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Codecs and Patents

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  • An Invisible Tax on the Web: Video Codecs

    Here’s a surprising fact: It costs money to watch video online, even on free sites like YouTube. That’s because about 4 in 5 videos on the web today rely on a patented technology called the H.264 video codec.

    A codec is a piece of software that lets engineers shrink large media files and transmit them quickly over the internet. In browsers, codecs decode video files so we can play them on our phones, tablets, computers, and TVs. As web users, we take this performance for granted. But the truth is, companies pay millions of dollars in licensing fees to bring us free video.

    It took years for companies to put this complex, global set of legal and business agreements in place, so H.264 web video works everywhere. Now, as the industry shifts to using more efficient video codecs, those businesses are picking and choosing which next-generation technologies they will support. The fragmentation in the market is raising concerns about whether our favorite web past-time, watching videos, will continue to be accessible and affordable to all.

  • AV1, Opportunity or Threat for POWER and ARM Servers?

    While I haven’t seen an official announcement, Phoronix reported that the AV1 git repository was tagged 1.0, so the launch announcement is imminent. If you haven’t heard about it already, AOMedia Video 1 (AV1) is an open, royalty-free video coding format by the Alliance for Open Media.

  • VP9 & AV1 Have More Room To Improve For POWER & ARM Architectures

    Luc Trudeau, a video compression wizard and co-author of the AV1 royalty-free video format, has written a piece about the optimization state for video formats like VP9 and AV1 on POWER and ARM CPU architectures.

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Android Leftovers

Radeon ROCm 1.9.1 vs. NVIDIA OpenCL Linux Plus RTX 2080 TensorFlow Benchmarks

Following the GeForce RTX 2080 Linux gaming benchmarks last week with now having that non-Ti variant, I carried out some fresh GPU compute benchmarks of the higher-end NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon graphics cards. Here's a look at the OpenCL performance between the competing vendors plus some fresh CUDA benchmarks as well as NVIDIA GPU Cloud TensorFlow Docker benchmarks. This article provides a fresh look at the Linux GPU compute performance for NVIDIA and AMD. On the AMD side was the Linux 4.19 kernel paired with the ROCm 1.9.1 binary packages for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. ROCm continues happily running well on the mainline kernel with the latest releases, compared to previously relying upon the out-of-tree/DKMS kernel modules for compute support on the discrete Radeon GPUS. ROCm 2.0 is still supposed to be released before year's end so there will be some fresh benchmarks coming up with that OpenCL 2.0+ implementation when the time comes. The Radeon CPUs tested were the RX Vega 56 and RX Vega 64 as well as tossing in the R9 Fury for some historical context. Read more

KDE Applications 18.12 Are Waiting for You

It's that time of the year again. Everyone is in a festive mood and excited about all the new things they're going to get. It's only natural, since it's the season of the last KDE Applications release for this year! With more than 140 issues resolved and dozens of feature improvements, KDE Applications 18.12 are now on its way to your operating system of choice. We've highlighted some changes you can look forward to. Read more Also: KDE Applications 18.12 Released With File Manager Improvements, Konsole Emoji