Tuesday, June 22, 2010

VP8, H.264

So after reading

I've come to the conclusion that VP8, isn't all that and the bag of chips that Google seems to make it out to be. I compiled the SDK and tried using it, but no matter what I do, I can't get past the extremely annoying Quality Popping that the author talks about. I noticed it immediately, and it wasn't until reading his analysis that I realized what he's talking about.

From a patent free point of view... The author seems to know a lot about the h.264 codec and seems to be quite capable of code analysis, from his observations, he seems to feel that VP8 is very similar to h.264 from a conceptual point of view, minus the fact that they took out the features that make h.264 so good. This makes me feel like the only way that google can improve the quality is to be more like h.264 which suggests that it will be closer to patent infringement! But if they leave it as is, its just not good enough, and STILL likely to get sued for patent infringement!

Soo I think Theora is still a good alternative... It sucks SOO bad that no one will even care to sue it even if it does mildly infringe patents, and it at very least doesn't suffer from that incredibly annoying quality popping artifact!

In short... I almost feel like Google is using VP8 to incite a patent war and possibly get the news out there that software patents are evil. Maybe VP8 can be a weapon to help bring down the endless struggle between developer and patent lawyer and patent land mines. If we destory software patents, h.264 becomes what it should be.. free for anyone to implement their own way. The idea that the IDEA of a good video encoder/decoder is something someone can be sued for even if they coded it themselves in a dark room w/ no internet and no other references... Its just stupid. Now if someone took the code and copied it exactly... ya.. they should get sued ( thats copyright ).

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