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On2 Releases VP6 video codec 111

Posted by Hemos
from the looking-pretty dept.
A reader writes:"On2 Technologies, the folks who brought you the open-source VP3 video codec (now managed by Theora.org), have released our latest codec, VP6. Highlights include hi-def support with no encoder restrictions, real-time encoding at full D1 resolution, and substantial performance & quality improvements over VP5. Best of all: no "patent pooling" restrictions or external licensing fees, a la MPEG-4."
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On2 Releases VP6 video codec

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12, 2003 @11:41AM (#5936799)
    On2 Technologies, the folks who brought you the open-source VP3 video codec (now managed by Theora.org), have released our latest codec, VP6.

    Glad to see people can just submit press releases.
  • Hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by afree87 (102803) on Monday May 12, 2003 @11:41AM (#5936804) Homepage Journal
    This will be a rather hard codec to propagate, given that many people don't even know or want to know how to install XviD.
    • Re:Hmm (Score:3, Informative)

      by PhiberOptix (182584)
      if theres demand for the codec, then interest will grow. Many subbed animes are already being released in Xvid format. Also, installing xvid is just as easy as installing divx or any other app in windows, given that you d/l a binary package

      http://www.divx-digest.com/software/xvid.html

      • by ADRA (37398)
        Just admit it, HENTAI!

        There, I said it.. what a load off my chest.. so to speak...
    • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TrekkieGod (627867) on Monday May 12, 2003 @11:56AM (#5936923) Homepage Journal
      many people don't even know or want to know how to install XviD

      Right up to the point where they download their first XviD video file. Then, like anyone else, they'll pay the price and install the darn codec (after posting on countless message boards asking why the heck their video won't play).

      It's a necessity thing. Nobody wants to install what they don't need. However, the people who *make* videos experiment all the time to get the best quality they can...and once that happens, the others are forced to follow. Heck, if I can be made to install RealOne on my computer, anybody can be made to install anything. It was the hardest compromise of my principles I've ever made.

      • by McQuaid (524757) on Monday May 12, 2003 @12:38PM (#5937220)
        Ffdshow [sourceforge.net] is a filter for most mpeg4 codecs. Works with divx 4,5, xvid and other mpeg4 implementations. If all you do is playback, no codec required. Also if use alpha xvid codecs and it doesn't playback properly with ffdshow, you know that your vid isn't mpeg4 compliant. Btw, I capture/encode shows all the time in windows and would like to do this in linux, but it seems really lacking. First off, avisynth [avisynth.org] is an indispensable tool for dealing with video. What first attracted me to it was the best ivtc plugin by Donald Graft [mordor.net]. This processes telecined sources back to their original film frame rate which I use on toons/film sources.

        But the versatility goes way beyond that. Here's an animated menu [cultact-server.novi.dk] I made for batman tas for a vcd I was working on, which btw I authored with videopack 5 to include animated menus, galleries with audio and chapter selection (I love pimpin that :) ).

        Also worth mentioning is Tmpgenc [tmpgenc.net], probably the best mpeg 1 encoder, which is free. And not to shabby mpeg2 encoding. Also of course is virtualdub [virtualdub.org], which has come in handy on many occasions.

        So where are the comparable linux equivalents? I couldn't find them. I'd love to see a write up on video encoding on linux, maybe I'll do one myself.
        • by Joe Tie. (567096) on Monday May 12, 2003 @04:08PM (#5938936)
          Ffdshow is an easy replacement, as it's based on a Linux project, ffmpeg [sourceforge.net].

          The extent of my encoding comes from recording TV or VHS tapes and throwing a few filters at them for cleanup and encoding. So I've never had a chance to become familiar with what features avisynth has. Some people over at Doom9's Linux forum have mentioned getting Avisynth running in wine [doom9.org].

          Tmpgenc should be a pretty easy replacement. Transcode [uni-goettingen.de] seems to be a favorite for mpeg2 encoding. There was a problem when I first started using Linux, which slowed mpeg encoding to a snails pace for a while, and I've never found a chance to get back to see how it works when fully functional. A lot of peoplel swear by it though, and it's feature list is pretty impressive. Avidemux, as well as quite a few other programs also provide mpeg1 encoding, I think through ffmpeg.

