1. Guest,
    If you need help getting to know Xenforo, please see our guide here. If you have feedback or questions, please post those here.
    Dismiss Notice

Google Drops H264 from Chrome

Discussion in 'Computers' started by mattCR, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. mattCR

    mattCR Well-Known Member
    HW Reviewer

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    Messages:
    10,469
    Likes Received:
    368
    Location:
    Overland Park, KS
    Real Name:
    Matt
    While HTML5 has a [video] tag, the content within it isn't a guaranteed type.. at least not yet.

    http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/11/google-will-drop-h-264-support-from-chrome-herd-the-masses-towa/


    Now it gets interesting.. Google drops H264, which isn't open source per se, and still has a licensing agreement, in favor of WebM. Combined with their move to integrate Flash into their browser, this is a clear end-around to put pressure out to adopt WebM, which it will now support for YouTube over H264, and also Flash.. but H264, Apple & Microsoft's choice.. crickets.
     
  2. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1997
    Messages:
    19,944
    Likes Received:
    1,569
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
    Real Name:
    Sam Posten
    This is gonna get REAL UGLY fast.


    Google needs to explain why they are being proactive here against h.264 and not Flash.

    http://daringfireball.net/2011/01/simple_questions

    http://techcrunch.com/2011/01/11/google-flash/
     
  3. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1997
    Messages:
    19,944
    Likes Received:
    1,569
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
    Real Name:
    Sam Posten
    Deep details:

    http://farukat.es/journal/2011/01/488-google-h264-and-video-web
     
  4. Adam Gregorich

    Owner

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 1999
    Messages:
    15,533
    Likes Received:
    638
    Location:
    The Other Washington
    Real Name:
    Adam
    Maybe I am missing the picture, but I guess I don't see this as being a big deal from a desktop users perspective. Just switch to a browser that does support it if its important. Are other browsers available on android phones?


    Yes it is hypocritical, but for better or worse I realized Google was a "real" company a long time ago.
     
  5. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1997
    Messages:
    19,944
    Likes Received:
    1,569
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
    Real Name:
    Sam Posten
    Are you kidding Adam? There are still people using IE 5 and earlier and you want users to jump around to different browsers to get different codecs? Madness!
     
  6. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1997
    Messages:
    19,944
    Likes Received:
    1,569
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
    Real Name:
    Sam Posten
    Ars really runs down the issues here and shows the folly in what Google is doing:

    http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2011/01/googles-dropping-h264-from-chrome-a-step-backward-for-openness.ars
     
  7. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1997
    Messages:
    19,944
    Likes Received:
    1,569
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
    Real Name:
    Sam Posten
    Via Gruber, but sane words from Ed Bott:

    http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/by-dropping-h264-is-google-avoiding-a-trap-or-walking-into-one/2867
     
  8. Adam Gregorich

    Owner

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 1999
    Messages:
    15,533
    Likes Received:
    638
    Location:
    The Other Washington
    Real Name:
    Adam

    Does IE5 even support h.264 w/o a plug in? I guess what I am saying is if Chrome is going to cut out features that you want just switch browsers. Pretty much everyone not using Safari or IE has already made the decision to switch at somepoint and is savvy enough to choose. If enough people stop using Chrome maybe Google with take the hint. I would see YouTube switching as the bigger deal.
     
  9. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1997
    Messages:
    19,944
    Likes Received:
    1,569
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
    Real Name:
    Sam Posten
    I think it will do it via flash but don't quote me on that.
     
  10. Adam Gregorich

    Owner

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 1999
    Messages:
    15,533
    Likes Received:
    638
    Location:
    The Other Washington
    Real Name:
    Adam
    I think this is Google starting to flex its muscles. What happens after they eventually buy Adobe?
     
  11. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1997
    Messages:
    19,944
    Likes Received:
    1,569
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
    Real Name:
    Sam Posten
    They get sued, same as Microsoft...
     
  12. mattCR

    mattCR Well-Known Member
    HW Reviewer

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    Messages:
    10,469
    Likes Received:
    368
    Location:
    Overland Park, KS
    Real Name:
    Matt
    Yep.. eventually, everyone gets sued. Microsoft, Google, Apple, Intel... that isn't the question; the question is whether or not they can get far enough ahead that the damages they pay from the lawsuit don't mean much compared to the market share they gain doing it. It becomes a cost of business.
     
  13. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1997
    Messages:
    19,944
    Likes Received:
    1,569
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
    Real Name:
    Sam Posten
    Apple is going to get sued for being a monopoly? Are you kidding? They are a niche player in every market they are in. Now they may be the biggest -profit centers- for those markets but that's a different story....
     
