This is pretty far off topic, but letting fud sit around is never a good idea.
On Thu, May 20, 2010 at 2:08 AM, Hay (Husky) <huskyr(a)gmail.com> wrote:
Apparently the codec itself isn't as good as H264, and patent problems
are still likely. It's better than Theora though.
You should have seen what VP3 was like when it was handed over to
. The software was horribly buggy, slow, and the quality was
fairly poor (at least compared to the current status).
Jason's comparison isn't unfair but you need to understand it for what
it is— he's comparing a very raw, hardly out of development, set of
tools to his own project— which is the most sophisticated and mature
video encoder in existence. x264 contains a multitude of pure encoder
side techniques which can substantially improve quality and which
could be equally applied to VP8. For an example of the kinds of pure
encoder side improvements available, take a look at the most recent
improvements to Theora:
Even given that, VP8's performance compared to _baseline profile_
H.264 is good. Jason describes it as "relatively close to x264’s
Baseline Profile". Baseline profile H.264 is all you can use on the
if you actually want to be compatible with a great many devices,
including the iphone.
There are half research codecs that encode and decode at minutes per
frame and simply blow away all of this stuff. VP8 is more
computationally complex than Theora, but roughly comparable to H.264
baseline. And it compares pretty favourably with H.264 baseline, even
without an encoder that doesn't suck. This is all pretty good news.
On the patent part— Simply being similar to something doesn't imply
patent infringement, Jason is talking out of his rear on that point.
He has no particular expertise with patents, and even fairly little
knowledge of the specific H.264 patents as his project ignores them
entirely. Codec patents are, in general, excruciatingly specific — it
makes passing the examination much easier and doesn't at all reduce
the patent's ability to cover the intended format because the format
mandates the exact behaviour. This usually makes them easy to avoid.
It's easy to say that VP8 has increased patent exposure compared to
Theora simply by virtue of its extreme newness (while Theora is old
enough to itself be prior art against most of the H.264 pool), but
I'd expect any problems to be in areas _unlike_ H.264 because the
similar areas would have received the most intense scrutiny. ... and
in any case, Google is putting their billion dollar butt on the line—
litigation involving inducement to infringe on top of their own
violation could be enormous in the extreme.