          Everything in VirtualDub/VirtualDubMod except video capture should work fine under wine and that's what I used for quite a while before Avidemux [fixounet.free.fr] appeared. The design and functionality are very similar to virtualdub, and it also includes encoding to mpeg1.

          One of the two best media players for Linux, Mplayer [mplayerhq.hu], should be noted to have better support for matroska [matroska.org], in cvs, than is available for the format under windows. And these [bunkus.org] tools can be used for creation and editing of matroska files.

          For capture from a tv card, I use nuppelvideo [tuwien.ac.at], and then use avidemux to edit and convert to a smaller format.
        • Please drop me a note.

          I'm the "keeper" of links on Donald's site.

          There are a few new projects and I'd like to ask your help.
        • I'd love to see a write up on video encoding on linux, maybe I'll do one myself.

          I forgot to mention, that if you do take this on, Doom9's Linux forum [doom9.org] is probaly the single best source of information out there to start with.

          I think there's a real need for a site centered on video editing, capturing and encoding under Linux. It was probaly the single biggest challenge for me moving to Linux, simply because all the information out there is so scattered. Compiling some information is something I keep meani
      • by Cyno (85911)
        Thanks to Linux one day this may be a thing of the past. Both xine and mplayer use codecs stored in /usr/lib/win32.

        This means you can go here and get the latest codec packs. Untar them in your home directory. Then as root make sure the /usr/lib/win32 directory exists and copy the codec files into that directory. Its really that simple.

        Then whenever you need to move these around a network with ssh..

        scp root@hostname:/usr/lib/win32 /usr/lib
      • Re:Hmm (Score:3, Funny)

        by NanoGator (522640)
        "Right up to the point where they download their first XviD video file. Then, like anyone else, they'll pay the price and install the darn codec (after posting on countless message boards asking why the heck their video won't play)."

        I'm tellin you guys, porn's a great motivator!
      • Right up to the point where they download their first XviD video file. Then, like anyone else, they'll pay the price and install the darn codec

        XviD is free - and installation is hardly difficult, unless you can't remember what 'apt-get xvid' or 'emerge xvid' does.

        I assume it's as easy under Windows, right?
      • Re:Hmm (Score:4, Informative)

        by Bulln-Bulln (659072) <bulln-bulln@netscape.net> on Monday May 12, 2003 @04:58PM (#5939467)
        Right up to the point where they download their first XviD video file.

        There are no XviD video files. Currently most video files are:
        AVI Container
        MPEG-4 Video Track
        MP3 Audio Track

        The difference between DivX files and XviD files is the FourCC ("Four Character Code" or something).
        DivX and XviD are just differernt encoders, not different formats. Just like LAME and FhG MP3Enc are differend encoders, but produce the same format.
        If you change the FourCC from ''XVID'' to ''DIVX'' the normal DivX codec should be able to play it (I've never heard of any problems).
        That's why I think, the people who encoded the video file should change the FourCC to DIVX, try to decode the file using DivX, and (if it works without problems) release the file with the DIVX FourCC.
        This way you can reach a wider audiance.
        • Re:Hmm (Score:2, Interesting)

          by TrekkieGod (627867)
          The difference between DivX files and XviD files is the FourCC ("Four Character Code" or something). DivX and XviD are just differernt encoders, not different formats.

          True enough, although certain features of mpeg4 encoding can be, at any one time, implemented in one, and not the other. I haven't been keeping up with the progress of either xvid or divx lately, but I know that at one point xvid was ahead in B-frames support, which caused some compatibility problems between it and divx.

          Of course, all tha

      • The XVID installer (for Windows) is under 400K.

        Why not merge it with the video file, and if it's not already installed, install it?

        I mean, for a movie (700 MB), adding 400K won't really be noticeable.

        Yeah, I know all those Linux bigots will bitch and say they're not supported, why should we cater to the lowest common denominator etc. -- and the answer is because the LCD has over 90% market share.

