264 plugin to Mozilla (they already pay the capped royalty amount so it's effectively free for them) to ensure their hardware components would be able to interoperate with popular browsers using WebRTC.
So yea, quite a bit slower, at least on my old hardware.
I still go with VP9, though. I don't buy that many movies, and leaving it running in the background doesn't seem to make a big impact on gaming.
Kicking it up a notch or two could undoubtedly boost the performance a bit, and a manual overclock should go even further. (My chip is stable at 4.7Ghz, but it consumes way too much power to leave it there all the time - the computer idles at ~70 watts on "Energy Saver" mode!)
I see the same jump from C4 to C5 Amazon machines. I'd love to chat about encoding with you at some point.
That difference from C4 to C5 makes more sense given that they each have the same number of cores available and it was a smaller generational gap.
Send me an email sometime if you'd like - nathan@[my username].com
They also have an AV1 demo page which works with Firefox Nightly:
"We will be satisfied with 20% efficiency improvement over HEVC when measured across a diverse set of content and would consider a 3-5x increase in computational complexity reasonable."
So if there wasn't at least a timeline for 4k+ RT on iPhone or Android devices I can't see how HEVC wouldn't stick around for a very long time. That a live stream has already been demonstrated should mean that this has been considered and they do care though, and thus won't be a problem. Ideally of course at least the high end of current generation devices would be capable of AV1 recording through software updates, which would enable moving on much more rapidly from HEVC. For that at least though I think it'd be an acceptable tradeoff to have those become legacy if that's what it takes to get us into a patent-unencumbered future afterwards. A pity software patents couldn't have just been eliminated entirely but I guess that remains politically infeasible for now.
For ongoing operation of the platform, at scale, you might argue that it's an ongoing CPU cost as more and more videos are added constantly, but the bandwidth to distribute those videos goes up at an equal rate on average.
I don't know any actual numbers, but it seems very plausible to me that a vast increase in CPU cost for a minor decrease of bandwidth cost could still be a welcome trade-off.
If you're making an argument that availability of CPU power at that scale is a concern, it seems like YouTube has the option of Google's cloud services as an excellent candidate for massive, interruptible compute power.
And from a blunt business perspective: Higher quality videos = more watch time = platform dominance = more ads viewed.
I don't think that this would be true, though. Recall the 80-20 rule. They have to encode (CPU) a lot of videos, which will get very few views (bandwidth).
It’s actually the same 80-20 rule. Eighty percent of the costs come fro serving twenty percent of their videos:)
We all build on others previous work.
> Reason software builds on Mathematics and you cannot patent Mathematics.
This is not a convincing reason. All engineering builds on mathematics; this is not specific to software.
It's a small but very important distinction.
To be patentable, an invention must be "fixed in a tangible medium of expression" (or something like that). So the first software patents tried saying "we are patenting the following algorithm ... running on a hardware computer!" Amazingly they got away with it and have been getting away with it ever since.
Hm, I wonder if you could argue that running the algorithm on a virtual machine doesn't violate the patent....
To be patentable in the US, an invention must be a "process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof". It must be at least partly new. It must be useful. And it must be non-obvious.
Abstract ideas are generally not patentable in the US, and the Supreme Court has declared that "this abstract idea, but implemented on a computer" is also generally not patentable.
I think Transmeta tried that by arguing that an x86 JIT doesn't infringe on patents for x86 processors.
As I'm certainly not going to repurchase it all in CD form and rip them, which is currently how the labels seem to think is the only way you should be allowed to keep such an archive, I'm just going to pirate it.
In the UK the labels faught to keep this illegal. Currently, it's not lawful to rip a CD you bought and own.
May be it's an indicator of general attitude change towards free codecs, and they'll now support Opus in the browser too (in OGG container). That would remove the last barrier for avoiding pointless audio storage duplication (same for video obviously).
Isn't it surprising that Apple is on board with AV1 so shortly after it moved iOS devices from JPG to HEIC?
The title is a little clickbaity, but the article is talking about AV1, it's a sort of hybrid between Daala, VP10 and Thor. Nothing to do with VP9 (well not directly).
Daala is an attempt to avoid patents by avoiding techniques used by current encoders. VP10 uses google's patents that the MPEG LA tried to fight but backed down once the DOJ got in the middle, and Thor uses Cisco's patents.
What you should get is something similar to the opus codec. A patent free state of the art codec. Preliminary tests that I know of (early 2017) showed it only slightly better that HEVC, but the goal is to have 50% better compression rate than HEVC/VP9, if they're going to achieve it or not, I have no idea.
There is no free lunch. At least when the cost of a patent license gets bundled into your Blu-Ray player, you know what you’re paying.