  14. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    16,602
    Likes Received:
    1,149
    Location:
    One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA
    Real Name:
    David Fischer
    Hooray!!! Flash made more important!!! The obvious choice for a pioneering company with strong interests in open source!!! I don't see this being good for anyone but Google and Adobe. That is, this is a user-hostile move. There is no benefit to the end user and probably real detriment. By the accounts that I've read WebM is inferior to H264 in display quality.
     
  15. mattCR

    mattCR Well-Known Member
    HW Reviewer

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    Messages:
    10,469
    Likes Received:
    368
    Location:
    Overland Park, KS
    Real Name:
    Matt


    That's not what I'm saying.. I'm saying all big companies have taken up strategies that risk them being labeled as having stalled, delayed or hindered competitors as a matter of strategy, and they wait until they are sued.. and if it balances out, it is still a net benefit, even after they pay settlement. Apple has been through this a few times, early on with the iPod, years and years ago (I mean a LONG time ago), the EU with their guidelines on iTunes, etc... none of those are monopoly, they just get investigated.. it becomes par for the course. Google is making the gamble that they can get enough of a % of the market - not a monopoly, just a large percentage... enough that even after they pay out, they would still be ahead. After all, they could argue "well, Youtube isn't all of network media.. it's just one source.." and so on..
     
  16. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1997
    Messages:
    19,944
    Likes Received:
    1,569
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
    Real Name:
    Sam Posten
    Well... There's a big difference between investigations and accusations and 37 outta 50 states attorneys general and the EU launching decades long, company defining / modifying suits... Apple is in no danger of that. Google is.
     
  17. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2001
    Messages:
    16,192
    Likes Received:
    1,287
    Location:
    Albany, NY

    Flash is an established web format used by everybody. H.264 is not. The fight for the future of web video is just beginning, and lack of Chrome support for H.264 will actively discourage webmasters from using it. If you're designing a side with the tag, are you going to use the codec that two of the four major browsers support or are you going to used the codec that all four support?


    H.264 presents a hindrance for web video now similar to the hindrance the GIF file format presented for web images back in the 1990s. Not only is H.264 not a truly open format, it is explicitly NOT royalty-free except for non-commercial purposes. The last US MPEG LA patents for H.264 won't expire until 2028, which means that the patent pool would have an effective stranglehold over web video for the next 17 years. If H.264 become the web standard, it means only browsers that can afford to pony up the fee (up to $6.5 million annually) will be able to adequately compete. Websites will constantly have to consider whether their particular use of a video constitutes a royalty-free use under MPEG LA's licensing terms. Now, $6.5 million a year is a drop in the bucket to Google. It could pay it without blinking twice. WebM is not going to be a profit center for the company.


    The question is whether MPEG LA will able to extend any of its patents to WebM in court. VP8 was developed about 20 minutes from where I'm sitting, and I know On2 took special care to avoid any MPEG LA patents when it was designing the codec. Whether Google can convince a patent judge of that is the real question. The more challenges to its open status that WebM survives, the stronger forces for its universal adoption will grow. On the flip side, if MPEG LA succeeds, it'll completely undercut the whole premise of WebM.



    H.264 has a marketing drive behind it, WebM doesn't. Most users have experienced H.264 video with a quality encode. Most users haven't experienced a WebM video with a quality encode. Theora, which is objectively inferior to H.264, was spun off from one of WebM's distant ancestors. As WebM penetration expands, some glaring technical deficiency may reveal itself. But for the time being, it's simply impossible to make a far apples to apples comparison. We have no idea what WebM will be capable of right now.


    Most importantly, there is a lot of hardware support for H.264 on both the PC side and the mobile side. Of course hardware-decoded H.264 is going to outperform software-decoded WebM. It's just not a fair test. I would gladly take the year or two it will take for hardware encoding and decoding of WebM to take root over the nearly two decades it will take to get out from under MPEG LA.
     
  18. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    16,602
    Likes Received:
    1,149
    Location:
    One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA
    Real Name:
    David Fischer
    I've heard some more about this and realized that I don't know much about it. But I won't let that stop me from expressing further opinions. ;)





     
  19. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2001
    Messages:
    16,192
    Likes Received:
    1,287
    Location:
    Albany, NY
     
  20. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1997
    Messages:
    19,944
    Likes Received:
    1,569
    Location:
    Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
    Real Name:
    Sam Posten


    I don't think that's true at all, and I would posit that Webkit as a product is FAR MORE successful as a product than iTunes or any of the other iSuite tools are. Apple is a powerhouse for open standards if not open source. It's a subtle but very important philosophical difference.


    I believe Mr. Gruber just did an extensive talk on this at Macworld this week. Looking forward to seeing videos of that or a transcript.
     

Share This Page