        And if it's only 400K for Windows, I'd bet it's similar (or less) for Linux. So add less than 1 MB to th

    • Wont be that hard of a codec to propagate. Look at Winamp 2.91 it has both vp3.1 and vp5. Looking at On2's news, They also gave aol vp6. On2 is smart to whore the codec to Winamp. HUGE install base.
    • given that many people don't even know or want to know how to install XviD.

      I am rather surprised that this point has been made, but XviD is DivX compatible. You can watch any XviD encoded movie if you have the DivX5 codec. DivX4 might do if experimental XviD features such as B-frames are not used.

      I personally use ffmpeg for encoding right now. I have not noticed any movie that would not play interchangably across the DivX-compatible, MPEG4 clone codecs.

  • by nother_nix_hacker (596961) on Monday May 12, 2003 @11:44AM (#5936823)
    Best of all: no "patent pooling" restrictions or external licensing fees, a la MPEG-4."

    Will that mean my educational *ahem* videos will now be free? :)
  • Licensing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Wesley Felter (138342) <wesley@felter.org> on Monday May 12, 2003 @11:46AM (#5936837) Homepage
    Sure, VP6 has simpler licensing because it is completely proprietary, but H.264 is supposedly patent-free and it has the advantage of being a published standard with mulitple competing implementations.
  • NOT Free (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dot.Com.CEO (624226) * on Monday May 12, 2003 @11:49AM (#5936863)
    People, this codec is not free, it is not open source and I'm not even sure that it will be a free download. Even though VP3 was indeed open-sourced and is as free as can be, VP6 is not. It does not have MPEG4's licencing limitations but it is not open-source. It is, for all intents and purposes, as free as WMV and Real.

    • Re:NOT Free (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Cyno (85911)
      nevertheless I still enjoy being reminded that On2 brought us VP3. I will keep an eye on that company and its products in the future and if I happen to need a commercial solution at some time they will be at the top of my list. :)
  • Doom9 codec tests (Score:5, Informative)

    by fluor2 (242824) on Monday May 12, 2003 @11:56AM (#5936919)
    I would really recommend reading this codec comparision by doom9:

    http://www.doom9.org/index.html?/codecs-103-1.ht m

    Doom9 shows us very nice screenshots from non-keyframes. The conclusion is still: XViD is the best codec around. I hope people understand that whatever other companies claim (e.g. "50% better compression") you should never underestimate what doom9 says: all codecs out there now are VERY similar. None of them is really outstanding.
    • I can say that my JPEG can deliver more than 50% compression than that of normal JPEG settings. However it doesn't mention that the image quality will be awful. Its all relative

      rus
    • Re:Doom9 codec tests (Score:5, Informative)

      by Ishin (671694) on Monday May 12, 2003 @12:10PM (#5937014) Journal
      Doom9 is a good site to get news on about what codecs and applications are new, or releasing new versions. It's also a good place for discussion with the developers of many open source applications and codecs/video containers. However, I'd recommend that if you read their video codec reviews, you keep several things in mind. Firstly, the review is very subjective, and though I agree with the conclusion (xvid does the best job in my experience) the reviewer isn't exactly doing a normal comparison. Secondly, they're not very open to criticism, constructive or otherwise, and seem to have the attitude that they are THE EXPERTS on video encoding and codecs, and are thus beyond reproach, although, from what I can tell, the site owners aren't actually actively involved in the development of any codecs or applications. The main two flaws of the review are: A. they use post processing in all of their comparison screenshots and the reviewer used post processed shots to determine which he thought looked best. That in itself pretty much invalidates the results, as the actual output of the codecs isn't the only thing being tested, but also the perceptual quality of their respective post-filtering schemes. B. he was using a special version of xvid that's not available to the public, and that many of the people involved in xvid didn't even realize existed, which, once again completely invalidates his results for the rest of us. So, like I said, good site, great news, even greater discussion, questionable codec review.
      • Re:Doom9 codec tests (Score:4, Informative)