For one thing, this would be catastrophic for open source projects (and indeed commercial audio and video codecs have been a huge pain for open source developers and users). Well, you're suggesting that free codecs are bad because they profit Facebook, and you could say the same about open source software, especially those that get contributions from Facebook.
I rather think that advertisers will always pay money to advertise, and when some of that money goes to developing open and free technologies that's a good thing.
There are many free lunches. You can get a universally supported free video codec to use for your hobby project or for your company's product, without having a Facebook account. It is always possible to find hidden costs in free products, so what? You can do the same for paid-for products. The idea that a Blu-Ray player won't spy on you because the manufacturer paid some royalties is... flawed.
I don’t think CERN was trying to monetize anything. To the extent that web technologies today are driven by companies like Google, then maybe that’s a fair criticism too.
> Do you actually think it would be better to have software patents and royalties on every Web standard?
I don’t think it would necessarily be worse than having web technologies all developed to further the agenda of advertising companies.
> It is always possible to find hidden costs in free products, so what?
The “so what” is that hidden costs are, all else being equal, worse than transparent costs.
> The idea that a Blu-Ray player won't spy on you because the manufacturer paid some royalties is... flawed.
Paying someone up front doesn’t guarantee they won’t try to monetize you indirectly, but not paying someone up front virtually assures that they will. Compare Symbian to Android.
The question is: does one outweigh the other? I think in many cases, for Web technologies, the corporate interest is modest and the general benefit is enormous, so it's definitely a win-win.
As for Android, the open platform part is a huge piece of tech that many have found useful beyond the smartphone market. On smartphones the open source project has enabled several ROM communities that ended up offering versions free of any Google service. There is nothing comparable on the iOS side.
Even Android with Google services is a pretty good deal: for the most part you get to choose what you share with Google (at the price of some features).
I think comparing to Symbian is difficult, Symbian never was in the same league as Android and iOS was it? A better comparison would be with Windows Phone or iOS. Apple has invested a lot in its privacy-friendly image, and I trust they are doing a good job. But they are the outlier. Then you have Microsoft... I don't know where Windows Phone standed privacy-wise, but they sure got a lot of criticism regarding privacy violations in the desktop/laptop OS. Although it's not free.
All in all I don't think Android is a good example to support your viewpoint.
I don't understand your logic, Facebook/Google is data mining your personal information with or without royalty free codecs.
The reason all these companies are banding together to create a royalty free codec is because all of them realize that online video will only become even more pervasive, and as such there is long term gain for them by getting rid of video royalties for good, and the HEVC licensing debacle must have eliminated any trace of doubt.
Even worse you can't buy a license to play the content on the device of your choice(i.e your PC).
I hope Dolby will get the same medicine.
It's similar to the "if you aren't paying, your the product not the customer" line, unfortunately companies can charge you for something and then also sell your data to make more money.
Admittedly this is less true for encoding patents, some of which are held by research-oriented organisations that then charge royalties to the companies which deploy the tech.
TL;DR: patents here slow down progress, not speed it up.
> At least when the cost of a patent license gets bundled into your Blu-Ray player, you know what you’re paying.
Rather you know what you are being ripped off for. It doesn't make it proper.
The simple exchange of goods and services for money is a really wonderful thing. Patents allow companies to do that, instead of having to give away technology and trying to monetize their users through less up front means.
Patents allow a single "blocking" patent to extract monopoly revenues over an entire area of technology. http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2017/10/11/qualcomm-antirust-war-p...
Have you been living in a cave for last year ? HEVC licensing is an absolute mess with at least 3 different entities with which you have to settle licensing terms.
>and in both cases the consortium members expect some return on their investment.
The return on investment here is saving the cost of royalties and being in control of the development of the codec which will only become increasingly important in your business.
You can refuse to upload your personal data and still get the free codecs. All gain, no pain.
In one case, the objective is to develop a codec that fits certain parameters, one of them being cost effective.
In the other, the objective is to cram anything patentable into the standard, in order to maximize patent fees from the users for years to come. In the past, this caused the MPEG patents to be unnecessary bloated AND having to pay for that unnecessary bloat. It was far from simple exchange of goods and services for money; it was rent seeking at its finest.
What I can imagine is that every single stakeholder who had some kind of video patent would want to get a share of that pie, so they played whatever political game they could to bloat the spec to include their own patent.
Free codecs work completely the opposite way. It's about removing the barriers of this parasitic control and allowing the codec to be used as widely as possible.
Weapons analogy describes this well. The first case is akin to arms race, where they accumulate weapons to be able to intimidate anyone when they feel like it. The second case is global disarmament.
TL;DR: it's not a technological, but rather political (control) issue.