        by real_smiff (611054) on Monday May 12, 2003 @12:50PM (#5937314)
        don't be silly.. neither of those things "completely invalidate the results". postprocessing - it's a real world test of how these codecs are going to be used by most people. "special version" - there are thousands of "special versions" of Xvid, every build by every person who releases builds is a special version... it's in development, that's what CVS is for. You can pick up a build of Xvid now and get results like he got there, there's no fraud like you seem to imply. Having said all that, i think Doom9 is probably biased towards Xvid, but for good reasons. It's forum is really the 2nd home of Xvid.
        • I should add a qualification to my statement, the 'Ishibaar' version that was used by Doom9 isn't available compiled into binary form, you'd either have to get a binary directly from 'Ishibaar' himself, or get it off it from his specific cvs version and compile it youself (something those 'most people' you're talking about might have no idea how to do).

          Besides, I implied no fraud, I implied exactly what is going on there, poor methodology in the testing.
      • This info is very informative. You seem to have left one piece if information out though: If Doom9 are not THE EXPERTS, then who is? I am not trying to bash you in any way. Per your insight into their review (which I agree with you), I'd like to see an alternative link which offers a true comparison using your defined criteria. I really appreciate your analysis otherwise.
        • You seem to have left one piece if information out though: If Doom9 are not THE EXPERTS, then who is?

          Why do I get the feeling you're trying to draw me into a flame? The impetus to provide who THE EXPERTS happen to be isn't mine, it's apparently yours.

          Once again, the purpose of my post wasn't to flame doom9, it's a great news site. It was to warn those that would go there that their article wasn't as good as it could have been.

          As an aside, I'd consider the actual xvid/virtualdub/divx/RV9 developers to be

          • Perhaps others would flame you, but that was not my direction nor intention. I'm seriously seeking sound (uhh, I mean video) advice. ;-) Please re-read my comment in light of this. Ignore the bold, emphasized words if it helps.
            • Re:Doom9 codec tests (Score:3, Informative)

              by Ishin (671694)
              Sorry to misinterpret you, then.

              I'm sorry to say that I've yet to find a really satisfactory and impartial comparison, much less, one that is up to date. I've had to do all of my own testing to figure out what settings do, and how codecs compare. Mainly xvid, divx4/5, sbc, and ffvfw. As I stated earlier, I've found xvid in it's latest incarnations( Koepi [goe.net] and Umaniac's [hopto.org] versions are easy to find, and work great, in my experience) are the best, and the doom9 xvid forum is a great place to give feedback to, a

    • and what of H.264 (Score:3, Informative)

      by moogla (118134)
      The On guys compared VP6 to something called H.264, which I come to find out later is an official standard (newly released) for MPEG-4 encoding. It looked really damn good, almost as good as VP6 on the frames they chose.

      I understand XviD's implementation of MPEG-4 is based on H.263.

      So is anybody (including XviD) considering implementing it? I understand it isn't patent-encumbered. I could be wrong...
      • There are patents covering H.264 (or MPEG-4 Part 10), but they appear to be all defensive patents and no licensing fees have ever been required for them.

        H.264 was designed to give DVD quality at sub-1 Mbps levels, so it should be significantly better quality than what xvid provides at higher bitrates.

        The only problem is I haven't seen a realtime decoder for it yet and I hear encoding is a major CPU hog. :)
      • Re:and what of H.264 (Score:5, Informative)

        by pla (258480) on Monday May 12, 2003 @01:01PM (#5937393) Journal
        I understand XviD's implementation of MPEG-4 is based on H.263.

        XviD follows the MPEG-4 ASP (advanced simple profile) spec. Virtually all of the current major video codecs out there use some minor variant of this.

        H.264 usually refers to the MPEG-4 AVC (advanced video coding) profile. This promises a 2-4x size improvement at similar quality to the ASP. However, it has one major problem...


        So is anybody (including XviD) considering implementing it? I understand it isn't patent-encumbered. I could be wrong...

        Yes, an AVC implementation exists [hydrogenaudio.org], but it provides its own demonstration of why no one uses it yet despite the improved size and/or quality... Namely, 30-45 seconds per frame at encode time. For a full-length movie, that comes out to two or three days for a single-pass encode.

        Additionally, even if you feel inclined to wait that long for the sake of quality (personally, I would), the link I gave above points to more of a proof of concept than a "real" viable codec. It needs quite a lot of tweaking just to make it compare to existing ASP codecs such as XviD.
        • by moogla (118134)
          that sucks.
          Also, the inability to decode it in realtime at HDTV resolutions without a P4 3GHz is kinda disheartening.
          Well, its' nice to know you can still give it a shot! For archival purposes it sounds like a lark. Thanks for clearing that up.

        • Re:and what of H.264 (Score:3, Informative)

          by benwaggoner (513209)
          Actually, those encode times aren't that bad at all for a development codec. Back when I started doing professional encoding (1994), we targeted 80 minutes of render time per minute of source files, so a feature film would be more like a week of computer time. Still had a very viable business based around that.

          Of course, that was with 80 MHz computers...

          LOTS of companies are working on AVC implementations, and they'll certainly compete on speed. There's lots of areas in the standard where speed/quality tr
        • Re:and what of H.264 (Score:3, Informative)

          by Jordy (440)
          Yes, an AVC implementation exists [hydrogenaudio.org], but it provides its own demonstration of why no one uses it yet despite the improved size and/or quality... Namely, 30-45 seconds per frame at encode time. For a full-length movie, that comes out to two or three days for a single-pass encode.

          I hardly think this matters for professional encoding. There are real-time H.264 hardware encoders in development by VideoLocus [videolocus.com] and Sand Video [sandvideo.com].

          Besides, it took quite a while for the old MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 referenc
        • "H.264 usually refers to the MPEG-4 AVC (advanced video coding) profile."

          More so the other way around. H.264 was developed under the wings of the ITU (jvt) with the "codename" H.26L. The goal was to make a successor to H.263 that would make usable video conferencing possible at 10kbit/s (!). Then, when the HDTV broadcasting compression performance tests were being done, the H.264 guys though 'why not scale our resolution and bitrates up and join that test', so they did and beat MPEG4 by a healty margin. Th
      • Re:and what of H.264 (Score:3, Informative)

        by benwaggoner (513209)
        Xvid uses the Simple and Advanced Simple profiles of MPEG-4. These were extensions of baseline H.263 (aka MPEG-4 short header), but with LOTS of enhancements.

        FWIW, H.263 is the standard video codec used in videoconferencing system. Most of the IRAQ video was using it.

        All MPEG-4 codecs are patent-encumbered, and will require license fees in some circumstances. However, these tend not to be too onerous. For example, today's MPEG-4 video codecs are free for the first 50,000 units distributed per year.
    • I did not see that listed in Doom9's comparison. It seems the MPlayer developers prefer it over Xvid. I've always used FFMPEG MPEG4 with fantastic results.
  • OK, the summary says no external licensing fees (though I don't see anywhere on the site itself that makes that claim), but then you do see this statement:

    "VP6 is available for commercial licensing. Note that custom engineering services may be required to integrate VP6 into your application."

    So I wonder if it's going to be one of those things where almost anything will require "custom engineering services" and they'll just get you there. Maybe they just won't publish an api doc, thereby requiring thei
  • by Datasage (214357) <`moc.yergsidlroweht' `ta' `egasataD'> on Monday May 12, 2003 @12:27PM (#5937150) Homepage Journal
    I dont, i'll continue to use Divx or Xvid. Being that both are either free or really cheap (for the pro ver of divx).

    I dont buy thier claims that its any better than divx. To start with, thier samples are biased and most likely have been changed to show an advantage in thier product.

    If they do in fact have a better quality then the comperable codecs, is it worth the cost of licening this codec for just a slight improvement in quality?
    • To start with, thier samples are biased and most likely have been changed to show an advantage in thier product.

      Why do you say this? Any evidence?

      If they do in fact have a better quality then the comperable codecs, is it worth the cost of licening this codec for just a slight improvement in quality?

      It says right in the article submission that there are no external licensing fees.
  • by Sebby (238625) on Monday May 12, 2003 @12:40PM (#5937236)
    This thing only runs on Winblows.

    I guess they don't realize that to some content people, cross-platform availability is more important to smaller file size.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Yep! Was very excited by their claims, immediately tried to download the player, which to my horror turns out to be only available for windows. Do we really need another windows only codec? Or is the idea that say, Apple will intedgrate this codec into quicktime?

      At the moment though, if you wanna use this codec then you have to dance the dirty with Micro$oft, which is most certainally not free, or without restrictions. We use heaps of video on our sites, streaming, downloadable etc. and our primary concern
    • While the software demo is on Windows, On2 has made codecs for multiple platforms before, and certainly can do so again. Bear in mind this demo is to get people to LICENSE the codec. I'm sure they'd be happy to port the codec to whatever for a licensee writing a sufficiently large check.

      On2 are a bunch of good, old school codec guys.
  • Looked at their version of a football game, checked out the competing codec's version of same content, and funnily enough, the VP6 version looked better.
    I want to be able to test this myself, but without having the original content, this isn't going to happen. To be honest, they all looked a bit awful. With a meg for 10 seconds of video, how did they manage to get the other codecs to look so bad!?
    Meaningless test.
  • Never heard of player. Download player, states that it's hundreds of days old on first run. Checks for updates. Doesn't find any. Attempt to play the slowest broadband (100Kbps stream,) which my connection should be able to handle fine, WMP and other players do, at least. Connection drops 2 seconds into playing and never recovers after spending a minute trying to rebuffer.

    Uninstalled.
  • related note; the older On2 codec which has become the basis of Ogg Theora isn't dead: Ogg Theora is listed as supported in the newest version of Xine, as mentioned yesterday [slashdot.org].

    timothy

  • OK, so there are no "patent-pool" licensing fees, but are there any patent issues with VP6? Suppose someone writes an Open Source implementation of this new codec? Will there be issues for those who live in less-free countries that allow software patents? The world really needs a completely free video codec.
    • You're asking to prove a negative. It's kind of hard to say. Given the USPTO's penchant for handing out patents in spite of ample evidence of prior art, who is to say that down the road someone won't pull a patent for "A method to represent full-motion video via a mathematical function" out of their orfice and file suit...
    • Re:Patents? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Wesley Felter (138342)
      No doubt On2 has filed patents on VP6. Their pitch is that all the patents are (supposedly) owned by them instead of 20 different companies, so it's easier to negotiate a license. Of course, if you aren't willing to pay licensing fees at all then it doesn't make any difference.
  • by azav (469988) on Monday May 12, 2003 @02:44PM (#5938115) Homepage Journal
    Is there one?

    Or is this win only?
  • by TeknoHog (164938) on Monday May 12, 2003 @03:27PM (#5938471) Homepage Journal
    AFAIK, many video codecs use some kind of FFT/DCT/wavelet compression for individual frames, and then some rather different techniques to account for the similarities/changes between subsequent frames. As a physicist I find this rather too complicated; it would be more natural to treat time as a third dimension, and just use FFT/DCT/wavelets or whatever for the whole 3D package (probably split into NxNxN cubes).

    Quick googling shows that such codecs have in fact been investigated. But are these ideas used in any current codecs?

    Of course every lossy codec has its problems, but there's at least one reason why I'm intrigued by these 3D style codecs: it could be easier to balance resources between single-frame precision vs. motion. With fast action we're less sensitive to details, so the codec could use more information for motion and less for the image details. And vice versa for slow scenes. This would happen automatically if the codec always preserved the strongest percentage of frequency/wavelet components (which is a standard way of signal de-noising).

    • Current video compression techniques use lossy compression schemes, which are based on removing elements that are perceptually less important.

      In a movie, human perception for intra-picture elements (2D picture) is not the same as inter-picture (variation over time). The elements that can be eliminated are quite different and that is why you get better results by applying different techniques for compressing each of them.

      For example: imagine a static wall painted with a single color. A "distortion" that ch
    • I beleive Ogg Tarkin developers were investigating some of this... but that project has been pretty much sidelined now. I think you can still download a very experimental encoder
    • I've discussed this with friends as well while taking classes on image processing and such. Not sure why there are no such codecs in existance though.

      It would seem like wavelet would be a good candidate as it's quite easy to "shave off" coefficients to try different compression rates. But considering that there are no such codecs I'd assume that there are reasons for it. I haven't heard or read any though.
    • Well, such a scheme might produce somewhat better compression (especially since the impulse responses of visual neurons resemble 3d wavelets, naturally suggesting a 3d scheme for efficient representation.) I once implemented a scheme using 3d wavelets for optic flow detection, with some pretty good results on canned data.

      The drawback is that it requires more complicated encoders and decoders, which use more memory and more memory bandwidth due to the need to decode several frames at once. Today's hardware
    • Ogg Tarkin [xiph.org] is Xiph's experiment on 3d wavelets.

      Hmm... looks like this archive has been delinked from Xiph's mailing list archives page, but it's still alive and kicking.
  • codec overload (Score:2, Insightful)

    by LordMyren (15499)
    does anyone else get the idea that all these new better more innovative codecs are seriously damaging the overall encoding scene? sure, all the computer users can just go download the latest nemo codec pack, but stand alone players trying to support all these new different formats are being over run by a army of different codecs. ultimately we doom ourselves.
    • Exactly I demand that we go back to the way it was, shadow puppets!

      I don't care about the special effects, give me a large sheet and a hurricane lamp and I can show you love scenes that'll blow your mind.

      Seriously I have no problem with the concept of hundreds of codecs out there. Most of them are small niche type objects that don't affect me or the TV Station that I work for. We stick with MPEG and AVI and we have no problems.

  • by almaw (444279) on Monday May 12, 2003 @03:48PM (#5938713) Homepage
    Another poster pointed out that this codec isn't free, and is just as commercial and proprietry as Real and WMV. They're wrong - it's actually much worse than those in terms of cost and lock-in.

    Now, I don't know what the terms are for VP6, but our company investigated implementing VP5 a while back. To encode in realtime, you needed dedicated hardware ($15,000 per license). To encode offline, you need software at $10,000 per license. This is licensed on a rolling annual basis - i.e. $10,000 a year. You then additionally need to license the TrueCast on-demand server to distribute content, which is similarly priced.

    I'd expect VP6 to be similarly priced to VP5. You'd better be encoding an awful lot of video and saving an awful lot of bandwidth to make it worth your while.

    OTOH, the quality of VP5 was extremely good for a given bandwidth (much better than xvid).
    • You'd better be encoding an awful lot of video and saving an awful lot of bandwidth to make it worth your while.

      It seems that AOL thinks it's worth the money [on2.com]. Probably because they very well may be doing huge ammounts of encoding. Maybe the AOL-TimeWarner merger will begin to yeild something interesting.

      OTOH, the quality of VP5 was extremely good for a given bandwidth (much better than xvid).

      Nice to hear someone who knows what they are talking about among the rest who are saying how much better Xvid i

    • I can encode real time on my pc and play in winamp with vp5 now on my pc. Stand alone hardware is not needed at all. As for streaming it. Try shoutcast/icecast. http://www.nullsoft.com/nsv/
      • You can play back VP5 in software happily, but you can't encode in realtime. I doubt very much you can encode MPEG-2 in realtime, and that's a much simpler algorithm.

        So you've laid out $10,000 for an encoder license then?

        Shoutcast/icecast will stream VP3, not VP5. I think you've confused the two. You might like to check out On2's page on VP5 system requirements [on2.com]. You'll notice that the realtime VP5 encoder is still "coming soon". I suspect now VP6 is out, it'll stay that way.
  • The linked article is generally pretty good, but I found one rather glaring omission. When testing AVC (called H.26L in the artcle), they only used a single reference frames. One of the most important features of AVC is its support for multiple reference frames. These work by allowing the codec to do motion estimation from multiple previous frames (3 in the baseline profile, 5 in the higher profiles). This helps compression efficiency a lot with things like muzzle flashes, spinning fans, or anything else w

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